Early in my sustainability journey I came across The Better World Handbook . The wisdom in its introduction empowered me to manage some of my emotions about “the tough stuff” and whether this sustainability thing was for me.
The Cycle of Hope
Here’s how the Handbook authors describe the cyclical process of creating hope:
- Taking personal responsibility for being a good person
- Creating a vision of a better world based on your values
- Seeking out quality information about the world’s problems
- Discovering [your personal] practical options for action
- Acting in line with your values
- <Repeat until better world results>
Challenging my excuses
The other piece that helped me get started was the Handbook’s “9 traps that stop people from making a difference“. In brief, these are:
- Trap #1: That’s just the way the world is
- Trap #2: It’s not my responsibility
- Trap #3: One person can’t make a difference
- Trap #4: Building a better world seems totally overwhelming
- Trap #5: I don’t have the time or the energy
- Trap #6: I’m not a saint
- Trap #7: I don’t know enough about the issues
- Trap #8: I don’t know where to begin
- Trap #9: I’m not an activist
I’ll leave you to check their counter-arguments according to where you get overwhelmed – they’re freely available online as part of the Handbook’s introduction. A couple that hit my sweet spot were:
“The goal is a better world and not a perfect world… you take those actions that are sustainable for your unique life.”
“…meaningful daily action actually gives you energy.”
“The goal is not to live the perfect life but to make improvements in your life so that your actions are increasingly in line with your values.”
“Just start where you feel the most comfortable… Or start with the action that would be the most fun…”
For me this meant – and continues to mean – that I leverage what I already know about the “made environment” from years working in supply chain systems. It means that I continue to explore my fascination with innovation adoption and leadership as learnable human communication skills.
It means that I will ‘write on’ in blog posts and on social media – celebrating the progress we’ve been making for decades in developing regenerative thinking and the ‘soft’ skills that turn these smart new ideas into successful action.
In 2014 I’ll also be out exploring for Australian opportunities to establish Blue Economy projects – finding ways to upgrade 20th century ‘production line’ business models to circular, ecosystem-style strategies and practices. I have a strong sense that the tide has turned – what looked like a line of silver on the horizon is growing into a wave of creative business innovation.
What about you? How will you be leveraging your values, skills and capabilities to help build a better world?