We rise by lifting others…or helping them to climb the ladder themselves.
It’s my birthday today.
I’ve been awake for a while reflecting on what I’ve been up to in the past 52 years and realise that for the first third I was selfish and thought only about me. This didn’t always work out that well.
For the next phase we have had two (amazing) daughters to raise and wanted to do the best for them. This involved some sacrifice and focus on moving house a couple of times, school runs, support etc. This also coincided with and also a bit of a meltdown from me about the work I was doing but hating and then after some coaching setting up Innovative Enterprise to ‘Bring The Future To Life’ for young people through enterprise, careers and motivational workshops.
Anyway for the past third this is what we’ve been doing, with thousands of young people and hundreds of workshop sessions. My wife has started Woodman Designs to produce wonderful knitwear and soon Tweed on her vintage loom from the Outer Hebrides (a loom which used to produce Harris Tweed for decades).
It will probably not have escaped your notice that I’ve been writing a book (apparently everyone at home has been sick of hearing about it) called Sending The Ladder Back Down which will be published in Spring by the lovely people at Crown House. The title is about the fact that we all will have been helped by someone on our way to where we are now and that because of this, we have a duty to help younger people to succeed (or at least give them support, the benefit of the doubt or opportunities to express themselves and show off their skills).
During the writing process I’ve been creative and reflective about who has helped who, what we do and what we as adults could do to support one another and young people in general…and just this morning I had an idea.
Twitter is a place I spend rather too much of my time but when I’m on there I see the best of my colleagues and friends and peers – supportive, kind, generous, funny.
Twitter can also be a terrible place for division, disharmony, disinformation and distraction. I often find myself in ‘robust’ debates about the most divisive issue of the past three years (and likely next three decades) Brexit, and honestly it does me no good. Hypocrisy is everywhere and I’m in danger of it myself.
I realised today that I need to build the positivity in my Twitter feed and generally think more about improving the good stuff – mainly by being good stuff myself and raising positivity and support, friendship and kindness.
So today, alongside the theme of Sending The Ladder Back Down, I’m starting #StepOfTheDay * which will be a daily positive, an act of kindness seen (or a prompt for one), a quote, an idea for something you can do to help others or something someone’s done for you.
I’m consciously taking a positive step (see what I did there?!) towards making a difference and want you to do the same.
The main difference I want to make is that when I add to Twitter, I do so positively – for myself, for others and particularly as a role model for young people.
Are you going to join me? It’s my wish as I blow out the candle on my birthday toast this morning.
*PS: I was going to call it RungOfTheDay but that just sounded weird!