A year that matters

Umair Haque’s blog for HBR is great in a get off your ass and do something different kind of a way…

Let’s cut the crap. Life is short, you have less time than you think, and there are no baby unicorns coming to save you. So rather than doling out craptastic advice to you about Making!! It!! To!! The!! Top!!™, let me humbly ask: do you want to have a year that matters — or do you want to spend another year starring-slash-wallowing in the lowest-common-denominator reality show-slash-whiny soap opera of your own inescapable mediocrity-slash-self-imposed tragedy?

If (congratulations) your unquenched desire to have better than a smoking trainwreck of a so-called life exceeds your frenzied mania for spending another 365 days wallowing in a sea of junk-food wrappers, then — don’t worry, I’ll be gentle — here are a few tiny questions.

If thats not a welcome kick in the groin I don’t know what is….

Then the points which are summarised in these headings.

  • Why are you here?
  • What do you want?
  • How much does it matter?
  • What’s it going to take?
  • Who’s on your side?
  • Where’s your true north?
  • What breaks your heart?
  • What’s it worth?

The first and last three are the kind of questions I asked myself when I was lying in hospital after my brush with death. Ok it wasn’t true north but what really drives me and what really gets me down.

And just when you had enough of this stuff, a little more harsh reality…

I don’t pretend any of the above is revolutionary, or new, or anything less than obvious. Yet, the lessons of a life well lived rarely are: they’re simple, timeless truths.

So let me ask again. Why are you here? Do you want this to be another year that flies by, half-hearted, arid, rootless, barely remembered, dull with dim glimpses of what might have been? Or do you want this to be a year that you savor, for the rest of your surprisingly short time on Planet Earth, as the year you started, finally, irreversibly, uncompromisingly, to explosively unfurl a life that felt fully worth living?

The choice is yours. And it always has been.

Awesome and great to hear this type of thing being delivered at a different level than most times

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.