You Want to Change the World?
I always thought democracy was great for ancient Athens, but a dumb idea for large nations. Not that I had a brilliant alternative model, of course. But it had occurred to me that if radical change needed to happen, to advance a nation in some way, there would always be people who would oppose it. Typically, there will always be people who habitually cling to the familiar, no matter how painful.
In a populace nation, you could have 60% in favour of the change, and 40% against it. So, the in-favours win. This means that in a nation of, let’s say, 300 million people,
- 180 million people are happy.
- But at the same time, 120 million people are unhappy! . . . That is 120 MILLION very unhappy people! That’s a lot of unhappy people!
That doesn’t sound like a great system to me.
But then I recently heard Barak Obama being interviewed by Marc Maron, about his Governmental policies. President Obama was asked why some reforms hadn’t moved along a lot faster. The President then remarked that in a democracy changes can only be made in small increments *.
Voila! There you have it. Words of genuine wisdom. In a democracy, in order to not upset the not-in-favour-status-quo, you can’t make radical change. You can only implement a little at a time, to ease in the new system or policy.
This is why social change is always slow in democratic countries (and conversely much faster in dictatorships where the populace has no say!). Yes, democratic change is still too slow for some, but any progress must be appreciated, if it is in the most auspicious direction.
So, in order to change the world, you can’t do it as a stranger on the outside, banging down the walls (well, perhaps the Berlin Wall was long overdue, and made a significant percentage of people happy).
A better way is to work from inside the system, gaining as much TRUST as possible. In this way, changes can be more easily accepted.
And today we have the pervasive and persuasive tool of social media, which can bring people around to the logic of the changes needed. It is up to us to sell those changes to the populace. You don’t sell the Product, you sell the Change.
If you have a radical business idea, or even a political idea, it is vital that you present the positive outcomes in contrast to the present model or product, and to the largest mass of people. Desire for that product or service is vital. People will not simply adopt something because it is in front of them.
But radical change does happen. It is commonplace now to site Apple Inc. as the masters at this strategy. A product launch is usually pre-empted with much speculation for months beforehand (the small increments!), and launched with great fan-fare at their Developers Conferences. Apple can radicalise the way we do things, because they have our confidence. The first Apple computers, though, were not big international sellers. I had not even seen one, personally, in Australia before before 1989.
You may not as yet have the budget of Apple Inc., or its international reputation and immediate reach, but practically the entire world is at your feet, or your fingertips, and on the net!
It is possible now to bring change to people’s lives in any country, anywhere on Earth (well, if China doesn’t ban your webpage), so never limit yourself or your ideas. If you meet a brick wall at first, try another approach; and remember the small increments. Most great world-changing companies started very small, in garages.
Over the past three decades, I have worked with clients with extraordinary potential in their astrology charts; and every one of those clients was excited by their own possibilities. Some even cried when I uncovered their very exceptional purpose. A dark room had suddenly been lit.
. . . But how many of those clients have actually gone out there and done the thing? Not many. And the world is sadder for it.
. . . So, how many Hearts have shut out their ultimate reason for being?
Having personal confidence
in yourself, and in your plans, is vital.
People only trust others more confident than themselves.
Leadership is not only for CEOs and politicians. To change the world in some way, you must lead the world into that change. You must have the audacity to do it, without any ego involvement, as the ego is ultimately hell-bent on self-preservation.
You may think you are just one person, or a very small team of people. But this is what provides the focus.
Apple was floundering before Steve Jobs was invited back into the fold. One person. He put their mission back on track. And he re-installed that mission as the purpose of Apple: to put an education device into the hands of every person, to change lives through technology. And he made certain the products were beautifully designed in accord with Zen principles, and user-friendly.
So don’t think that because you are one person you cannot make a difference. The world is counting on you to make a difference. Your abilities are unique to you: so who else will do it?
. . . May you always live your Exceptional Purpose!
From the WTF radio episode #613 by Marc Maron, live in his (garage!) studio with President Barak Obama (excellent interview). [Back to text *]
Images from Wikimedia Commons under the CC License