It takes real grit

word GRIT in metal, paint peeling

Are you ready?

This is your training.

Just like an athlete trains their body, we need to train our minds. If we are to head out there into the world and re-wire the systems that contribute to the challenges facing humanity, we need to be professionals. We need to be Olympic Grade athletes at what we do. These challenges are tricky, they take commitment, resilience and determination. It takes real GRIT. To get there we need to commit to doing the work ourselves.

We need to be prepared to look under the hood, to explore what makes us tick so we know how it is affecting our work. We need to be willing to go places that might be a little ugly, and we might not like what we see, but that’s ok. At least we’ll know what to do about it.

The world needs people who care, who are deeply concerned about the state of things and want to do something about it. Sometimes people think that doing good is fluffy, that it’s flowers, unicorns and rainbows. To me, tackling the challenges that face humanity head on is a blood and guts business. It’s about rolling our sleeves up and getting stuck in. We WILL NOT be able to change anything if we continue to be bystanders, devaluing work that has a hint of humanity about it.

This is not a numbers game.

In fact, this is not a game. This is how we get this planet and the most destructive force on it – PEOPLE – thinking and being in a way that disrupts the current paradigms, which are based on value extraction, rather than creation.

The shape of the problems we face today are ripe for this type of work. They require a human centred perspective. The challenges we face are socio-technical in nature, which makes them complex and dynamic. Many moving parts, all changing over time. This is volatile and ambiguous. It requires a different type of thinking, one that is suited to this problem context. The thinking needs to be creative, future and outcome focussed. It needs to be intention based, not retrospective. We need to focus on the world we want to create and then go about creating it in a way that is inclusive, compassionate and strong.

In my recent book, I focus on the individual human – THIS HUMAN – because if you can become one of the people having mastered themselves in this work, then we have another powerful creator amongst us, working towards creating a world of abundance and equality.

 

This item was first published on Open Forum.
Featured image credit Al GreerImage Licence Creative Commons.