I haven’t written a blog post for a while, so this will be a long one!
So far, this year has been an incredible ending to what I can only describe as the first chapter of my true life. By ‘true life’, I mean my life now, standing up for what I believe in, after walking through fear.
This year alone, at The Dandelion Project:
- We have delivered our two flagship catalyst events: TEDxStPeterPort and TEDxYouth@StPeterPort. We trebled our attendance over 2 events and broadcast the event to people in 37 countries.
- We launched The World’s Boldest Ever Kindness Project, which has already gone on to inspire many people within our community to change behaviour, as well as inspiring the establishment of other similar projects around the world.
- We launched The World’s Boldest Ever Happiness Project – which, early indications show, has developed the science and methodology for governments around the world to invest directly in happiness.
- We hosted a Diabetes 2 Hackathon which has shown a pathway to eliminate Diabetes 2 in our community, within two years.
- We created a new happiness festival called Happifest which we hope to develop into a major worldwide festival in the coming years.
- To demonstrate new cost-effective and inspiring ways of promoting our community, we turned one of our national monuments into a light show – which has been seen around the world.
- We ran an experiment called Manifesto to provide ideas for a new kind of democracy to flourish in our community.
- We have also had the pleasure of spending 1-to-1 time with literally hundreds of people, helping and inspiring them on their individual journeys.
Personally, I have also launched a new Podcast – Coffee From the Edge – designed to inspire people to change the world, and I took a group of people on a Big Adventure as an experiment in human transformation.
All this, as well as the wonderful stories I hear daily about our impact on individual people. And our greatest success yet has come recently. Our new President (of Policy and Resources) in Guernsey, Gavin St Pier, made a manifesto commitment to make Guernsey “the happiest and healthiest community in the world” within 10 years! I have to say, I cried when I first heard this vision articulated. And I jumped for joy when I heard that he had been elected to the top job on the island.
Our original mission was to put this bold vision at the heart of government. The coming weeks, months and years will demonstrate the true power of that. In time, we will have the 5,000 people who work for our government operating in alignment with that mission. Exactly what that can achieve, the world is yet to understand. It was a bold vision that put a man on the moon in the 60s. I hope it is now understood that is possible to change the path of a country with the right approach. It is possible to use inspiration and positivity to drive change. And I really hope the essence of that model spreads to other communities around the world.
Here ends chapter one. Our next chapter is unknown.
My desire is to focus on creating and living the values that support the vision we have in our community. These are the areas we wish to explore in the years ahead:
- How can we transform our community, moving away from the rigid and inhumane ‘rule of law’?
- How can we establish a set of governing principles and values that guide us, rather than control us?
- How can we design a community and government to make the best of us, rather than to protect us from the worst of us?
I hope others will join us in this exploration.
I personally want to thank everyone who has believed, and who has taken a step to make the world a better place. It makes everything we have done to date worthwhile.
Although I welcome the success of this project, I have to confess that we have made many mistakes along the way. One of the things I most regret is not creating a sustainable model for myself and the other changemakers around.
I see and interact with many people who give up an awful lot to make change happen, but can’t achieve a balance of family and finances without struggling. Those who give most in the world are not necessarily rewarded most. This is a big issue for humanity. This is not about praise, but about surviving and thriving. A fundamental requirement is the redistribution of resources to the people who make the biggest difference to society, rather than to those who create the most economic wealth for themselves. Many of our societies are still governed and influenced by people with an addiction to power and money. For the great transition to occur, this fundamental problem needs to be solved. We need to heal humanity of the unquenchable desire for more.
My great weakness is in asking for help where it is most needed. Financial support is where I struggle most, right now. For the first time since my student days, my bank account reads zero. My wife and I sold our home to create this vision and base it in reality, and we have now exhausted all our funds to get this wonderful creation this far.
We might have kick-started something that turns out to be one of the boldest community projects of all time, but to scale that mission worldwide, we need a whole new community of people to help us.
To the outside world, I was successful at 30, but I really didn’t feel it on the inside. When I turned 30, I realised that I could not live the next decade as I had lived the last. I vowed that I would seek success on my own terms by the time I turned 40.
I turned 40 recently. For me to have no financial wealth, and yet to be the most successful I have ever felt, is a testament to how we have lost our way as a society. It is a testament to how much I lost my own way, growing up.
Who knows where I will be by the time I am 50? My mission for the next decade is to live a life of unconditional happiness, focussing on the joy of whatever comes up, wherever life takes me. And sharing that, to make the world a better place for everyone.
What I do know is that the next chapter – for me, my community and the world – cannot be accomplished alone.