Life is full of possibilities, most which we don’t even consider.
It's Friday and tonight you could read a book and enjoy it thoroughly. You could read a book but if you do you'll miss out on hitting the clubs with your friends, attending a play, watching a live concert, rock wall climbing, dining at the new tapas restaurant you've been curious about, jogging in preparation for a half-marathon scheduled for this summer, trying out that new curried chicken recipe that looked so good, starting to write your own book, mustering up the courage to contact the Toastmaster's group, begin a weight-lifting program, drive out to Las Vegas for the weekend, wander around the mall with your friend, experiment with meditation, buy a DNA kit and send in a sample for analysis and family history, make sandwiches for 20 homeless people, volunteer at a youth club, visit a .... You get the idea. For every one thing you consciously choose to do you are consciously or unconsciously choosing not to do about a million other things.
Powerful leaders have the ability to tune us in to possibilities that we had not previously, or seriously, considered.
"By the end of this decade, we will put a man on the moon and return him safely," JFK said. We are going to make a personal computer that the average person will want to use. We will make our downtown areas so safe and so stimulating that families will feel delighted to have their children go downtown at any time. We will transform people's idea of fast food into meals that make people feel more vibrant, more alive, to feel healthy.
A leader works like a radio receiver, able to pull signals out of the air, signals that the rest of us perceive only as static, and broadcast that possibility as something compelling, into a tune we can dance to. After a leader speaks, static turns into a tune we hum.
So what is our job here in the blogosphere? It is to point out to the humming masses that there are alternatives to the tune they are humming. Opportunity costs suggests that we don't just judge the book you're reading but actually consider what else you could be doing. A social critic notes that we're about to spend $1.2 trillion on the occupation of Iraq and asks what else one could buy with that sum.
Your mission, should you accept it, is to sing songs of possibility that are so compelling that leaders and the humming masses have little choice but to tune in. It's hard work, but what else were you going to do with your blog?