What goals have you set for 2121?
What goals have you set for 2121, 100 years from now?
I’m quite sure many of you haven’t set 100 year goals. I’m here to propose that you might consider it. Many of us look at this year or the next three years, next five years, next 10 years and we set goals in that timeframe. I’m here to just pose the question, what goals will you set/could you set for 2121?
Then you’re thinking to yourself, “Why would I bother, Colm. I’m not going to be here.” That’s the point, you’re not going to be here. So, what I want you to consider is that whatever you do today is actually going to have an impact 100 years from now, for better or for worse, good or bad.
And then there’s Ariana Grande and Harry Potter – and you!
Curious? I would be…
As always, I invite you stick on the kettle, grab a coffee, and think with me for a few minutes in your preferred way. Be careful though – this could change your life!
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Hello there, and welcome to Coffee with Colm. Thank you for joining me.
What Goals Have You Set For 2121?
What goals have you set for 2121? No, you didn’t mishear me. What goals have you set for 2121, 100 years from now? I’m quite sure many of you haven’t set 100 year goals. I’m here to propose that you might consider it. Many of us look at this year or the next three years, next five years, next 10 years and we set goals in that timeframe. I’m here to just pose the question, what goals will you set/could you set for 2121? Then you’re thinking to yourself, “Why would I bother, Colm. I’m not going to be here.” That’s the point, you’re not going to be here. So, what I want you to consider is that whatever you do today is actually going to have an impact 100 years from now, for better or for worse, good or bad. It’s going to have an impact 100 years from now.
Will Humans Still Be Here In 2121?
I touched on this particular topic during the week with a couple of people that I met, and I think we all found the conversation quite interesting. The reality is, that you and I are doing stuff. We’re having an impact on the world around us for better or for worse doing what we do naturally. Without thinking about it, we’re having an impact on society 100 years from now. I’m not just talking about the planet. Of course, we need to reduce, reuse and recycle. Of course, that. Of course, we’re assuming that there won’t be an existential crisis between now and then. In fact, the planet will survive… Well, let me correct myself, Colm – the planet will survive to 2121. The question really is, will the human species survive to 2121? I think that’s up to us.
Assuming the human species will survive to 2121, what goals would you like to set for 2121? What goals would you like to set for your having being here in 2021 that you’d like to see manifest and still remain, and be improved upon 100 years from now?
Teachers Do 100-Year Work
I’ve always imagined that educators do 100 year work. Educators do 100 year work. Now let me explain that to you, if you don’t mind. If we take the traditional education, the primary school teacher, the secondary school teacher and we look at the work that they do, and their role in life is to impart knowledge onto the next generation and to do so for a period of 30, 40 years. So, how many thousands of children will come through the average classroom of a school teacher over his or her career span of maybe 35 years. Quite a number.
Every one of those children will have the possibility of being impacted by that person, by that teacher, by that educator, and will absorb his or her attitudes, to learning his or her attitudes to people. They’ll obviously learn, we hope, the subject matter being taught, but they’ll absorb far more than just the subject matter being taught. If the teacher has a passion for education rather than just teaching a curriculum, if they instill in the child a passion for learning, well then that child can go on and learn wonderful things and do wonderful things.
The Ovarian Lottery
I always imagine that a child brought into this world in a particular set of circumstances, Warren Buffet calls it the “Ovarian Lottery”, arrives into a household completely beyond its control. It lands here on earth in a particular society, at a particular time and finds itself with a particular parentage and finds itself with or without siblings, and finds itself going through an education system.
In that journey of that child becoming an adult, they’ll bump into all sorts of people. In many instances, society sort of sets a pre-destination in front a child. So, take a child born into very difficult circumstances, perhaps in a lower income area. Many times, the society, the community within which that child is born into, the predisposition of it – the pre-destiny if you like, of children born into those circumstances is often largely the same. It is expected that they will go to a certain level in school and not beyond. It may be expected that they don’t go to college. It may be expected that they might end up having trouble with the law. It may be expected that they might not go to work because perhaps their parents didn’t work and their parents before them didn’t work.
That’s completely beyond the child’s control.
Teachers Can Show Them A Different Way
So, that child is thrust into an education system and hopefully at some point bumps into somebody on that journey who shows them a different way. For some children, that universal bump as I like to call it, will be enough just to nudge them slightly off their predestined end, which would have been here. If you look what happens, somebody comes into their life and nudges them in a slightly different way and shows them something, shows them a passion for something: art, woodwork, reading, mathematics, I don’t know, something, people, and that shows them a different way to what they’re experiencing in their day to day life out here. It flicks a switch and it sparks their curiosity, and it begins to sort of pick at that itch, scratch at that itch over time. They decide to study something. They decide to learn new skills as a result of that universal bump. Some special person comes in and touches them for a moment, intellectually, and that sends them off in a particular way.
If you look what happens, over the course of 20 years their pre-destiny was here, but over a course of 20 years that gap gets wider, and wider, and wider, and they end up starting their family out here. So their children start out here as opposed to here – I hope you get the picture – 20 years from now. Then their children start out over there, and their children start out over there. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s 100 year work. That’s 100 year work right there.
