Perspective amplifies impact

There are so many things going RIGHT in the world, don’t you think? It’s hard to see them because our perspective traps our focus.

At our CEO of For Purpose Brekkie Round Table this week, one CEO said, “I’m working hard finding time to focus on what’s next, while still dealing with what’s urgent now.” Short term concerns need to be managed so there is also room for long term strategy. Stephen Covey said it best in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Focus on the IMPORTANT, not just the URGENT. It’s just that the urgent can be very compelling!


How we see and engage with the world makes the biggest difference in our contribution to the whole.

Native Americans, particularly the Iroquois, advocated the 7 Generations Principle. It held that we need to consider how our decisions now, be they personal, organisational, or government, will affect our descendants seven generations on wards. And they considered a generation to span 100 years whereas Western culture thinks of a generation in 25 years.

So in 2719, how will what you are doing TODAY affect the world then?

You might be thinking, “Don’t know, because I will be dead!”

You might even shy away from such a contemplation because it sounds a bit like HUBRIS. An arrogant notion to consider our impact could last that long.

julius caesar.jpg

Julius Caesar is often cited as the classic example of hubris leading to a tragic end. He set himself equal to the Gods and his peers would not abide his arrogance and ambition. He is even quoted as having said,

“It’s only hubris if I fail.”

He came, he saw, and he conquered. A lot. In the end he was stabbed to death by a posse of Senators.

And yet his story and his influence lives today - 2000 years later. That’s 20 generations by Iroquois standards.

Most of us are not equal in ambition to Caesar. For us, it’s not so much about the desire to be remembered, or the notion that a single individual could affect the future, but the intention and care we can take to ensure our words and deeds are sowing benefits and not detriments to the people, places, and planet that survive beyond our meager one hundred years.

The ripple effect is real.

We will not see how what we do, say, and feel will affect the future. What we can know is that the care we take with our words and deeds holds careful consideration for those to come. We are stewards for home, habitat, and humanity.

Being able to consider the 7th Generation Principle, or make room for thinking about what’s next, does not come at the cadence of constant achieving and drive. We need to make space and energy for this kind of considered reflection.

We need to make moments full of meaning. And we need to create meaning in moments that we make.

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