One of my favorite books of all time is a little fable called “Hope for the Flowers” by Trina Paulus. The story is about a caterpillar named Stripe and his search for the meaning of life as a caterpillar. Stripe focuses most of his young life trying to climb the “caterpillar pillar” and finds himself stepping on other caterpillars just to find out what is at the top of the pillar. Part way through his climb he decides to leave his life in the pillar and go roam the world to see if there are other possibilities. On the way down from the pillar he meets Yellow, another caterpillar and they decide to leave together. They spend some time enjoying life away from the caterpillar pillar and one day Stripe says, “I need to go back and find out what’s at the top!”
Yellow decides to stay behind and doesn’t believe there is anything to be learned from the pillar. Over time she becomes a big caterpillar and starts to spin a cocoon and becomes a beautiful butterfly. Meanwhile, Stripe is back in the pillar more determined than ever to get to the top. As he gets closer and closer he finally sees a butterfly circling around the pillar and realizes that it’s Yellow. In the end, the purpose in the life of a caterpillar is to become a butterfly, not climb to the top of the caterpillar pillar!
So, how does this relate to the shift that I believe is happening today? I believe that for the past century we have been training to use our capitalistic talents, leadership skills, strategy skills, execution and promotion skills to make money. 87% of all workers worldwide, according to Gallup, are just going to work for a paycheck. What if we could redirect those efforts to focus our talents on solving the biggest social challenges we face as a species on this planet?
There are millions of people focused on making our experience on earth better, but we need to take all of that capitalistic capacity we have been developing and refocus the majority of it. We need to help people find ways to make a living by solving social challenges without having to take a significant pay cut. The time has come to refocus our efforts to change the world, not make more money and acquire more things. Those days need to come to an end, we need to shift to making “enough” and working together to provide for everyone. The game of life might be survival of the fittest, but with the right effort we can help everyone survive without having to be the ‘fittest’.
My dream over the next 20 years is that we refocus millions of working hours of successful people from making more money to using that time and energy for a greater purpose, improving the human experience. This I why I created Success Redefined, to be of service to the world and use collaborative power to effect change. Together we can do so much more than any of us can alone!
To a life well lived ….