"Make your life a story worth telling" - Christian Aligba
My story and that of many people around the world is one of faith-filled inspiration, not fear, a fitting reminder that the verb to inspire originally meant "to breathe life into". Beyond the specific lessons and ideas our unique stories convey, they breathe life into our sense of possibility and our own potentials. Recently, I attended a Conference in London where two notable speakers recounted on the cataclysmic events in the last decade and their wider consequences against the backdrop of building a sustainable world. Suffice to say, one of the findings I made while intently listening to these esteemed speakers as they made their case - is that most people invest enormous amounts of time and energy trying to make a better world by fighting against the world they don't want.
The same type of negative vision strategies frequently play out within organizations as bosses motivate people to change by stressing what will happen if they fail to do so, consequences that range from losing market share to losing their jobs. Fighting threats you seek to avoid can be a powerful motivator, but only to a certain extent. Once the threat goes away, so too does the motivation to change.
Negative visions can also lead to demonizing others as the source of threat, rather than developing a positive attitude of shared responsibility for the problems and for the solutions. And that's why I decided a long time ago that rather than campaigning and trying to stop the things I didn't or don't like, I would rather diligently create the world of my dreams - by taking action and not sitting still and expecting things to change. Ultimately, change strategies based on reacting to threats limit the required commitment, enthusiasm, imagination, and collective intelliigence needed for ongoing innovation.
In a nutshell, fear cramps imagination. And the commitment generated by fighting something or someone differs fundamentally from the commitment generated by working to bring something you truly care about into reality. It all comes down to choice and the capacity, regardless of circumstances, to focus on a vision of what we truly desire instead of what we seek to avoid. The view, shared by many throughout society, that change will never occur without desperation and fear carries with it a subtle and profoundly limiting message - that we are incapable of changing simply because we have a vision of what we truly want.
According to Peter Senge "If the desperation theory were correct, we never would have learned how to walk, talk, ride bicycles, or become an engineer or a musical artiste. These profound learning processes were driven by aspiration, not desperation, and learning to create a regenerative society and economy will be no different."
With the Usual Esteem & Appreciation,
Christian Aligba is the Founder/President of C.A.L.F Africa, a non-profit organization that's keenly developing and recognizing the next generation of African leaders - helping to create a new narrative, a new normal, a new beginning. Better Leaders, Better Societies across Africa. Learn more@ www.calfafrica.org
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” - Maya Angelou
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