(Photo credit James Fike)
What is this feeling? Excitement, butterflies, desire, admiration and frustration to slake a thirst? It’s tickling me from the inside!
I almost finished reading a book this afternoon. But I don’t want it to end. I want to stay thirsty. So I stopped and went out walking instead. That was a great choice. It was beautiful beyond words on the beach and in the sky this afternoon. Nature’s creator has some imagination I’m telling you! It gave me time to be awestruck and to appreciate. But it also builds resolve. Being there and having gratitude becomes an ingress, it gives me the liberty to enter into thought about horizons beyond.
The other day I mentioned this book in my blog post Retrieval: What Lies Beneath, which you can read by clicking here.
The more I read Bill Shore’s The Imaginations of unreasonable men: Inspiration, vision, and purpose in the quest to end malaria the more it reveals to me information, logic, ideas, possibilities and entrees. There’s a whole lot of stuff in there about things other than malaria, which the story of the search for a vaccine is a vehicle for discussing. It’s the illustrating of new ways of being and becoming where non-government organisations, philanthropy, governments, markets, social entrepreneurialism and social needs intersect.
It makes me realise that there’s so much more to learn and so much more I can be a part of, and yes, I have FOMO…fear of missing out…I want to be on the boat, I want to steer into that space and learn and do. I can see the channels and I want ingress! But I don’t think my direction is there, at least not in this season of my life. North is something a bit different for now, but I can sure ask the question about how I can extend into this space.
How to channel enthusiasm and the strong want to support and contribute with the discipline not to do the wrong thing by myself? Just for now it’s probably a case of moderation, but you know, I think we’ve always got the scope to give a little bit more…maybe we just need to know it matters and to use our imagination…
Bill Shore asserts that most failures in life are failures of imagination. He says:
“Leaps of imagination are something quite different from the qualities of creativity that are often desirable in problem solving. Creativity implies generating new ideas or making new associations between old ideas and concepts. But leaps of imagination are not so much about new ideas as about a new conviction of what is possible”
Sometimes when I’m designing a new service as part of seeking funding to address a social need I get a bit paralysed. Especially when I’m not an expert in that field. But if I research and talk to people and stew (in so much as there’s ever much time for that) and fret, with a mixture of nerves and anticipation, with a reasonable dash of confidence, my imagination and creativity team up and something happens. This process is kind of neat I have to admit, and it hasn’t failed me yet, but it’s much easier to handle when I allow fear to give way to conviction in my own ability and conviction in what others are thinking and supporting and in what we are together suggesting.
I love to learn. And reading this book makes me want to pursue all those entrees into new areas of thinking and following what’s happening and get up to speed so I can be a better me at giving my best to organisations and doing my best to respond to social needs. And so I want to have all the necessary skills and expertise to impact in this exciting landscape that emerges through Bill’s book. But, I need not.
The point is to be in the landscape together. That together is better. That if we enter into relationships and collaborate we unite and ignite possibility.
noun: ingress; plural noun: ingresses
- the action or fact of going in or entering; the capacity or right of entrance.
- Astronomy Astrology – the arrival of the sun, moon, or a planet in a specified constellation or part of the sky.
So I may not want to finish this book, and I may need to reconcile myself to the fact that I won’t be scooting off this week to become an expert in economics and markets, or to work for a philanthropic fund that’s working with NGOs to create new models of enterprise and collaboration that foster sustainable and scalable approaches to social issues. But there is something else I can do instead.
As I was splashing my way along the beach this afternoon in a setting that thrilled my soul, freed my mind and energized my body, it occurred to me that since I came across the Building Bridges initiative and met Matt I’ve been becoming more of the possible me in so many ways. That’s a really, really nice thing.
How do you do this for yourself? What entrances might be there if you believe you can see them and that you could give and gain by entering? What conversations could you have? What information might you come across that will delight and challenge you? What insights can you share because you are you and have lived your life? You will have more than you know to give that will matter to collective gain.
As well as meaning the action or fact of entering, ingress means the capacity or right of entrance. Matt, the lionhearted, took on the impossible in order to create both entrance and capacity.
“Who are you doing this for?” This is perhaps the most frequently asked question of me as I set about the epic journey which I had called the 10 City Bridge Run. I ran 10 sub-marathons each of 24 km in 10 cities across 10 countries. I wasn’t doing it for myself, and I wasn’t doing it for an organisation. Truth be told, I was doing it for the many millions of children born and unborn, along with their parents and communities to give them hope and the enjoyment of a good start to life by combatting child mortality. Audaciously, I proposed that through this crazy stunt that we could open a conversation to improve the delivery of child survival.
The 10 City Bridge Run created a pathway, it’s brought all of us the capacity to enter, it’s encouraged the realisation that there are, and we need, human bridges. You’ve the right of entrance onto those bridges and they’ll take you to places that we need you to enter. This includes entering the conversation and bringing your imagination.
The next destination for Matt and for anyone who wants to be part of this citizen led initiative is a series of design forums to carry the conversation forward and to keep building our capacity to use our networks to impact on the delivery of child survival. I won’t be bringing all the skills and experiences that I covet from reading Bill Shore’s book. But that’s okay. I’ll keep turning up just as I am.
I’ll keep finding that little bit more…that bit more time to read and learn about child survival and the means of change…that little bit more talking I do to friends and families about the initiative…a bit more enjoying time collaborating with friends on this initiative…a bit more of experiencing that feeling of a moral obligation to find and give a bit more… and the deep satisfaction that each little bit more is worth it for me and for others. It’s not hard. That little bit more. That little bit of you that you don’t realise is gold when you give it in concert with the giving of others. Together is better.
We don’t need anything other than our own sense of daring and will to make change happen… Can we really give ourselves permission to tinker a little as individuals collaborating together so as to put a dent in the universe?
– Matt Jones, Pathfinder, Bridge Runner and Conversation Starter
Read more about Building Bridges, just click here and maybe give a little time to following along and you might find there’s a space there you want to enter.
Become more of the possible you. It’s not just entry, it’s arrival.