Stop the world! I need to have a Pity Party.
The world is broken—miserably broken. There are things in our lives that are completely not working. Nothing will ever work perfectly all of the time. There are days in our weeks where we call our loved ones and friends living in a plush, French apartment that overlooks the Adriatic Sea and say, "I'm enough" (for you American readers, "I've had enough!").
My toilet is broken and I've had it fixed 10 times. This morning it still spewed out a leak all over my tile floor.
My phone is broken—my wonderful iPhone 4S can only hold 3 hours of battery after a full 100% charge.
My car is broken. I took it to a high-end mechanic to get the wheels aligned and he shook his head in utter distress and said, "Boss, you should probably tend to these five other problems your car has…" (I got it completely serviced a month ago).
The internet is broken. It comes on and off at our office. We have the best provider in the country and I know the bloke personally. So, I revert to tethering off my phone's 3G. Wouldn't you know it the battery hit the last minute and my phone died.
Phones are so dramatic.
My favorite restaurant doubled their prices and halved their meal sizes, so I never go there. Now at lunch time, I find myself thinking of how much I hate that restaurant.
Right now as I'm writing this, I just finished a call with the CEO of one of the largest ad agencies in Harare and I could only hear every 3rd word because our cell phone network is broken.
Values are broken. Everyone is skeptical of everyone.
I had a social with 9 of the top 20-year olds in the country this week and I asked, "What do you think we should focus on as young people in the country?" The unanimous answer was, "We don't have relationships…We focus on things and end up screwing people to get material possessions. And we know it…We have empty houses, empty hearts and empty lives. The value of relationships aren't what we focus on."
I had a meeting with the most well known actor in our country yesterday. He's broken because our national broadcasting station is broken and they think we need to have 1980's TV shows repeat every month.
There are teams that I work with that are broken. With people I'd like to punch all the time because they are absolutely useless.
The World Is Broken
"The world is broken," said Professor Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum when I was in Geneva two weeks ago. No one knows how to fix it. Too many countries are in debt and no one cares. The world would rather focus on creating technology that connects people to false realities than to invest in some bananas, potatoes, and a few homes that'll give people sanctuary and full stomachs.
There are so many things that are broken. If you focus on them, you'll become a turtle on the banks of Crab Island in Australia—dazzled and distracted by the moonlight, you'll soon become dinner for a hungry, saltwater crocodile who crushes your little shell. Bye-bye turtle.
(watch a croc eat a tortoise)
No one cares how many things are broken in your life (except maybe your wife and your best friend). Your kids don't, your companions don't, and your employees don't care. If we get into a "who's got more crap to deal with war," then we'll never progress.
Once you start focusing on the things that are broken, you'll grow old really fast. You'll take your boat of life into a whirlpool that spins you round and round until you end up in the Dark Hole of Nowhere.
Everyone has issues. If you focus on them, they'll become your life. You'll stop dreaming and stop creating art.
In the emerging world, there are so many things that are broken, but if we complain and neglect creation, then nothing will ever change and we'll be miserable. We've got to push back.
There are so many positives, if you can somehow focus on them. Positives of opportunity and good things that you can create that no one has yet. Amazing places to be explored. The satisfaction of finding a solution to a glaring problem. This type of attitude will attract similar-minded people, trustworthy friends, good partners, and good teammates.
Don't stop the world to have a Pity Party. If anything, stop the world to create, dream and maybe inspire the people around you.
(photo via city of toronto)