“Problems cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need people who can dream of things that never were.” – John Keats
One thing is for sure, those with a true purpose don’t follow the rules! Nobody who had the honour of listening to Ben Saunders talk last week can have failed to be both humbled and inspired by his breathtaking passion and will to fulfill his dreams.
For twenty years Ben Saunders has dreamed the impossible. A round-trip from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again that retraced Captain Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova expedition for the first time.
The journey was a mammoth undertaking that tested the bounds of their bodies and minds each and every day, not least in the planning which suffered disappointments, setbacks and reserves of determination seldom reached for by the majority of us.
Once actually out there, Ben and his expedition partner Tarka, found themselves in dire straits in the intense cold, wind and altitude of the high plateau, weakened by half-rations and closer to the brink of survival than they could ever have anticipated. Yet half dead through hypothermia and extreme physical exhaustion they still made it to then end, and never allowed doubt to cloud their belief that they would and could.
There is a lesson for us all. To succeed in the Now Economy requires a new level of single mindedness and clarity. A fast moving environment doesn’t allow time for contemplation. Being persuaded is a very difficult thing these days. Our attention is constantly disrupted, so this means leadership must get better, putting quality, inspiration and better purpose at the top of the investment tree. Leadership is hard, it’s certainly not comfortable and it’s often slow progress especially alongside a generation with little respect for dedication.
What is vital for a greater purpose is to work without any restraints or conditions. Making a start is the hardest part, then what is required is bravery to aim for the seemingly impossible and make an impact.
An inspirational story helps people to figure out not only what matters in the world, but also why it matters. Through metaphor and association stories will help us to interpret information, integrate it with existing knowledge, and transform that into value and opportunity.
For more on Ben Saunders, do listen to his TED Talk here.