So I guess this is kind of a meta-thought process kind of post. I have sorted out my muses, and they are Ramit Sethi, Derek Halpern, Scott Dinsmore, and James Altucher. I've just started Mr. Sethi's Earn1k, but I also down-loaded some of Scott's tools this week. The one that caught me today was his weekly planner. It's drawn from Tony Robbins, and starts with the assignment “Connect and Visualize the Big Picture.” I closed my eyes, and nothing was clear. At first, all was black, but as I drifted into sleep (I really should have attempted this earlier in the day), I saw an overwhelming brown cloud. I saw myself standing in a barren landscape seemingly lit but already with the cloud arching over me coming out of the east.
I didn't know if this was an expression of a personal state, or a concern for the entire middle east or the world. I was sure that I was alone. It appears I don't want to be responsible for the big things I say I am up to. And then I have an excuse to do nothing. I haven't taken responsibility, and I won't allow myself to put my trust in others. I suppose these are the “hidden scripts” that Mr. Sethi talks about, or as I know it better from my work at Landmark, the little voice in my head. So I guess it is time to say to the little voice thank you for sharing, and live a brave life (in the words of Amy DeRosia) in my world. As I just suggested to my friend Elizabeth Breckenridge, if we are committed to people living at the edge of their own comfort zone, we ought to celebrate the challenge to put ourselves on the line in front of the world.
So what lights me up in the world is peeling away the layers of crap that “society” has put between ourselves and our humanity. People have been sold a bill of goods, and most don't even realize it. I suppose these are the not-so-hidden-scripts that too many of us take as the truth, ideas like home ownership being the “American Dream,” that to succeed one must go to college, that more choices make us happier, that when I (graduate, get my license, get a job, find the right wife, have kids, earn my first million, get divorced, retire, etc.), then I'll be happy.
For all we've got, Dr. Brené Brown reminds us we are the most in-debt, obese, addicted, medicated adult cohort in American history. She also reminds us that human connection is fundamental.
But our government policies don't honor a sense of community; instead they separate. Battle lines are drawn regarding funding for the young, those hoping to be educated, those needing health care, and those past the age of work and often in need of special care. We are all fighting for a piece of a pie instead of figuring out how to bake more together. As I write this, I think of an individually tutored degree, where a young person partners with a retired person to engage in an individualized course of study and internship in his desired field. The price of school could be some token sum in addition to retirement benefits. A savings might even be had in that the intern could take the place of a paid attendant for say forty hours a week.
This is how Abe Lincoln became a lawyer. The desirability of this approach may also explain why law schools are providing more and more real-world practice to the budding lawyer.
So I've gone off the path and run onto one of my rethinking of government rants. The point is the big picture. The big picture is people living and thriving in strong communities, groups of people who care for and support each other, groups of people who provide what is basic to humans, a sense of belonging and a place to call home, which in turn will give rise to more active, engaged, successful human beings and citizens.
I haven't come up with the measure yet to determine if I am succeeding, but I certainly see openings for action. While we're coming up with measures, I invite you to share your thoughts on the programs and institutions that get in our way, and the initiatives you'd like to see to build the connection for which humans yearn.