Did he really say that? You can definitely believe him! So, this one quote I mean, of the many famous ones attributed to him, the legendary Steve Jobs. The one that goes something like, "We're here to make a dent in the universe. What else are we here for?"
Quotes are here to stimulate our mind, what else for? And this one just, that works in this sense super magnificently with me. It stimulates my spirit of contradiction.
Because this quote pretty much sums up one of the infinitely false stories we've been telling ourselves and carrying into life all too successfully for ages.
Leave our mark in the form of dents? Digging furrows, making breaches, drawing aisles ... denting the world and everything around it universally? That's what we're here for! - Is that so?
Yes, "I want to create something that will outlast me, that will still be there even when I'm no longer here" is a strong motivation, always has been for countless great deeds in history. To create a monument, to leave something behind, something for all times, for what we call eternity. That is what we want, what many of us want. On a very large scale, for example, when Apple Computer is on the doorbell, as well as on a small scale, in our private lives. With just one good thought, a piece of wisdom, perhaps, that lives on in families over generations and is always, always passed on, until the Urs in front of the quoted grandma are so many that not even the smartest grandchildren can still count them. True: YOLO - you only live once, but with our words and works we keep the door closed to our transience. Hopefully so.
Generativity is called this, the desire for this created by us, which outlasts our earthly existence. If one believes science, this is the strongest source of our sense-experience at all, thus for the answer to the question about the reason of this - our existence.
Oh, what wonderful, world-shaking achievements have not come out of it! Breakthroughs in science, improvements in the living conditions of all of us, the increase in life expectancy - penicillin, cars and airplanes, skyscrapers, gummy bears ... Our entire civilization, as we know it today, emerged from a chain of success stories of those pioneers who set out to give the world a hefty bruise and did so.
Yes, you can look at it that way. But you don't have to. One should not at all! Take a look around you in the world.
Because the vast majority of dents hinterlasser wrote and write history, but not the story of why we humans are here. All too many do not write their own biography, but that of Egon. Pardon, of Egon.
So it's not that I have anything against Apple computers, on the contrary (I'm forging these lines here on an anvil emblazoned with an apple icon). But what drives us, here at the top of the food chain, as magnificent specimens of evolution? What do we do to earn the crown of creation adorning our noggin?
Can civilization really be recognized by the usual metrics we use to describe success: higher, faster, further? More is better! Is it about what we get out of ourselves, out of others, out of everything, so that we pile it all up into a giant heap and stick our little flag on top? Does a dent really always have to remain for us to make an impression?
Is this the story of civilization?
How do we recognize civilization? By sufficient toilet paper in times of crisis and free Wi-Fi for everyone? If so, then the day is not far off when we will only be able to identify human connectedness via the 5G symbol on the smartphone display.
What is civilization?
Anthropologist Margaret Mead was once asked by one of her students what she thought was the first sign of civilization in a culture. She replied, "A broken and later healed femur." Because, Margaret Mead explained, if you break your leg in the wilderness, you die quickly. You can't escape, and so you serve as easy prey for others. You yourself can no longer prey and starve to death; you die of thirst because you cannot go to the river. Before your broken leg heals, you are long dead. A broken healed femur is proof that someone took the time to care for the wound, to bring the person to safety, and to nurse him. Civilization begins with someone helping someone else, saving them.
That would be the story of civilization - our civilization: not leaving dents, but knocking them out. Don't dent, but dent out. Think different.
We humans are the only living beings who can heal something, create something, create beauty - just like that - and, much more, even have to do that, so that we remain healthy in mind and body, because we thereby experience meaning. For us, for others, for eternity. We can save each other. Only we.
It is not about the realm of self-realization, in which king egon puts on the crown of creation and then knocks a few dents in it somewhere with his scepter. The point is that we are, as Mufasa, the Lion King, put it in Margaret Mead's terms, true kings. For, "...while others ask what they can take, a true king always asks first what he can give." This and only this is how we transform wilderness into civilization. This is how we tell our inner story as humanity.
At this point I ask myself whether it is possible that the explosively increasing numbers of mental illnesses such as depression, especially among young people, the loneliness pandemic and the mass burnouts, especially in the group of so-called successful people, are nothing other than the unlived life that is making itself heard here in all clarity? So the FOMO - the real, true fear of missing out? The unfulfilled sense and the blown away spirit, which whistle us in the global tinnitus a desperate warning tone by the accumulated matter, because generativity cannot be read off at the biggest own pile. Not even when it hangs out of the trunk of the latest SUV model in the form of dough, unworn H&M clothes, or Tinder dates, and we yodel "YOLO!" as stowaways in the driver's seat.
Where do we find destiny?
Could it be that this is why more and more people are flocking to the colorful array of programs under headings such as "Find your destiny" and "Live your dream," in which, above all, participants' money is being waved around in a big way with lots of hot air into the organizers' accounts, while more than 50 percent of people in work want a new job, and only 15 percent still experience an inner positive relationship with their gainful employment? And is that why a glass of alcohol can be seen on almost every afterwork selfie posting?
Stepping up to the plate here is more than just a noble task for companies. In fact, it is both a wake-up call and a call for universal dent removal. For who, if not businesses, what is called "the economy," can make a difference? After all, everything that has to be decided in our communities is always decided in consideration if not for the good of this economy. This is where the necessary new story can be written. It tells of what we are here for, we humans. That's what's behind Purpose, Why and Meaning, as they've been saying officially in the business context lately, but hopefully not unofficially meaning marketing gimmick. That is what becomes effective beyond careers, key figures and consumerism.
Since this is the only blog article that can read minds, I know what you're thinking now, too. - "What can I do on my own?"
Well, it is obvious that individuals cannot change anything, see Steve Jobs, Jane Goodall, Rosa Parks, Greta Thunberg or Mahatma Gandhi, right? Nonono, the first part of the truth was again known by Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world - in fact, this is the only way the world has ever been changed."
The second part of the truth is that positive change never comes about by fighting what already exists, but by offering a new option that makes the old one obsolete, a new story. Because before something changes, the story we tell ourselves about it always changes first.
We need this new, revolutionary story: the NEW STORY REVOLUTION. It tells about what we humans are here for. That's what makes us truly strong: every person, our teams, our brands, our companies and our society.
The third part of the truth is that those who initiate something, who bring movement to people and people to movement, were always accompanied by someone who stood by them in achieving their goals. They had mentor:s - companions living in their time who knew them personally, those whose inspiration reached them from afar, and those whose impactful impulses vibrated between the covers of books. Probably the most fulfilling part of my work for me is when I get to mentor special people on the path to their new story - for themselves and usually in connection with their work.
If you feel for yourself, your profession, your company, your team or your brand that a new story is needed, if you are in the process of departure, on the verge of the necessary transformation, and you feel I could accompany you in this process, I would be honored to lace up my mentoring boots.
There are several ways to do this, depending on the state of your affairs. For example the PowerHour as a very simple, fast impulse unit, the New Story Bootcamp as an intensive work package especially for brands & companies, or the structured New Story Mentoring - i.e. my platinum program in One on One.
Either way, we work together on your powerful inner story that moves you, guides you, drives you, and gives you everything you need to make dents in the universe where you are, because that's what you're here for. That's what we're here for.
On this toolbox for it, by the way, I have brushed in my, admittedly somewhat illegible, handwriting a quote. This one quote I mean, of the many famous ones attributed to her, my legendary grandmother, old Story Dudette. The one that reads, "New Story. New Glory."