I see it like this:
If the world is a building. And the building is on fire.
And I am waiting for the fire department to come and help me.
No one is coming.
There isn’t some person who is going to rally all the humans required to make it happen.
And not with the kind of action that brings news cameras, gets a magazine to write about me or deserves a street to be named after me.
Small actions chip away at the big issues.
There is a lot of talking going on. More than I think I have ever seen. People often come to my company because they want to “INFLUENCE” and learn to talk so people will listen. I have developed all this Intellectual Property around NO ONE IS COMING. Because they aren’t.
The most effective influence is DOING, not talking. Doing the small pieces of the puzzle that change the picture.
We try to DO too much though. I do. We do. Our sights get a little too high and we work on the WHOLE thing instead of small actions that can change everything.
We try to change the whole world… our entire organization.. our whole family.. community.. marriage… we try to change the whole thing instead of just deciding to do little actions that start turning the ‘barge’ in the direction we’d like. Little small actions that rarely get applauded, noticed… there will be no award or recognition for this type of doing.
If the meetings in your company suck you don’t have to start a global initiative that gets board approval to change the meetings. Just make a little list about what you do not like and decide, “In the next meeting I will do this…” and keep trying. Little things.
“If we knew these 5 things before we started an initiative in this company, we’d perform better.” So this person does a PowerPoint presentation to convince the executive committee to make this a requirement. Why? This takes WAY too long. Instead, in the next ramp up meeting for the initiative, just ASK those 5 questions. Write them down. Give them to everyone. If it is a good idea it will take off. It may take a while. We don’t have to WAIT for someone to come. Start doing.
No one is coming.
IN the year 2000 less than 50% of adults were on line. Think about our world now? We are buried in information. We know the big problems. Can we own the little TINY things that will make it change in the right direction?
We must ACT.
Something. The small things.
If our ideas sound like complaints… no one is really listening anyway. Not only is there no one to save us.. the ones who could are sick of listening.
I live in a small town filled with people who care A LOT about the community. A few weeks ago there was a post discussing dog poop. Passionate people get frustrated by dog owners who do not clean up after their pet in the soccer field. Our kids play there. Stepping in dog crap sucks.
I didn’t respond to the post reminding everyone that raccoon poop looks very similar to dog poop. That sure, some of it is a careless pet owner. Some of it is just nature.
Instead, I made a commitment to small action. My son and I pick up poop now when we go for our walks.
So today, instead of being frustrated by the poop in my community,(or starting an initiative to hire someone to fix the problem) I am going to just pick some up. That is all I have to do. I may not be big enough to change the whole world, I can improve a sidewalk. I can also use all this crap (nice metaphor eh?) to teach my son what citizenship is. Not the kind of citizenship I’ve done most of my life. Not the kind where I get a gold plaque on the side of a building with my name on it or a wooden engraved thing for my wall. True citizenship.
I live in a town of moms who are like that. The person who wrote the post wasn’t complaining – she was RALLYING a team of moms that she knew would DO something. This is what the moms in this town do. I must admit, I often feel small around all of their power and doing. Small things that create big lives for the kids in this town.
My small actions dedicate me to the community I live in. Somewhere there is a person in my town that I do now know that has clean shoes because of my little action.
No one is coming! It is me. Christina the dog poop collector. (careful shaking hands with me)
My new rule for me: if I complain about it, I own it. I will DO something small to start changing it. My conversations from here on will be about what I CAN DO instead of what is wrong.
I dedicate this post to my sister. She is a woman who has lived her life doing the quiet small moments. A street should be named after people like her.
**No One is Coming is a product of my company. Yes. In all transparency, I make all this stuff to drive my behavior too. So that at the end of the day I can ask myself one question, “Did I act in a way that makes me proud today.” If not, I need to get out and change the answer to that question. 🙂
NOTE: There are humans who dedicate their lives to change the BIG things. My heart and adoration to you. I’m not saying what you do isn’t valuable. It is just rare. I’m here dedicating myself to the small things that will help you in your big quest.