We are living in crazy and extra-ordinary times that are filled with fear, danger and great possibilities. Crises times are so precious to waste. It is said that the Chinese Ideogram that represents crisis is composed of two characters; one representing danger and the other symbolizing opportunity. It is all a matter of framing and the quality of questions we ask. The questions that we ask determine the range of solutions we discover. Old questions will not bring new answers. Better questions will always lead to better answers. This moment is begging for better questions and better answers.
The age of the pandemic is a change marker. It is time of danger, but it is also a time of great and unprecedented opportunity. The frame you use in these times determines what multiplies around and in you. Boundaries are shifting, and models are changing. These are crazy times, filled with roller-coaster adrenalin moments. It is a time to rethink, and to reset the normal. Change is here, you just have to draw near with bold questions, and eager learning.
In the early 1990s Apple ran a series of adverts that underlined the mindset and crazy-thinking that it sought to embody. The campaign featured 17 iconic 20th century personalities that changed the world in their own way. Every place can be changed, every industry can be changed, every community can be changed and every life can be changed. You are capable of bring change, sustaining change and influencing change. The Apple campaign featured Albert Einstein, Maria Callas, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Branson, R. Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Mahatma Gandhi and others. These are people who lived through their crazy moments and decided to bring change, dream of a better world, think differently and make a difference.
The Apple campaign which was featured on both TV and print and had a caption that read: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Someone will call you crazy. Everyone who changes the world cannot fit into old moulds. When you do what is expected you should never expect to be celebrated for doing the basic normal. You are too special to be ordinary and too important to park in mediocrity. Dare to be different and to dream beyond the edges that have been set for you. If you are not willing to look foolish you are foolish. Dreams do not have parameters except the ones that you set. Do not crop your dreams to fit someone else’s picture. Do not make your world so small because you are trying to fit into other people’s mediocrity and maintain comfort levels. No dreamer is ever too crazy and no crazy dream is ever a mere dream.
Be crazy enough and dream so big and bold that people will suspect that you are insane. Fitting into the old normal just leaves you so yesterday. If your dreams do not scare you a little and get you labelled crazy by a few, you are likely dreaming too small. Get out of the box and stop living a life of trying to win acceptance and approval by those who are looking at the rear-view mirror. Quit playing to the empty gallery and play the game that matters. Your audience is changing and you cannot afford the luxury of banal acts.
Change never comes through those who resign to fate and wait for the jab of reality. It is those that are not waiting to hear the latest rumour in order to hide who make a difference. It is those who think they are crazy enough to bring change, that reset the bar of normality and set the world on a new path. Get tired of thinking small and playing timid. Get tired of normal people encouraging you to live a normal life that is boring, mediocre and banal. Get tired of trying to squeeze its little dreams and small visions. Choose to be crazy enough to learn what you do not know. Crazy enough to explore deeper what you are hearing. Crazy enough to do your own thinking. Crazy enough to reboot your energy and reset your standards.
These are not ordinary times, with ordinary solutions and old answers in the bag. Extra-ordinary challenges are calling for fresh thinking, new framing and pathways of action. Be crazy to start dreaming and acting. The best time to dream is when you are on your back-foot. It is when you are in a pit that you should look up. Waiting for everything to be perfect is thoughtless delay and fantasy. Waiting to return to normal is abnormal thinking. It is when you are in a hole that you must nurse a great vision.
Do not wait for good times in order to think clearly. Good times are not brought, they are ushered in by those who dare to do. If you cannot think and plan in this environment you have no chance when racing with sharks. Waiting to perform without interruptions or problems is to freeze for a lifetime. Phantom circumstances are a fanciful fantasy. Perfect moments are a myth. When you no longer have a crisis stimulating your thinking you are likely avoiding life. A life without challenges is boring and not for you.
Every time there is a major change and shift massive opportunity is created. Opportunity is seized through action. Opportunity is a mystery that is not seized through comfortable inaction or hesitant and timid action. The opportunity playbook does not contain thoughtless complaining or incessant mourning.
Never let face that opportunity wears intimidate you. Sometimes opportunity wears a long face of adversity, mishap, misfortune, or nagging problems. The opportunities ahead are more than those of the past that you are tempted to cling to. The situation that you are in right now presents opportunities that are beyond your wildest dreams. There are opportunities in this moment that never be there again. So move fast and do not hesitate to Tate action. Be opportunity-minded and solution oriented. When others are obsessed with the present, study and clarify your vision. Instead of looking for every reasons for misery and gloom, look for every excuse to take action and make a difference. When you see opportunity walk towards it ands do not run away from it. See possibilities where others see impossibilities. It is where others see nothing, that you have to draw boldly, build aggressively and keep planting trees.
Take other people seriously and take God even more seriously. Do not take yourself too seriously and take past success as a birthright and future seal. Reboot yourself and challenge your limitations. Learn to laugh while you learn what the toddlers teach with ease. Laugh at your mistakes and at life’s event and never lose the wonder of the moment. Simplify life and welcome change. Laugh your way through the obstacles and temporary setbacks you face. Life is challenging enough without smile.
Stop crowding with the crowds, at least in your thinking. Maintain social distancing from negativity. Sanitise your thinking. No one who follows the crowd, will likely have a crowd that reciprocates this gesture. Choose your path and follow it. Learn daily and be willing to unlearn. Choose to be the difference maker. Be bold, daring and courageous. It takes courage to learn from a younger generation. It take courage to unlearn and change the rules of reality. It takes courage to change course. It takes courage to pursue a great vision. It takes courage to see through your limitations. It takes courage to do your own thinking. It take courage to be crazy enough to dare greatness.
Committed to your greatness.