“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”—Bertrand Russell
In September, I’ll travel with Tamdin Wangdu of the Tibetan Village Project (TVP) to help victims of the earthquake by assisting in bringing in supplies. Tamdin and I will fly to Chengdu where we’ll purchase tents and load them into a truck for delivery to Yushu. If we drive straight from Chengdu, we should reach Yushu in about three days. We’ll then spend at least five days distributing tents and other supplies.
There’s a particular need for warmer, more durable tents for those left homeless by the quake. Initial aid distribution (by the government or under its direction) included one tent per family, regardless of the size of the family. So, for example, a family of eight has to share a single, 12 foot x 12 foot tent.
The average altitude in most earthquake-affected areas is about 13,000 feet (4000 meters) and the area is incredibly windy. Yushu is cold; overnight temperatures in the spring and summer hover around -5°C/23°F. Moreover, winter comes early to the Tibetan Plateau.
To help fund the effort, I’m hoping to raise $15,000 for additional tents; we hope they’ll last at least three years while homes are being rebuilt. (I’m using the crowd-sourced fundraising platform Firstgiving.com to make giving even easier.) TVP has found a factory in Chengdu that makes high quality tents for the Chinese military. The tents are 22 square meters in size; made from canvas, insulated with a cotton-like material; heavy enough to withstand rainstorms, snow and strong wind; and durable enough to last at least three years. These tents are ideal for families with children since they have space to store a few folding beds, a stove, and other necessities.
To spur this, I’ll match each dollar contributed one for one up to an additional $15,000. Each tent costs $345; $30,000 will buy a lot of tents.
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“The best leaders are those that lead by example and are both team followers as well as team leaders. We believe that in general, the best ideas and decisions are made from the bottom up, meaning by those on the front lines that are closest to the issues and/or the customers. The role of a manager is to remove obstacles and enable his/her direct reports to succeed. This means the best leaders are servant-leaders. They serve those they lead.”—Tony Hsieh, “Delivering Happiness - A Path To Profits Passion & Purpose”
I’ve spent thousands of hours making myself irreplaceable. I bust my ass to create and excel in my art. I’m constantly learning, adapting and changing to make myself the best I can be. I read, I try to absorb and learn from those who have more experience and knowledge, and I apply the things I learn. I have a knack for doing things that most people can’t… in my professional life.
The reason I’ve put such an enormous focus on being irreplaceable when it comes to work (I think) is because I feel so replaceable in other aspects of my life. I compensate with my success at work for what I lack in other areas… particularly love.
I watch for any opportunity in my life to be passionate. I’ve been passionate (borderline fanatical) about antique furniture, internet marketing, Social Media, and customer service. I’ve been passionate about dancing, and music (both playing and listening). I’ve been passionate about politics, inspiring friends to live their dreams, and my religion.
If I’m not passionate, I’m not happy.
Maybe that’s where I go wrong. Maybe I’m too passionate. Maybe it’s not possible for me to find someone who is as passionate and willing to invest in me as I would invest in them…
Jack Johnson sings, “Where’d all the good people go?” I say, “Where’d all the passionate people go?” Or have they always been this rare?