Writings: The two hungers

TImage may contain: one or more people, people standing, people walking, tree, outdoor and naturehe Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert talk about the two “hungers.”

There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; but the Great Hunger, the greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning…

There is ultimately only one thing that makes human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is to have thrust upon them a life without meaning.

There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness. But of far more comfort to the soul is something greater than happiness or unhappiness, and that is meaning. Because meaning transfigures all.

Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy. You are content – you are not alone in your Spirit – you belong.

Laurens van der Post

[Photograph of Sir Laurens Van Der Post, with a Bushman in the Kalahari Desert.]

Thoughts: Probably my favourite fable in the world…good? bad? who knows?

Good news? Bad news? Who knows?
Good news? Bad news? Who knows?

I’ve heard this story in several places, most notably as told by Dan Millman, Derek Sivers, and others. I feel it’s a nice cautionary tale about celebrating too early, before we know how the whole story is going to turn out, or getting down because we think we’re losing in the game. Either way, wait & see.

What do you think, dear heart?

An old man and his son worked a small farm, with only one horse to pull the plow. One day, the horse ran away.

“How terrible,” sympathized the neighbors. “What bad luck.”

“Who knows whether it is bad luck or good luck?” the farmer replied.

A week later, the horse returned from the mountains, leading five wild mares into the barn.

“What wonderful luck!” said the neighbors.

“Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” answered the old man.

The next day, the son, trying to tame one of the horses, fell and broke his leg.

“How terrible. What bad luck!”

“Bad luck? Good luck?”

The army came to all the farms to take the young men for war, but the farmer’s son was of no use to them, so he was spared.

“Good? Bad?”

trree

Writings: Paul Hawken, with “You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring.”

Paul Hawken:
Paul Hawken: “The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.”

I know it’s not graduation season exactly, but it feel like a good time as we look over the lengthening light the Winter Solstice brings to offer the light of Paul Hawken’s words, here.

One of the best I’ve read in past few seasons of speeches was the one Paul Hawken presented here below, as this incredible man with an incredible mind & no formal schooling received an honorary degree.

See what you think… it’s a good read & an inspiring way to start the day.

“You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring.”

The Unforgettable Commencement Address to the Class
of 2009, University of Portland, May 3rd, 2009

By Paul Hawken

When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” Boy, no pressure there.

But let’s begin with the startling part. Hey, Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation – but not one peer- reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food – but all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING. The earth couldn’t afford to send any recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.

Click here for the rest of Paul’s remarks….

Read more “Writings: Paul Hawken, with “You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring.””

What you see is what you get….sometimes.

Yep, nothing there. Cartoon by xkcd.com, used with permission.
Yep, nothing there. Cartoon by xkcd.com, used with permission.

I hope you find new people & new ideas & new ways to see the way it all works….good place to start (if you don’t know him already) is Randall’s xkcd webcomic….he gets it, and has fun getting there. Here’s the link to the one above, and his site….be careful, you’ll get lost in the archives, or just hitting the ‘random” button, which is poetry in & of itself.

 

Writings: Bhikkhu’s Power of Judgement

1546241_613017518745475_1677613343_nI remember reading years ago that William Blake wrote, “Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.”

At first I had a gut feeling that he was wrong – people disagreeing with each other, fighting with each other – that’s the problem in the world. No progress there.

Then I started noticing that Blake was right – people (even me!) made things better when they would speak honestly & openly with each other, especially when they tell their friend what they most don’t want to hear…and give them (well, me) a chance to do things better. When I think about the people I consider the best friends in my life, they are the ones who tell me…what I don’t want to hear.

Here’s a dharma talk about this, with the three truths that shape this:

When the Buddha told Ananda that the entirety of the practice lies in having an admirable friend, he wasn’t saying something warm and reassuring about the compassion of others. He was pointing out three uncomfortable truths — about delusion and trust — that call for clear powers of judgment.

The first truth is that you can’t really trust yourself to see through your delusion on your own. When you’re deluded, you don’t know you’re deluded. You need some trustworthy outside help to point it out to you.

1466187_475560072560688_1205991201_nThis is why, when the Buddha advised the Kalamas to know for themselves, one of the things he told them to know for themselves was how wise people would judge their behavior. When he advised his son, Rahula, to examine his own actions as he would his face in a mirror, he said that if Rahula saw that his actions had caused any harm, he should talk it over with a knowledgeable friend on the path. That way he could learn how to be open with others — and himself — about his mistakes, and at the same time tap into the knowledge that his friend had gained.

He wouldn’t have to keep reinventing the dharma wheel on his own.

