The World Needs You

18 Feb 2014

“You have something to give the world that no one else does.” That’s what I tell groups when I teach or give inspirational talks. “Our job is to figure out who we are and what IT is, then get on with it.”

Unfortunately, we often get in the way of our own success. We have fears, insecurities, lack creative thinking, yada, yada, yada. We fail to see possibilities or look for opportunities. And then there’s that thing we have to deal with–CHANGE!

How do you feel about change? Some people hate it; others thrive on it.

Depending on our personality and experiences, we have varied levels of comfort with the “C” word.

Some will avoid risk at almost any cost. They prefer every day to be similar and predictable. That’s ok. The world needs these faithful, reliable people.

Others (like me) can’t stand any two days that are the same, and may even change the route going home just to mix things up. We love new things, new foods, new ideas and surprises. But it doesn’t mean we are always successful.

Like it or not, change is part of life. And in a digital world going faster than we ever imagined, change is constant.

I picked up a little book by Seth Godin, titled, Graceful: Making A Difference in a World That Needs You.  I got this little ebook for my Kindle for $2.51;  iTunes and Nook have it also.

In case you’re not familiar with him, Seth Godin has written 12 best-selling books and blogs at http://sethgodin.typepad.com. I mentioned his book, The Dip, in my article, I Quit.

In this quick read, Godin lays out 30 ideas for making a difference in the world. He discusses grace, a character attribute in short supply, but one that is essential for success. He deals with things that hold us back, like fear (of change and other things) and inspires readers to greatness by cultivating healthy lifestyles and positive attitudes.

Below is an excerpt from the book dealing with opportunity. Godin granted permission for this to be shared as long as he receives [well-deserved] credit.

The land of opportunity

You might look at change as a threat.

After all, change might cost you your job, or that promotion, or that account. Change might lead to a flight getting cancelled or an assembly line in the factory shutting down.

If you live in a world of the status quo, the factory world, the world where the goal is to do what you did yesterday, but cheaper and faster and more reliably, then yes, change is a threat.

But change is here.

The choice: You can hide and insulate, or you can rejigger and reinvent your day so that change is actually an opportunity.

The revolution of the connected world is the biggest revolution since Henry Ford.  It is changing the way every idea is handled, every product is created, every person interacts. It’s not going to be willing to make a detour around your gig, it’s not going to be interested in giving you a permanent sinecure. No, the revolution doesn’t care.

Hence the opportunity. 

Andy Gadiel turned his love for the band Phish into a thriving online community called Jambase, bringing more music to more people than most record labels ever will. His community is filled with tens of thousands of fans who contribute, without pay, to make the site work.

Less than two years ago (!), Andrew Mason launched Groupon, a company built on principles that were impossible to take seriously just twenty years ago. It’s already doing more than a billion dollars a year in sales by connecting strangers, city by city, and turning them into powerful buying organizations.

Andy Gadiel turned his love for the band Phish into a thriving online   community called Jambase, bringing more music to more people than most record labels ever will. His community is filled with tens of thousands of fans who contribute, without pay, to make the site work.

Susan Piver, a New York Times bestselling author of books on spirituality can now engage with readers and students around the world, with more frequency and impact than she could ever accomplish using simply a book. By connecting with people in person and online, she can organize and lead a community to a place it wants to go.

Amanda Rose, working with no paid staff, only volunteers, has organized hundreds of thousands of people through her Twestivals. Amanda made it possible for anonymous online strangers to discover each other in person. In addition to the huge energy and creativity that results from these face to face gatherings, she’s raised more than a million dollars for charities around the world.

The bits and the modems and the fiber cables aren’t the point. Humans want to connect and we’ll always find a better and deeper way to do it if we can.

The goal is not a cheaper factory or a more compliant workforce. The goal is better connections, connections that work.

Godin, Seth (2010-10-13). Graceful (Kindle Location 214-240). New Word City, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Royalty-free image photographed by Krappweis and made available from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1425964

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