We can always look back with the benefit of hindsight and comment on what we would do differently. I have made heaps of mistakes, more than I care to admit. Very much far from perfect.
There is a quote that I like to repeat every morning, but it wasn’t until just now that I made sense of what it actually means for me on a personal level. The quote is:
If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.
The quote is written about external conditions, and that is the way I have always interpreted it. But I also now recognise that it applies equally to ourselves. If we wait until we are perfect, we would be better just to climb into bed and never show our faces again. Ever the best among us have flaws in one way or another.
So what to do? Make an audit of everything I could have done differently? That actually is helpful, because only be looking at our failures do we learn how to do things better. We must recognise that failure is but a temporary defeat and gives invaluable feedback.
I have felt incredible sheepish about putting this post out there, because of the link I am posting. I needn’t, but I do. And so the antidote is to put it out there.
I am taking the next steps in this journey, which has been difficult and come at much personal cost. There are lessons in this for the Design Forum, and the difficulty in undertaking this running (for all the faults of mine that have compounded the difficulty) has shown me that the running stunt and the Design Forum to open the conversation about improving the delivery of child survival are two separate parts. One follows the other.
You could call it naive of me to have initially thought back in 2010 that there would be an opportunity for a nice little gathering in each of the cities visited when the running was occurring. That might have been possible, but I don’t think it would have leveraged the potential from the conversation that will follow. We have an opportunity to make a difference, and that shouldn’t be lost in the superficial.
I was watching an interview that Bill Gates gave to an audience of the American Enterprise Institute earlier this year. The audience was relatively conservative, not that matters, and a question from the emcee towards the end of the interview struck me as incongruent with their typical approach towards seizing opportunity based on the free market and entrepreneurial endeavour. The question was along the lines of (to paraphrase): “okay, so you are a billionaire: what can we do to make a difference given that we are not billionaires?” as if to say: “well, we would do what you are doing except for the fact that we are not billionaires yet.”
Bill Gate’s response was a good one. Just start where you are. Now.
And so, let me shamelessly put this out there. I am cracking on, but I need the help from others. Would you help by sharing this link, and if you are able supporting me with a small contribution?
Here is the link in full. Please visit and read, then share. https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/epic-quest-to-honour-my-brother-s-legacy/x/1194797
Thank you to everyone who has supported Life Bridge and the 10 City Bridge Run since 2010, and especially more recently through the Pozible campaign. The support received is not only financial, but importantly the encourage, advice and feedback people have generously given along the way.
I was out running the other evening and recorded this short video to say thanks. Earlier that evening I had learnt the good news that my crowdfunding has successfully reached its target.
Now, to gird that goodwill together and advance to the next level, one step closer to us together making a difference.
More about my methodology to come shortly.
For now, a big thank you for making this possible.
I filmed a short video while out doing 8 x 400 m sprint training on the weekend, and shared it here for you to understanding my methodology better.
Check out the video here, and the notes below amplify the message. Let me know if relating this story while I am out of breath between sprints is a distraction at all. I was hoping it added some authenticity to what I have been doing (albeit, would be good if I wasn’t so much gasping!)
Essentially, there are five parts to this journey to help alleviate child mortality:
Part 1: 10 City Bridge Run. The Run.
This is essentially a stunt. Running 10 sub-marathons of 24 km in 10 cities across 10 countries all inside of one month. Is it necessary? I think so. Is it possible? Only if it is funded through crowdfunding at www.pozible.com/lifebridge. Please don’t feel compelled to support me. I am not into guilt trips. If it doesn’t get funded I will have no option other than to close this down. A missed opportunity. We can do better than that.
Part 2: Outcome 1 – The book, ‘Life Bridge’.
This will be a beautifully produced photo-pictorial book with 100 photographs of human bridges. It is something we are going to create, and will tell a story of strength through connection. More on that later.
Part 3: Outcome 2 – Design Forum to be held in each city I run.
This is perhaps the most important aspect of this project. To go and see, and to capture lessons and stories. The Design Forum won’t necessarily be huge. It is the conversation that is important. The conversation will continue long after the Design Forum is completed. Innovation as a process to help alleviate child mortality is what this is about, and the vehicle is a human bridge.
Part 4: Outcome 3 – 10 Tangible Ways To Make A Difference.
From the experience and contribution of ideas people will be making during the journey, especially through the Design Forum, a co-created list of 10 Tangible Ways To Make A Difference will be collated. I owe this suggestion to Charles Tsai, an impressive social entrepreneur from Canada who impact has been felt internationally.
Part 5: Outcome 4 – Three year Plan (2013-2015)
Another great social entrepreneur, Paul Polak, inspired this outcome through his book ‘Out of Poverty: what works when traditional approaches fail‘. Paul argues that working from three-year plans is most effective to create change. This will be the expression of the 10 Tangible Ways to Make A Difference into some measurable way that people can contribute in some form (not simply in money) to help alleviate child mortality.
There is by coincidence a three year window between now and 2015. How might this be used to help bridge the existing efforts with other people who might be able to do more but are not engaged? Worth examining further. I believe so.
I am not promising a silver bullet, nor I am suggesting that this effort will solve a problem where others have failed. We have all failed together. Looking after each other is all our responsibility.
Life Bridge is an aspirational project to inspire the capacity for change. I believe it will make a difference. I do need your support to make this work. I can’t do this on my own, and their is no intention for that to be the case either. Please join me on the journey through sponsoring me at www.pozible.com/lifebridge.
Do me a favour, and please forward and RT this link. I need you to step up. Please help.
Today, I have rescheduled my training, and will run six laps between Pyrmont Bridge and Anzac Bridge (4.2 km one way) to cover a 24 km distance. Along the way, I am hoping to stop by for a quick coffee with my good friend Annette Higgins (caffeine is a good stimulant for increasing athletic performance). Consider sponsoring me $4 (you only need to do it once ever)- the cost of a coffee- while I am running.
Next week, I will run 20 laps of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1.2 km one way) during a training run. You are welcome to join me for the whole distance or just one lap. Happy to slow to a walking pace (for one lap) if that suits you best!
Times are tight. I know that. But would you play a small part in my journey by sponsoring me $4?
Actually, there are no small parts in this journey. Everyone has their place, and even $4 makes a big difference to the outcome: helping to alleviate child mortality. Read more about how I believe I can make a difference with your help at the link above.
Thanks for coming on the journey.