So if you really want to become skillful in your thoughts, words, and deeds, you need a trustworthy friend or teacher to point out your blind spots. And because those spots are blindest around your unskillful habits, the primary duty of a trustworthy friend is to point out your faults — for only when you see your faults can you correct them; only when you correct them are you benefiting from your friend’s compassion in pointing them out.

Regard him as one who points out treasure,
the wise one who seeing your faults rebukes you.
Stay with this sort of sage.
For the one who stays with a sage of this sort,
things get better, not worse.

Dhp 76

1545627_10152026339058176_1188848856_nIn passing judgment on your faults, an admirable friend is like a trainer. Once, when a horse trainer came to see the Buddha, the Buddha asked him how he trained his horses. The trainer said that some horses responded to gentle training, others to harsh training, others required both harsh and gentle training, but if a horse didn’t respond to either type of training, he’d kill the horse to maintain the reputation of his teachers’ lineage. Then the trainer asked the Buddha how he trained his students, and the Buddha replied, “In the same way.”

Some students responded to gentle criticism, others to harsh criticism, others to a mixture of the two, but if a student didn’t respond to either type of criticism, he’d kill the student. This shocked the horse trainer, but then the Buddha explained what he meant by “killing”: He wouldn’t train the student any further, which essentially killed the student’s opportunity to grow in the practice.

Read the rest of the essay here (you’ll be glad you did):

“The Power of Judgment”, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 1 December 2012,
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/power_of_judgment.html 

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Doing Business: Does your company really want to hang out with me?

Surprise...
Surprise…

Does your company really want to hang out with me?
by Derek Sivers

Imagine you have a crush on a girl at the bank.

Every time you talk, it’s only business.

But one day she says, “Here’s my cellphone number. Call anytime.”

Wow! She likes you!

You call her and ask her out. She says OK.

You meet up for dinner and after talking for 15 minutes she says, “Could I interest you in a home equity loan?”

Arrgh! That’s worse than if she had never given you her number in the first place!

The fact that she only wants to talk about her business proves that not only is she not interested in you, but she was trying to trick you.

Now you’re insulted and will never go to that bank again, or at least never believe it when they pretend to care about you.

This is what’s happening with most companies’ “Social Media Strategy”.

They’re acting like they want to connect directly with you, get to know you, or hang out where you hang out.

But unless they learn how to stop selling, listen, and be real – they’re just permanently alienating potential crushes.

Shared with permission/original, and Derek’s other essays: http://sivers.org/sms

Writings: How is your growth mindset coming along?

Derek-Sivers1Fans of The World According to Brother Ian know that we here at the editorial offices are huge fans of Derek Sivers, and the clear way he both puts things, and makes us think.

See if this little essay of his strikes a chord – I know it does for me.

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset, with Derek Sivers

One of the most important concepts I’ve learned is the difference between the “fixed” mindset and the “growth” mindset.

People in a fixed mindset believe everyone is great or is flawed – that this is a fixed status, because it’s just who you are.

People in a growth mindset believe anyone can be great or can be flawed – that this is an ever-changing status, because it’s entirely due to your actions.

This sounds simple, but it’s surprisingly deep. The fixed mindset is the most common and the most harmful, so it’s worth understanding and considering how it’s affecting you.

For example:

In a fixed mindset, you believe “She’s a natural born singer” or “I’m just no good at dancing.”

In a growth mindset, you believe “Anyone can be good at anything. Skill comes only from practice.”

The fixed mindset believes trouble is devastating. If you believe, “You’re either naturally great or will never be great,” then when you have any trouble, your mind thinks, “See? You’ll never be great. Give up now.”

The growth mindset believes trouble is just important feedback in the learning process.

Can you see how this subtle difference in mindset can change everything?

More examples:

In a fixed mindset, you want to hide your flaws so you’re not judged or labeled a failure.

In a growth mindset, your flaws are just a TO-DO list of things to improve.

In a fixed mindset, you stick with what you know to keep up your confidence.

In a growth mindset, you keep up your confidence by always pushing into the unfamiliar, to make sure you’re always learning.

In a fixed mindset, you look inside yourself to find your true passion and purpose, as if this is a hidden inherent thing.

In a growth mindset, you commit to mastering valuable skills regardless of mood, knowing passion and purpose come from doing great work, which comes from expertise and experience.

In a fixed mindset, failures define you.

In a growth mindset, failures are temporary setbacks.

In a fixed mindset, you believe if you’re romantically compatible with someone, you should share all of eachother’s views, and everything should just come naturally.

In a growth mindset, you believe a lasting relationship comes from effort and working through inevitable differences.

