Ever since we asked, “what’s going to be on the test?” We’ve been promised if we follow a formula we can expect a specific outcome. A 4.0 GPA meant you followed all the rules. A good salary was because you did were very good at doing what you were told to do.
The American dream has been built on compliance and convenience. Compliance because it’s what we were taught ever since we had to go to school. Convenient because following a formula means we didn’t have to take on any responsibility. It’s the employer or the government’s fault if the promised outcome didn’t happen. We did what we were supposed to do, what we were told to do. They should keep their end of the American dream.
We’ve been dangled favorable outcomes to justify doing things we don’t want to do. But that system is rapidly changing. The industrial economy is going away, replaced by a global, connected economy that is becoming more and more efficient everyday.
So what do we do in this new paradigm where there isn’t a given formula to follow? Where the only pattern is that there is no pattern? When we become responsible for our own actions?
We need to go exploring to reclaim our creativity. Back way before the first test, that when we studied to learn not to merely get an A.
We need to flip the script in our heads from convenience to contribution, from compliance to innovation, from scarcity to abundance.
We no longer follow a formula, we follow a practice, a discipline of showing up everyday to do our best work even if it doesn’t work out. We show up because it’s not just about what’s in it for us, but we do it for others. For a cause that compels us.
We choose to dive into the work and make it as best as we can, because we see a deep hunger in the world that needs to be filled.
Most won’t make this change because they are too concerned with the destination. They are too attached to the outcome. It’s understandable, we all want reassurance, but we can’t find it in what we can’t control.
The industrial economy tried to create a system where everything could be controlled, but it inevitably failed. There is only a few things we have in our control, one of those things being what we do next.
There are people waiting for your contribution. We need you to lead us. Bias yourself towards action. Bias yourself towards generous creativity.