I love being an ally for equality. As I was saying to someone the other day, equality for me is when everyone has the opportunity to be who they are without any concern that they will be disadvantaged in any way. It is not about all being the same but celebrating our diversity. Society seems to find this difficult as it is always simpler to stick with what you know. But let us focus on solutions.As a White African Male, I feel it is important for me to speak out and say that we need to have a society where our diversity can be celebrated. Society is still skewed in the favour of elites, whether that be white males in South Africa, politically connected people in the USA or social elite in place-country-name-here. We need people to be honest and acknowledge what is going on. It may mean really awkward conversations but who doesn’t love a bit of awkwardness 😝
The world that we live in is plagued with a history of awful events, beliefs and societies that have shaped the way that we all see the world, interact with each other and well…. exist. We cannot go back in time in order to change what has happened, we can only use the past as a tool to learn from and not fall into the same trap.
We do seem to be falling into an equality trap though that may not be the best way to redress the evils of the past. A drive for being equal is the wrong way to go in my opinion. None of us are equal, we are all individuals. Not a single person on this planet has the same DNA, brainwave pattern (jury is potentially still out on this one), gait (the way we walk) or gut microbiome (there is some super interesting research into how this affects us but that is a story for another day). We should therefore focus on ensuring that people on the planet have the freedom to be who they are.
Is the answer not that people learn more about themselves? If people understand what drives them, how they can be their best self and they give others the ability to know the same will this not result in a more just society? A society that allows people to shine the light that is within them. The 21st century gives us the ability to use data to make much better decisions and it is about time that we do this with ourselves and our society as a whole.
Making decisions based on putting people into large boxes of race, sex, gender, etc. is not the way to create a society that thrives. What is likely to happen in this situation is to actually create more divides as people feel that their group is being overlooked. We have all heard people saying a number of different versions of “they only got that job/contract/etc. because of X” or “I did not get it because I am Y”. This is a hard problem to solve because our society is setup to keep the status quo going so I completely understand equality programs and as I said in the opening I am a supporter because I have seen first hand people being discriminated against due to societal norms and that is bullshit!
Perhaps we need to be highlighting more success stories, where diverse teams are more successful. We need to start portraying this diversity more in popular culture whether that be movies, TV, Social Media. I do believe that it needs to start with complete honesty and a greater willingness by people to understand people that are different to them!
What are your thoughts? How do we achieve SDG 5 and 10?
Have you ever used the word Always or Never in a heated discussion? Have you ever has these words used towards you? How did it make you feel?
Speaking in absolutes is something that you should avoid and think twice about before using. I have made this a rule in my life and today while at a #sheinnovates festival I was reminded of this.
Does your partner really never change the toilet roll. Does your employee really always come late to meetings? The answer to these questions is most likely NO! By you stating that they always or never do something you immediate create a defense response from them and it does not create an environment that is conducive to rational discussion and debate.
This is a short piece of advice that you most likely know deep down inside. To avoid falling into the trap make a rule that absolutes are not allowed this standing rule will then allow the person to whom the absolute is expressed to say, “hey we don’t talk in absolutes”, reminding you of your rule and the diffusing the situation rather than causing a backlash. It sounds to simple but it really does work.
Create this rule today and improve your conflict management significantly! Or don’t that is also okay 😄
Always remember that you are an individual and that there is no one on this Earth with its 7.6 Billion people that have the same DNA makeup as you. There may be many people that are similar, with aspirations that may be the same but no two people are exactly the same. It is vital to remember that when it comes to the notion of success. You need to define what success looks like in your life. You can use others as inspiration but do not simply follow someone else’s success path because it looks as though they are living a wonderful life. A great place to start when determining what gets you out of the bed in the morning and what you need to strive towards to be successful is the Japanese Ikigai. It is a great tool that you can use to determine your purpose and therefore what you should work towards to have success.
There are 4 areas of life to look at, these are:
What you love
What you are good at
What the world needs and
What you can get paid for.
Where three areas intersect you can have a great life but there is something missing.
At the Intersection of What you love, What you are good at and What the world needs You have great fulfilment but you have no way of making money which we all need to live.
At the Intersection of What you love, What the world needs You and What you can get paid for. You have excitement although uncertainty as you are not good at what you are doing
At the intersection of What the world needs, What you can get paid for and What you are good at, you are comfortable but you do not feel fulfilled
At the intersection of What you can get paid for, What you are good at and What you love, you will feel satisfaction but purpose is missing.
The intersection of all four of these areas is your purpose.
Take time to look at these areas, try different things, fail, make changes and move towards your purpose. Something that is quite important to understand is that there may be variations of this or different areas of focus at different times in your life. Having said that I do believe it is important to have a personal MTP (Massive Transformative Purpose) and the Ikigai is a great tool to help you determine what it should be.
I wanted to give a quick shout out to the guy at Allied Crowds who map out emerging world crowdfunding. You can find them here. Sign up to read their reports and statistics on crowdfunding in the emerging world. I truly believe that we can use crowdfunding to greatly improve the lives of people in the emerging world.
This is short and sweet and to the point. Check out the reports!!!
Oh, below is Allied Crowds top 20 countries in terms of crowdfunding. Even more reason to visit their website, just click on the picture below.
Working 7 days a week has become my norm for 2016. I have found that I have quite a resilience and enjoy a life that is full of busyness rather than nothing to do. Working in a scale up business in the fintech space has definitely been worth it to date. I have met awesome people and have had to learn and stretch myself in different areas. I am enjoying being out of the pharmaceutical world; being confined to the box of pharmacist.
I count myself very fortunate for the situation that I currently find myself in. Sure it is definitely not easy or simple but doing something important never is. I have worked hard in order to be in a situation where I can make a difference. So some of the negatives are: personal projects are on the back burner, my body is being neglected, I am not focusing on my social life.
Realising the negatives and ensuring that I do not forget about them and overcoming them is important. People go on about the journey of life and I do want to make sure that I am making the most of it.
Part of my current role has allowed me to look into different companies, researching and learning in order to ensure that we know where we stand in terms of our industry and what we need to do to push forward. Doing this has reminded me how full of information the internet is and how so much information is lost in the enormity of it, for example how this blog is a microscopic speck in the galaxy of the internet. One could look at this in two ways: I am insignificant and therefore should play no role on the internet or wow, there are billions of people who are a potential audience.
I will be sharing some of my internet finds moving forward and plan to take on a more consistent role of sharing online.
So this week I will share a find that was sent to me by our CEO, Scott Picken. If you are interested in start-ups, venture capital and entrepreneurship then check out CB Insights. You can sign up for free for 30 days and you can find out a whole lot of information regarding the funding of companies and more. The info is pulled from the internet and it not completely accurate, I say this as the info on our company is not completely correct.
That is it for today.