What If You Think You Are Not A Teacher?
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well Colm, I’m not a teacher.” Well, I suggest you are a teacher. I think we’re all teachers. You mightn’t be paid to educate children in the classroom, but your influence is being felt in your family, in your community.
Perhaps you have a skill that you could teach others in your spare time for free. You play the piano, teach somebody else to play the piano. There’s 100 year work right there. Teach somebody else to play the piano, they’re likely to teach somebody else to play the piano and so on. You love soccer, volunteer and teach soccer on the weekends, or rugby, or hockey. What skillset do you have? Or teach art. What skillset do you have, that unless you pass it onto somebody, it will die with you? I’m here to ask you, what is your goal for 2121? You won’t be around. That’s irrelevant. You won’t be here to see it. But, I think you know what I’m saying here. You know that your influence will be felt for better or for worse.
Leaving Breadcrumbs Or Covering Tracks
Are you leaving breadcrumbs for other generations to follow? Or are you carefully covering over your tracks so that nobody can learn what you know, because you think that’s going to give you an advantage? What is it that you are doing today in 2021, that you hope will be part of your legacy and will feed in and the reverberations from it will be felt in 2121? What is it that you are doing today that you’re proud of and you’d like to think is having a ripple effect out there, and the ripples will still be felt 100 years from now? Think about that. What is it that your children are seeing you do that they’re taking a positive lead from that they will take on into their families?
Perhaps you don’t have children. That’s not the point, because whether you have children or you don’t have children, you are influencing the next generation somehow. Somebody is watching. Somebody is watching.
What Ariana Grande Has To Do With This
Back in the day, pre-COVID when it was possible for me to go into schools in my role as Manager and Director of Carambola at the time, I had the opportunity to go in and speak to fifth and sixth class children. I used to ask them did they know that they had groupies. Of course, I’d get these quizzical looks, “What do you mean, Colm?” I’d ask them, “Well, do you know what a groupie is?” And oftentimes the answer was no, so I’d pick Ariana Grande – I’m sure you’ve heard of Ariana Grande – I’d pick Ariana Grande and say, “Hands up, who’s an Ariana Grande fan?” You get a few hands put up. A few closet fans wouldn’t put their hands up of course.
So, I’d say, “You’re a fan of Ariana Grande. Let me tell you what that means. You’re a groupie to Ariana Grande. You are interested in what Ariana Grande says, how she sings, how she lives, what she’s interested in, what she eats, what she wears.” Of course, they’d nod away, understanding now. They know what the effects of being a groupie consists of.
Then I’ve asked them did they know that they have groupies too? – of course, they’re not Ariana Grande, so why would they have groupies? – I would say to them they have groupies, and their groupies are hidden in the fabric of the school, in the smaller classes, in the lower classes, the fourths, the thirds, the seconds and so on down, that there’s some kid in the school – and I believe this to be true with every fiber of my being – some kid in the school looking up at these big kids, fifth and sixth class kids, and thinking, “How cool is she? How cool is he? Someday I’d like to be like that.”
They begin to emulate what these bigger kids are doing.
You Have Groupies.
Let me suggest to you here my friend, you, too, have groupies. Whether you’ve got children or not, you’ve got groupies. Somebody out there is watching. You’ll never who they are likely. You’ll never know who they are. Somebody out there is watching who you are, what you do, how you go about your business. They’re taking their lead from you, for better or for worse. They’re taking a lead from you and they’re saying, “He’s dead cool. She’s dead cool. Someday, I’d like to be like that.” So, the breadcrumbs that I was talking about earlier, that’s what I want you to start thinking about. What breadcrumbs are you leaving for people behind you to pick up and learn from?
You see, if somebody picks up a breadcrumb from you or from me, they can turn it into something magic. They can add in their own magic dust into it, and leave another breadcrumb for somebody else. That’s how we’re going to influence 2121, you and I.
Harry Potter And 100-Year Work
So, the Harry Potter question. I’m going to leave you with this, the Harry Potter question; if you could wave Harry Potter’s wand over 2121 – ‘KAZAAM’- what would the world look like?
Thank You For Thinking With Me
Thank you for joining me for this week’s Coffee with Colm. I hope and trust as ever you got something from it. Please consider what’s been shared here today, and apply it into your thinking for this next week or so. Then very importantly, come back next week and we’ll share another coffee together and I’ll ruminate on some other aspect of life and business.
Between now and then, get some great coffee. Get some fresh air. Get some R&R. If you spend too much time with people, please take some time out. I know “with people”, it means probably online. Please, take some time off screen and spend time with yourself. Get to know yourself a little bit better. Dig deep to figure out what you would like 2121 to look like were you to come back and visit.
And, when the time is right, and only when the time is right, get your head back in the game, get organized for the week ahead, get stuck in and make next week count. I’ll see you here this time next week for another Coffee with Colm.
Mmm. I love great coffee.
Talk to you soon.
Bye for now.