How much urgency?

Are the polar ice caps melting a pressing matter?

How urgent is the inversion problem?

Urgency, like most things, is a matter of convenience.

Sure, we care about the polar ice caps or clean air but not enough to go from two or three cars to one. Because thats not convenient enough.

Human beings are willing to trade a lot for convenience. So if you are going to enroll someone in your movement, you stand a much better chance of success by making it convenient. 

With all the time and resources

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

If the cost of risk is practically zero and you had all the time, energy, money, resources…what would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Now, what can you do to start?

What investment would you make, what project could you start, which people could you touch?

If you are waiting for things to be perfect before you begin, you’ll be waiting for a long time.

The good news is you can decide to start anyway and see what happens next.

Placebos and permission

At the end of Wizard of Oz the Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man all receive tokens for their valor.

But does a medal actually give us more courage?

Does a diploma make us smarter?

Does a clock shaped heart give us a greater capacity to love?

It actually can if you believe it.

Yet too often, we are in search for placebo to get started. That permission is a placebo.

Sure, it can useful way to get off the bench. But what many soon discover about permission is that you didn’t need the placebo all along. You had permission the whole time.

All you needed was to decide. 

Yes, placebos are a great tool but you don’t need them to make a difference.

What used to be

It’s incredible to think that until 1988, you were allowed to smoke on a plane.

That same year, the very first Fair Trade certification label was introduced.

And Syringe Tide scared the public enough to act.

Now, thirty years later, we don’t worry about breathing in second-hand smoke on the plane, you can now know where your food comes from and it’s highly unlikely you’ll step on a syringe while walking the beach.

One generation is all it takes to turn it all around. 

Because things change, you can too. 

Two reasons why you can’t ship on time

First, you probably don’t understand the goal of what it is you are trying to do.

Is the goal to make money, or perhaps, to make a difference?

Because everything you do must be a means to achieve the goal. Everything.

And when you don’t know what it is you are trying to accomplish, then you end up putting up with a lot of cruft instead doing things that serve the goal.

This in-turn creates bottlenecks. Bottlenecks, or choke points, significantly slow your progress. 

Second, it is highly likely you are thrashing your project at the end instead of the beginning.

As Steve McConnell has pointed out, Microsoft was notorious for this.

So a simple example would be a new update for Windows. A year out, you would meet with the development team including project managers, coders, etc.

And over the next year, Microsoft would be working to launch the new update. The problem is as they got closer to ship date the sales team and Market VP would look at it and make changes, throwing the coders behind.

And then, the Accounting person has another great suggestion to help boost profit.

And then, finally Steve Balmer gets a look at it and wants to change the color or a specific design.

Meanwhile, the coders are scrambling getting more and more behind until finally they miss their deadline. 

So instead of thrashing at the end when it’s expensive, thrash at the beginning when it is cheap.

Get all the approval you need at the beginning for what it is you’re going to build and then take people off the project.

Thrash when you’re six months out, not with only six days left.

Cloud coverage

Sometimes, the important people in your life don’t want a relationship with you.

The good news: People change.

And so do circumstances, conditions, environment…they all change.

Our natural tendencies is to believe that what is today will be the same tomorrow.

The truth is, people are absolutely terrible at predicting the future. We don’t really understand the consequences of our choices today and how they will affect tomorrow.

What we feel in this moment is usually not lasting. 

Feelings pass over us like clouds, some pleasant and some not so pleasant.

The world isn’t as fixed as we are.

The suffering, the pain we fill is when we attach ourselves to certain outcomes. When we want things to be a certain way. 

And that’s the problem with the recipient, they want it a certain way too.

It takes a warrior to hang onto this tension of the unpleasant. And maybe, that is who you have to be while you wait for things to change.