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Why are we here?

By Neil Crofts

Are we here to get by, to simply mind our business, to feather our nests, to look after our own, to reproduce.  Or are we here to do something amazing, to contribute to life, our communities, to put a dent in the universe - as Steve Jobs would have it.

It is not necessarily talking about doing something massive that influences the lives of millions or even thousands, but I am talking about doing something with passion and meaning for you. It is about making a difference, it is about making each one of our lives matter.

Many of us get caught up with the idea of “being realistic”, and allow that concept to guide our choices.  Please allow me to rant on this, just for a few paragraphs.

The problem with the idea of “being realistic” is that no one, NO ONE, has any idea what is, or is not realistic, until they try, and try at least a couple of different ways.

Think of any big achievement you or anyone else has ever had.  In virtually every case it started with someone believing in something and pursuing it.  It starts with belief, not proof.  Not rational explanation, not evidence, but belief.

Whether it is a sporting, creative, political, commercial, scientific, cultural or any other achievement, it starts with someone or some group believing.  And very often it is the scale of our belief that defines the scale of the eventual outcome.  The bigger the vision, the bigger the belief, the bigger (potentially) the outcome.

Of course it is not just about belief - there is also commitment, energy, strategy, collaboration, support, hard work and all of those other things, but, few of those other elements will even start without the initial belief.

So - paint your picture, define your big vision, hold onto your passion and you ultimate potential, persuade, cajole and inspire.  Whether it is bringing up your children to be confident, empowered and amazing, making your workplace more inspiring, supporting a friend or community, achieving a sporting or creative goal or doing something bigger.  

Start by believing in your vision.  Then work out what needs to be done to make it a reality.  Then do what needs to be done.  If one strategy isn’t working, that does not mean the vision is “unrealistic” it just means that you need a different strategy.

I dream of a world populated by unrealistic, unlimited people, all doing amazing things for themselves and for each other.  A population uninhibited by untested notions of what is realistic.

I have been honoured to have been invited to contribute to just such a project (actually two, but more on the second one later).  It is a web site aimed at inspiring all of us to live our big life, a vivid life, if you like, and that is why it is called Vividlife.

It was started by someone who most “normal” people would regard as an unrealistic dreamer and perhaps he was, until he found another “believer”.  Then they found some more, and now they have 80,000 visitors a week to their US site and have just launched in Europe.

This team kindly asked me to contribute with articles and an interview, which we did last week and you can hear it on their website now.

Yes - it takes a bit more effort.  Yes - we have to challenge ourselves and our self limiting beliefs.  Yes we have to out manouvre the roadblocks and ignore or persuade the “realistic” with their well meaning caution.  But in the end if life is worth living it is worth living BIG.

If you would like to find out more about authentic leadership please visit the dedicated Authentic Leadership microsite.

If you would are interested in helping to solve these kinds of challenge, you might like to join Authenticis as a consultant. Contact Neil to have a chat.  The next round of training starts in June.

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