“Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea. And ideas are bulletproof.” V in V for Vendetta.
Which makes it imperative that we continue to think big, to have grand ideas, and grand ideals to work towards.
Michael Port’s The Think Big Manifesto – Think You Can’t Change Your Life (and the World)? Think Again (ISBN 978-0470432372) was a much needed reminder and kick up the backside for myself. It is all too easy, as Michael himself pointed out, to fall into small thinking, to let ourselves be subsumed in the groupthink of the world around us.
We are all capable of thinking big. But we also want to hide behind the mask of conformity. Society encourages conformity and compliance, to different degrees. I have certainly noticed this more living and working in Singapore. There is a pressure to conform, to self-censor my thoughts, to watch what I say, to worry about “what other people may think”… Even when I came fully aware of this aspect of Confucius-Chinese society, it still wormed itself into me!
Whilst reading the book, I was reminded of the times in my own life when I was thinking big. What Michael says in the book really does ring true from my own immediate experience!
When I thought big, life was great (in spite of all the hard work and the striving), people were drawn to the ideas and the ideals, people wanted to help, to be involved, things happened, big things, important things that were good for me, the people around me, and the greater world.
I had experienced the joy and flow of true collaboration – working towards clear WOW goals without the bean-counting of who has contributed more, whose contribution was worth more, or keeping tabs on favours and pay-backs. The process was wow, and the results were wow.
Sure, there were horrid moments and seemingly-insurmountable set backs. There were betrayals of trust, broken contracts, and misappropriated work. Small thinking encroached, attended by fear. Open collaboration founded on abundance became the mean-spirited bartering of “contributions” and “value” founded on scarcity and lack.
These were the exceptions to the rule. Very much so. Sometimes, some people are simply not able to engage with the grand idea of the presumption of trust. They are stuck in a world of scarcity, the need to grab more because there won’t be enough…
So what, I tried, and it was damn good while it lasted. The results were spectacular regardless of the dishonours of small minds. NEXT!!!
I am inspired once again to think big. I am excited.
Thank you Michael Port for writing this book. And thank you Maryanne for picking it up from the pile at Page One.