I woke up this morning one year older. It feels like only yesterday I was celebrating my last birthday. The years seem to go by faster as you get older but one thing that becomes clearer as you age is the realization of what is important in your life and what are the things to be thankful for.
When I woke up, I had countless emails and Facebook messages from friends and family all over the world. It made me realize what an amazing life I have had and how fortunate I am to have so many wonderful people in my life.
So I know many of you are trying to figure out what this has to do with Tipping Point and what we do. It has everything to do with it. Tipping Point wouldn’t exist without the support, guidance and motivation from my friends and family. My own personal tipping point to starting this company and journey came about when I realized that I had the support of all those around me. Those having confidence in my abilities and pushing me to take that next step in my life created that moment, that instance, when a dream, a goal, a personal commitment to myself could be realized. That is the foundation of Tipping Point and what we do. We find what makes people move from inaction to action. From dreaming to the realization of that dream. From the desire to make change to actually making that change.
But there is a deeper story here. If you look at the world today it is a place full of turmoil, misery, uncertainty and apathy. The way people respond varies from feeling that it is too big to tackle and so ignore it or those who truly want to bring change but don’t have the confidence in themselves to bring about change.
We all have a concept, an idea on how to better this world. Even if we don’t want to acknowledge it publicly, we think about it as we stand in our kitchen watching the news, sitting in a carpool line waiting to pick up the future leaders of this world, or just walking down the street with our morning coffee looking at all those unhappy faces walking past us. We get this fleeting thought of an idea that we feel could change the world. We all want to be agents of change that will be a testament to the good that we have done in this life. But too many of us have given up on being that impetus for change, pushing that idea that will change the world, and instead have capitulated to a life that culminates in the graveyard of what could have been.
I spend almost every day working to figure out the tipping point of what leads people to turn that feeling of hopelessness that change is impossible into true action that makes a difference - turning their destiny from one that is the path to mediocrity to one that impacts everyone’s lives. I try and figure out what is the commonality in those who desire change and those that make change and the answer is simplistic - self-confidence.
The impediment to people acting that have the ability and talents to change the world is their lack of self-confidence in feeling that they can truly be an agent of change. This is caused in this country, and in many countries around the world, because of the fact that their friends, families, and society as a whole don't nurture those who have amazing ideas. Instead they constantly question why a person would "waste" time on crazy ideas and thoughts.
Steve Jobs once said, ‘[y]ou can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
Nothing could be truer. Trusting in yourself is the single most important ingredient in the DNA of our souls that will not only better us as individuals but better the world as a whole. But that trust in a person’s self is in most cases predicated upon the support from those around them and if not friends and families, from learning from those who have laid the foundation for what can be accomplished with trust in yourself – people like Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Helen Keller, Winston Churchill, Rosa Parks and the names are endless. As the Dali Lama once said, “[w]ith realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world.”
The realization of one’s potential, that self-confidence, the trust in yourself is the tipping point to a safer, more secure and stable, prosperous world. But it is up to each of us, in our small way, to foster that tipping point. We don’t have to lead the charge but we can make change possible by doing what Jack Welch, the former Chairman of General Electrics would always preach, “[g]iving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing I can do. Because then they will act.”
Today, on my birthday I just want to thank all of those who have given me the ability to have trust in myself, the ability to do what I can to help foster change in this world. But we all can foster the tipping point in others in the most simplistic ways. As the French author Andre Maurois said, “[s]mile, for everyone lacks self-confidence and more than any other one thing a smile reassures them.”
I think we all can find a smile inside of us. You never know, that simple smile, that simple pat on the back, that simple look of approval can be the tipping point to the person who will change this world.
All the best,