In a fixed mindset, it’s all about the outcome. If you fail, you think all effort was wasted.

In a growth mindset, it’s all about the process, so the outcome hardly matters.

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Writings: Works with improv, works with life…yes!

When you say yes, you keep the world alive! Photo by
When you say yes, you keep the world alive! Photo by Agoes Antara

In the old days, one of the cool jobs I was lucky enough to fall into was teaching drama at a junior high. We had a great time. One of the things we did was improvise scenes.

It was easy – we’d put two or three kids on the floor, give them a first line (something like “What do I do now?” or “Why, tell me why you had to do that!” or “You’re not the person I thought you were!” or something), and then say “Go!”

Then their job – everybody else’s – was to carry the scene forward with whatever came up. No rules (junior high kids LOVE that), no script, with a wide-open road as to where things might go. Usually it was fun – sometimes really funny (usually unintentionally), sometimes emotional, sometimes as mixed up as life. The part we were looking for: When you’re off-script, it’s a little scary, but often honest.

Every so often,  we’d get it going, maybe with saying, “What do I do now?” and…the kid would respond with, “I don’t know.” Then the first person would say, “OK,” and we’d be done. So then we’d use the same people and start it with, “Wow, you look funny!” and they might respond, “Oh, OK. Thanks for telling me.” And we were done.

We really didn’t want things to die there.

So then we had to make some rules for this no-rule lesson plan. Frankly, I don’t remember them, ’cause I used to, well, improvise. But I heard that Tina Fey (in this article) has these as her Improv Rules:

The Rules of Improvisation

Always Agree.
Say Yes, AND
After the “and” add new information.
Focus on the Here and Now.
Establish the location.
Be Specific, provide details.

Now that changes things. That makes you want to stay in the conversation, and see how it turns out. Part of improv comedy’s genius is the ability, even necessity, to say, “Yes! And…” even in the face of the strangest things. In real life, we just end the conversation & walk on.

Wait. Maybe we don’t have to create a “real life” like that. The more I think about it, I like the Rules of Improv. Good way to wrestle with the stuff that comes our way.

I have an early night, so I think maybe you & I will visit about this some more. Because that’s the way you are…I say something, and no matter what, you agree, so that you can say “Yes! And…” (not “Yes! But…”) and we take it from there. And that’s why it’s fun talking to you. I love it.

Love you & the way we make all this up, together.

Brother Ian

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See more of Agoes Antara’s awesome work.

Writings: Success stories…and they start where the money ends

successWhen I dropped by the doctor the other day, I got the chance to look over the magazines in the waiting area, partly because it took an hour for her to get to me, and partly because I thought my appointment was at one (it was at two). This gave me an opportunity to review the success stories that were celebrated in the stories of business magazines, “people” magazines (unlike anyone you or I have ever met), sports magazines, and National Geographic.

Cool ’nuff, except it appears to me the writers (and editors who accept their stories) have never read the Ten Most Important Things According to Brother Ian, one of which says: “The more things you own in the world, the poorer you are. Count your days & hours by the number of hugs, smiles & laughs.”

young-farmer-former-soldier-with-tractor-GroundOperations-326x244So, regardless of what they say in their glossy mags, I’m gonna suggest these are stories of real success, with real people, in the real world around me:

• There are brothers & sisters who have come back from active duty to literally turn swords into ploughshares – there’s a highly successful program that is matching up growing things with folks who have PTSD & other wounds, and the healing begins. Here’s more & here’s a little video about it.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 11.21.12 PM• A good friend of mine was jogging last December and came across a guy assaulting a woman. The guy ran away, and my friend volunteered to testify. Charges were brought, and in a case of “he said, she said,” in which the guy denied doing what he did, the final verdict (guilty) was returned, and the DA indicated my friend’s testimony turned an uncertain result into a sealed deal. It took guts & bravery & courage, and I’m so proud of her.

• A shy mom-friend of mine got two days off from her two jobs, so she could hang with her kids. The brave part? It’s really, really hard for her to talk to bosses & ask for what she really wants & needs. She did it. If you see her tomorrow at the park, she’s the one with the huge smile & the kids who love playing with her.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 11.21.58 PM• Talked to a street singer named Steve two nights ago, here in Victoria, who was wrapping up for the night with I Shall Be Released. I asked him how long he had been playing that evening.

He said for four hours…he hadn’t made enough money as of an hour before, so, as he said, “I got to play for an extra hour – it was awesome!” I asked if he had made enough, and he grinned big & said, “Beats me – I haven’t counted yet!”

• Try this: I got to help two friends – mom & college-aged daughter – move to a new place this week. All their stuff fit in two small-load cars. Keeping it simple – who NEEDS so much stuff? Not them.

