I was running a training session last week and most of the participants arrived appearing somewhat defeated. Until we got them into a more positive mind space it was really difficult for them to accept any of the tools and ideas we were exploring, simply because they did not believe that they could make a difference, or even a decision.
We showed the clip from Star Wars where Luke fails to lift his space ship from the swamp and Yoda does it for him. Luke exclaims, “I don’t believe it” and Yoda replies “That – is why you fail” and discussed the difference that belief makes.
There is a fine line between delusion and determination and most of that depends on the perspective of the observer. A remote observer who has not been able to see the whole narrative might see the commitment as delusional and if it succeeds will regard the outcome as magical or lucky. An observer who is closer to the action will understand the belief, work and commitment that has gone into creating the “luck” better.
When Larry Paige was attempting to download the entire internet to a computer made out of second hand hard drives held together with Lego in his Stanford University study, there must have been those who thought the effort was delusional. Later there were plenty who thought the result, Google, was magical. In the end though it was not lucky or delusional. It was a process of exploration, fueled by a belief.
I feel enormously privileged to have been perhaps the closest witness and collaborator to my friend Jason’s pursuit of an alternative to banks. There have been (are) plenty who doubted that we could pull it off. Plenty who bought into the smoke and mirrors that suggest that banking is so complex that it cannot be democratised. Jason has been steadfast. He has come back after every setback with a solution, or with another way around the problem. He has never wavered, even when things looked bleak or perilous.
His commitment is born in part from the certainty that we, as a society, need an alternative to our current banking system. An alternative that puts society and sustainability ahead of bonuses and gambling. An alternative that generates it’s profits through the pursuit of value for the greatest possible number.
From Jason’s determination Civilised Money has been born – today. The newborn, beta, version of the website is now live (please note that we have only just directed the address at the website – it may take a little time for all the links to settle down globally), while we upload projects and pitches and do final snagging. From today you can invest in worthy projects or contribute your projects for others to invest in. From next Monday you will be able to invest in Civilised Money itself.
Over the coming months we will be adding new products to the Civilised Money portfolio until we can offer everything that you would expect from a regular bank. The project, it’s inspiring vision and Jason’s commitment, have already attracted some amazing supporters, both as investors and as team members who will develop and grow the project to fulfill it’s extraordinary potential.
Jason’s commitment is only possible because of his own passion for the vision. In the recession of the late 80’s as a representative of Black Horse Estate Agents, he was tasked with carrying out up to three repossessions per day. That experience left and indelible mark on him. When the markets hit the buffers in 2008, Jason feared more families would face the trauma and destruction of repossession. He set about designing an alternative. Civilised Money is the result of that process.
We are all capable of creating something amazing. The first step is to shift our own mindset from delusion to belief. Most of us are thoroughly conditioned to view our own dreams and aspirations as delusions, and while we believe that to be the case, it is true. As Henry Ford said: “If you think you can, or you think you cannot, you are probably right.
Once you have been able to shift your own mind, your next requirement is your first follower. Someone who believes in you, someone who will support you and will also challenge your thinking and processes to help realise them.
With strong belief and at least one follower there are few limits to what we can achieve.
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