- Do you think that learning and growing is important?
- Is taking care of our children important?
- Is taking care of our health important?
- Is taking care of our elders important?
- As society, are we doing a good job?
99% of people answer Yes to the first four, and No to the last. Climate Catastrophe, Biosphere degradation, Covid-19. Whatever you look at, we are not doing a good job.
The first are about what we value, and the last about what we do.
I’ve just been watching this excellent TEDx talk by Jeff Parrett entitled Living a Values Based Life, and Jeff starts with these questions. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why we’ve let the climate crisis get so bad, and found Jeff’s points align with my thinking.
I look at so many people I know; people who have children younger than 80; people who want to still be living a healthy life in 20 years time; who want to take care of today’s elders and be taken care of when they are elders; and who want to keep learning and growing;
and who are still not putting at least 50% of their skills, time, and money into doing any kind of job, let alone a good job, by turning their aspirational “yes” into sufficient “yes” action.
Even though it has been clear for a few decades that, unless we do a complete rebuild, around 2020 the serious consequences will begin (e.g. the pandemics, floods, fires etc. we’re seeing), around 2030 the consequences will become so big that our global society and economy will begin failing; and by 2050 it will have failed.
And yet, even talking with people who are genuinely well intentioned, most are more worried about how to keep their current job, pay their current mortgage, and go on their next holiday, than actually make the big change needed to act consistently with their aspirational “yes” to the first four questions.
Actions that do a good job, that address global crises, like climate. By putting at least 50% (better still 100%) of their effort, time, and money into alignment with learning and growing, taking care of their children, taking care of their health, taking care of elders.
Because it’s hard.
Why is it hard? Because the systems we’re embedded in hinder us doing something that is right when it doesn’t immediately make money, even if it is taking care of our children’s future and our own future in 10 years time, 20 years time. Because the parts of our brains that think about ourselves and our children in the future are the parts that deal with strangers, not the parts that deal with our own identity and kin.
So we need to consciously act, not instinctively; and we need to just begin building new kinds of businesses with all our time and money. Businesses that are inherently, from the DNA up, designed to deliver a resounding yes to all five questions.
Why is this hard?
Because we have vulnerabilities that we are protecting, vulnerabilities coming out of flawed assumptions about ourselves and the world. Assumptions so big that we usually don’t even see them, don’t realise that they are driving our behaviour.
It’s not because we are bad, or weak; it’s because we’re human beings, because we have built ourselves out of our experiences and beliefs in the past; but these are all too often fallacious maps to guide our futures.
Want to know how to Rebuild yourself, and your maps to be good guides to “yes”? So that you build regenerative businesses?
Do you want 2022 to be the year you really invest yourself and all you have in getting to a resounding YES to all five questions?
- buy our book Rebuild: the Economy, Leadership, and You;
- watch our videos on YouTube
- read my 2022 letter expanding on this
- and sign up for our Startup Factory and other programmes.