• Last one for this week: Another mom-friend had a (nearly) no-cost birthday party for her kids. It took a little talking (she had three other mamas to call, and one papa), but they agreed all the eight & nine year olds coming to the party would bring a present of a certificate/card about something they could do with the birthday kids (their birthday were two years & two days apart, so they have it together, on the same day).  The certs suggested coming over for a Netflix movie, taking a hike along the trail that went to the beach, coming over to the giver’s house to make cupcakes, having a board-game night, even helping babysit the two kids’ two year old cousin. Birthday cake? Everybody cut up fruit & sprinkled nuts & granola & a little whipped cream on it.

Then everyone went outside & played soccer, and yes, the girls beat the boys. None of the adults kept score, but the kids did.

And they declared it the best birthday party ever, and said they wanted to do theirs like that.

There’s success all around…it’s fun to think up ways to make it happen!

Love you & wishing you great success in the coming weeks…

Brother Ian

Writings: Want to be a good teacher?

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A friend of mine who is practicing to be a teacher asked me (since I’ve worked as a teacher for kind of a long time), “What makes someone a good teacher?”

I believe this: It’s luck. It’s timing. And it’s a belief in sharing and healing. Here’s why.

It’s luck. You have to have a situation, with a bunch of puzzle pieces still on the table: There have to be students. There has to be a certain atmosphere. There has to be a lesson plan, or an agreement not to have a lesson plan. Helps if there’s a need, on the side of the students.  Helps to have a teacher that people listen to. Helps to have something to share, that needs sharing, and that people want. It takes a bunch of things to make all this line up, and it helps if you’re lucky.

It’s timing. The lesson has to have a place to land, and maybe it’s ready, but the students aren’t. Maybe the kids are eager (like the birds above), but the teacher doesn’t have enough bugs for everyone. Maybe the class period is too short. Or too long. Or right after lunch, during naptime. Good timing takes practice, but watch for it & you’ll learn to orchestrate things so it happens more & more often.

And it’s all about sharing & healing. The important part of this, especially for new or young teachers, is getting it that sharing is a two way street. Naturally, we teachers have a lot to give & a desire to give, but it’s critical that we get back. That side of the sharing is harder to measure, impossible to be certain of, but essential to the dynamic. A huge part of learning is giving back to the teacher, and to the members of the class. Gotta happen, because we gotta learn.

And then amazing things happen.

Love you,

Brother Ian

Writings: Charlie Day’s graduation speech, 2014: Have the courage to fail

Charlie Day, PhD (as of last week)
Charlie Day, PhD (as of last week)

When tv writer & actor Charlie Day was asked to address this year’s grads at his alma mater, Merrimack College, they probably didn’t expect him to say, “I don’t think you should just do what makes you happy. Do what makes you great. Do what’s uncomfortable and scary and hard but pays off in the long run. Be willing to fail. Let yourself fail. Fail in the way and place where you would be proud to fail. Fail and pick yourself up and fail again. Without that struggle, what is your success anyway?”

He puts the spotlight on the rewards of being scrappy.  You can watch it here, or read it here. You’ll like this:

++++++++++++++++++

Good morning, Merrimack. I’d like to thank President Hopey, trustees, faculty, students, parents, and my apologies to all the grandparents in the audience who have absolutely no idea who I am.

You are graduating from an excellent school today. Alumni have gone on to be CEO’s, doctors, politicians, professional athletes, however this year you get to receive wisdom, knowledge and life lessons, from a man who has made a living pretending to eat cat food.

I do however have some qualifications, some insight, because I, like you are becoming today, am a Merrimack College graduate. I know what it took to get here. I was in this very room. I sat in those uncomfortable chairs. I dressed like some sort of medieval pastry chef and I too desperately hoped my hangover would wear off. If you can just make it to brunch you should be alright.

Take note. A quick observation.

Apparently the higher in life you climb in life the more ridiculous your hats become. Like the one I’m wearing today, or the pope’s or Pharrell. So if in some way you fear success, just think of the hats and that alone should motivate you.

This may be hard to believe but it was roughly twenty years ago that as a freshman I first set foot on this campus. I remember it well. My parent’s eyes filled with tears. My own nervous excitement. I entered the Ash dormitory. I walked to my room. My heart was pounding with what the future might hold. I reached for the door handle, grabbed it tight, only to discover it had been covered with Vaseline.

Read the rest of the address here.

Read more “Writings: Charlie Day’s graduation speech, 2014: Have the courage to fail”

Writings: A moment with Derek – Smart people don’t think others are stupid

Something to learn early....
Something to learn early….

