The $1,000,000,000 Question everyone should ask
With technologies such as 3D printing, Google's self-driving cars, Oculus Rift's Virtual Reality... heck, even Amazon's 2-Day shipping, we're presented with unparralleled opportunity to disrupt the world. Instead of purchasing a phone case online and waiting at least 24 hours to have it shipped to you, imagine being able to download a file and 3D print it immediately at your desk. We are in the early stages and already the possibilities are limited only by our imagination! Where in the past, the wealth flowed into the hands of Kings and Dictators, just 100 years ago people like John D. Rockefeller were able to become some of the richest people in the world through entrepreneurship. Fast forward to today and basement startups are becoming multi-billion dollar brands that are innovating so quickly that technology is obsolete within 18 months.
The ability to disrupt the world (whether for evil or for good) has never been so available. Thankfully, for the thinkers out there, this means we have a the potential not only to make big money but, more importantly, to positively transform the lives of millions - even billions - of people.
In the article I wrote on taking Moonshots, I quoted Larry Page, the CEO of Google, who said that innovative tech companies are collectively addressing only 1 percent of the world's problems leaving 99 percent ripe for change. The world's needs are vast and immediate. For those of us who are blessed with access to such powerful technology, it is our responsibility toward humanity - and our Christian responsibility according to Luke 3:11 - to do what we can to make a difference. Larry Page follows up his thought line by asking,
The thought was beautiful - we need to train people to change the world not merely survive in it. Too many childish adults (also speaking to myself here) are living in this world as though problems don't exist beyond a cracked iPhone screen or slow wifi. Though I am severely lacking in experience, knowledge and action, I am not lacking in a shared passion for training and cultivating world changers. Larry and I are basically BFF's. I'm sharing everything I know here on this blog as I learn it. Ultimately, my aim is to eventually take some of this knowledge off-screen and build it out in real life... it's a work in progress. If you'd like to be a part of it, let me know =)
So the $1,000,000,000 question is:
Are you working on something that can change the world?
Right now? I'm not. I am currently not working on anything that will change the world. There I said it. That question was a much-needed gut check. If you are one of the .00001% out there, we all want to hear what you're doing! Leave a comment below and let us all know how we can help! For those of you in the same boat as I am, the bitter taste left in our mouths after sincerely asking ourselves that question begs us to figure out, "now what?" Thankfully, I don't have to come up with the answer for you guys on my own because then we'd be left with a bitter taste in our mouths and a punched gut.
Peter Diamandis, who I quoted above, has launched 17 different businesses, 12 of which are dedicated to pursuing his Massively Transformative Purpose - his MTP. An MTP is the problem-solving-mission that gives direction, focused and weight to your actions. It's what I often refer to as Legacy Work. For Peter, it is to "empower entrepreneurs to open the space frontier" which is why he has launched companies such as The X Prize, Space Adventures, Zero G and International Space University. In his book, Bold, that he co-authored with Steven Kotler, he walks through several key MTP indicators:
1. It's uniquely yours
He argues that for an MTP to truly motivate you, it must be uniquely yours. If you chose to borrow Google's MTP - "organize the world's information" - it wouldn't have the same effect. You must own it.
It must be a bit larger than life. Remember, MTP stands for Massively Transformative Purpose. It needs to be massive. No sense wasting time on petty things. It needs to be transformative. This is moonshot thinking at its best, leaving you no room for incremental, micro-changes. Transformative requires exponential breakthroughs. Finally, it needs to be purposeful. It should solve a problem. What does the world desperately need you to succeed at?
3. It inspires you
Do you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas for it? Or better yet, are you not able to go to sleep because you can't stop thinking about it? Do you forget to eat and and go to the bathroom because you're too consumed with the idea? If so, you're on the right path to nailing down your Massively Transformative Purpose.
4. Neither narrow nor even technologically specific
If you're looking to help the world... okay, let's be more reasonable... if you're looking to help a billion people, you're not going to target small problems.
5. Aimed at the heart and the mind
Why does it matter? Keep asking "why?" and eventually you'll get to the heart issue. Once you've figured that out, the mind can fill in the blanks with logistics, strategy and plans to help you make it happen.
6. Declared with sincerity & confidence
Your MTP should be a force that drives your life - it's not a New Years Resolution or a To-Do. It's an issue you feel confident you can dedicate your life to.
Of course, problems in the world are abundant - how do you decide which problem to tackle? Sometimes it's difficult to pinpoint this detail. I believe that when it comes down to the wire and you have to make a choice, you'll know because it'll be the one thing inspiring you. A problem that you get excited about solving is the problem you must solve because you'll be the one most invested in doing it right.
The theologian Frederick Buechner said,
Find that intersection and you'll find your MTP. You've figured out the problem you know you must solve and now you have to do something about it. Find a way to apply the skills or aptitudes that you have and that you love. When you put your tools to work on your passion problem, you'll have found your MTP.
Jacob Jolibois is the founder of The Archer's Guild. He has a habit of starting a large number of projects and is oddly enthusiastic about Disney. Ultimately, he's hoping to rid the world of mediocrity, lots of people at a time (one is too slow). Recently, he backpacked across 11 countries with Micah Webber.