We all have a personal journey we travel. It’s littered with good and bad decisions, unintended consequences and circumstances beyond our control. This journey is who we are. Own it!
About thirty years ago while building my recruiting firm, I coined the term, “On the Road to Your Perfect World.” In a nutshell it means; in life and all its nuances, it’s the journey that matters not the destination. It’s the experiences of life that create the human beings we are. And maybe more than that; it’s how we think about those experiences and how we react to them. Taking this to heart, my journey has been varied and robust. Sometimes times it’s been good … and sometimes, well not so much. But through it all it’s been eventful.
We could start with college at the University of North Dakota after growing up in the same state. In addition to producing major rock concerts, the likes of Alice Cooper, Rush, Little River Band, Yanni among others, I dived headlong into the first wave alternative energy revolution of the early ’80s through through financial modeling and legislative action. During these formative years, classes took a back seat as real life opportunities relegated them to a supporting role.
After college and couple of years of surfing friends’ couches, I fell off Jeff and Lori’s into publishing nationally award-winning commercial arts and printing directories in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. This serendipitous turn proved to be the one that has taken me down the road I still travel on thirty plus years later; a life-changing twenty-plus year journey to Los Angeles creating a nationwide technical prepress and printing recruiting firm – and doing it as a single father raising my daughter, Alexandria. That above all has had the biggest impact on my life. While professional pursuits were not necessarily sacrificed, they were adapted, modified if you may, to accommodate what I believe was best for a symbiotic relation between Alex and myself.
This symbiosis moved me away from money being my primary motivator. While money is nice, who’s kidding who – it wasn’t and definitely isn’t now what I want to be known for. In fact what I did professionally; that dreaded title on the business card, means little to me now. It’s about the journey and the stories that came from it. It’s the people and experiences I’ve had the opportunity to have. It’s the good times and the bad times – and looking back it’s hard to separate them. I feel my life has been like a ‘box of chocolates,’ as my Australian friend, Annalie Killian says. “Sometimes it’s good and … well sometimes, it’s like those awful ones with the cherries in them.” Thank God for a waterproof tent and: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Just ask Alex (her side seemed to leak more than mine).
The last few years of my life has not gotten any more uneventful. My parents aging and health issues has precipitated a move from Los Angeles to Montana. This transition was one of those “situations beyond my control” – but still one that had to be navigated. However, complicating matters was my own health. Aside from an over-indulgence of the libations, which I have since kicked on my own (thank you very much); my health has been very good. That changed in 2015 when I was diagnosed with cancer, specifically Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). After two sessions of chemotherapy, my cancer has been kept at bay for two years. That said, by definition (chronic), it will never really go away. It will be riding shotgun with me on “the road”. I can deal with that as long it doesn’t complain about my musical tastes.
But what all these experiences, these people and this ‘road’ has taught me (potholes and all) is that it all comes down to community. Because without community, no matter how big or how small; or how it’s put together – it’s really all we got. My journey has given me a unique skill-set and a perspective that can be instrumental in rebuilding or should I say retaking our communities. My current project, Community 3.0, is my vehicle to do this. After years of incubation and development, the 3.0 is ready to make its impact on the world. Taking direction from nature by using a rhizome-based civic organizational structure, Community 3.0 redefines the physical Front Porch gathering spots our grandparents used to connect with their neighbors by transporting them to 2020 and beyond using today’s social media and database technology. It’s time we evolve from sitting idly by waiting for “the man in the white hat … riding on the white horse” to save the day.
Our solutions lie with us in the streets … and my journey has taken me down the road to help me see that.
Join me …