Long ago, in my first year of teaching high school in New Orleans, I can still remember writhing with angst (that’s the way I talked then, too) when the kids would ask me something I didn’t know. They would ask, “Well, what year WAS it that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet?” or “Did they make YOU study grammar like this?” or “Why do we drive on the parkway & park on the driveway?”

Once they found out how this made me suffer (I HAD to have an answer! I was The Teacher!), the questions came fast & furious.

Then, in February a week before Mardi Gras, a junior asked something, and I said, “I don’t know.”

It was the most liberating thing that ever happened to me up to that point. Wow. Shook loose from the ego-wrap of “gotta know.” Use it all the time now: I don’t know!

Derek
Derek

Then I started noticing how folks who said someone was stupid or dumb or worse…usually weren’t all that smart themselves. When I read Derek’s take on this, earlier this year, I thought, as I often do with the stuff he writes – yeah.

Here goes:

The woman seemed to be making some pretty good points, until she stopped with, “Ugh! Those (people she disagrees with) are just so stupid!!”

She could have said Southerners, Northerners, Republicans, Democrats, Indians, or Americans. It doesn’t matter. She had just proven that she wasn’t being smart.

There are no smart people or stupid people, just people being smart or being stupid.

It's OK: I don't know.
It’s OK: I don’t know.

(And things are often not as they seem, so people who seem to be doing something smart or stupid, may not be. There’s always more information, more context, and more to the story.)

Being smart means thinking things through – trying to find the real answer, not the first answer.

Being stupid means avoiding thinking by jumping to conclusions. Jumping to a conclusion is like quitting a game : you lose by default.

That’s why saying “I don’t know” is usually smart, because it’s refusing to jump to a conclusion.

So when someone says “They are so stupid!” – it means they’ve stopped thinking. They say it to feel finished with that subject, because there’s nothing they can do about that. It’s appealing and satisfying to jump to that conclusion.

So if you decide someone is stupid, it means you’re not thinking, which is not being smart.

Therefore: smart people don’t think others are stupid.

http://sivers.org/ss

Thoughts & writings: Liz Gilbert on Jack Gilbert: “We must risk delight.”

Liz Gilbert
Liz Gilbert

You know Liz Gilbert from her book Eat, Love, Pray.

You may know her from her wonderful TED talk about genius & how we ruin it (check it here.)

Here’s a new way to get to know her: She writes a wonderful piece in The Atlantic (published a couple of days ago, here) celebrating her memory of writer & poet Jack Gilbert (unrelated), who wrote of the way we can look for (and find!) what she calls a “stubborn gladness” in the reversals & difficulties we our everyday lives. She cites his lines:

We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world.

And more. Here’s the essay. You’ll be glad where it leaves your heart. Thanks, Liz.

Writings: Leadership lessons from dancing guy

Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers

This is drawn from Derek Sivers’ website, with permission:

If you’ve learned a lot about leadership and making a movement, then let’s watch a movement (click on the video below) happen, start to finish, in under 3 minutes, and dissect some lessons:

A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow!

Now comes the first follower with a crucial role: he publicly shows everyone how to follow. Notice the leader embraces him as an equal, so it’s not about the leader anymore – it’s about them, plural. Notice he’s calling to his friends to join in. It takes guts to be a first follower! You stand out and brave ridicule, yourself. Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire.

The 2nd follower is a turning point: it’s proof the first has done well. Now it’s not a lone nut, and it’s not two nuts. Three is a crowd and a crowd is news.

A movement must be public. Make sure outsiders see more than just the leader. Everyone needs to see the followers, because new followers emulate followers – not the leader.

Now here come 2 more, then 3 more. Now we’ve got momentum. This is the tipping point! Now we’ve got a movement!

As more people jump in, it’s no longer risky. If they were on the fence before, there’s no reason not to join now. They won’t be ridiculed, they won’t stand out, and they will be part of the in-crowd, if they hurry. Over the next minute you’ll see the rest who prefer to be part of the crowd, because eventually they’d be ridiculed for not joining.

And ladies and gentlemen that is how a movement is made! Let’s recap what we learned:

If you are a version of the shirtless dancing guy, all alone, remember the importance of nurturing your first few followers as equals, making everything clearly about the movement, not you.

Be public. Be easy to follow!

But the biggest lesson here – did you catch it?

Leadership is over-glorified.

Yes it started with the shirtless guy, and he’ll get all the credit, but you saw what really happened:

It was the first follower that transformed a lone nut into a leader.

There is no movement without the first follower.

We’re told we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective.

The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow.

When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.