It is on New Year’s Day, 2014 that we are presented with unique opportunities, opportunities that have special meaning on this day of the year. Of course I acknowledge that the following could be done on any day of the year but on this very first day it carries far more meaning, well for me anyway. I suspect it does for others too or else why would we have New Year’s Resolutions as part of our culture, although we are also extremely proficient for abandoning these pledges too. But I am an optimist at heart, you have to be with my type of condition/disability, you have to believe that things will happen, will be alright, will be sorted out positively. My New Year pledges, which I also mentioned in another blog posted recently, include:
- Doing what I can to make a positive difference in the quality of care people receive;
- Campaigning to re-establish a supportive Welfare State and repealing the awful bedroom tax
- Promoting the Social Model of Disability and make our towns and cities truly accessible, truly inclusive for all its citizens regardless of ability or disability;
- Campaigning for a taxation system that is fair and equal to all, based on contributing what is reasonable for your level of earnings;
- Campaigning for the nationalising of the power and water industries to protect the vulnerable, pledging to work towards eliminating poverty and people dying of cold in the UK;
- Campaigning to remove the nuclear deterrent that is not needed anyway, saving billions;
- Campaigning to invest heavily in the NHS, Social Care, alternative energy sources and controlling the outrageous profits of the big companies, and won’t be the fat-cats puppets in power
But I save the very best until last, as this has special meaning to my family and me, a pledge that every Father and Husband should make:
“I pledge to do the very best I can by my family at all times and to love and cherish them as they do me.”
After all it is family that are important, when you strip away all the trappings, the possessions, the Directorships and the rest, I see clearly that family are the most important thing to look after beyond everything else and this year I am going to make sure they know it too. I am having to slow things down as my condition progresses, more fatigue, more support needed, less physically functional, so I will make sure my family are appreciated for all that they do. For the unconditional love they give, the care they give without thought of their own needs, this is what needs to be recognised and to be given thanks for.
My other pledges are important to me too, they are areas I choose to work in, I choose to campaign on and I shall work alongside people, organisations and companies that help me achieve my aims, especially the Green Party. I have already noted in a previous blog that I feel they have the credible answers to counteract the present Coalition and will work to support them develop. However my real passion is linked to my ability too, having two real talents that I intend to exploit in 2014:
1st I have the ability to be decisive in my decision making, forged from years working in prisons and specialist secure environments. The ability to weigh up people and situations extremely quickly was a distinct advantage when others wanted to pound your head in. But it was more than just this, I had the ability to remain calm under pressure, see the right path to take, control the fear that the situation was generating, look clearly and be decisive in my decisions. It wasn’t that I was better than others in theory or in deed, but that I could control the fear and anxiety that such environments can generate, especially when things were going decidedly wrong. Others were far more suited to be a Fireman or a Doctor, my forte was being cool under pressure and seeing the solution that would deliver the outcome that I wanted or that was needed. This brings me onto my second talent that has stood me in good stead throughout my private business career.
2nd I have the ability to see the solution, to see where the gap in the market is and what is needed to fill that gap or meet that need. I am by nature an ideas guy, I think of new ways of doing things, new concepts, ideas and services. It is with this I find most pleasure, as I have neither ability to draw nor musical ability whatsoever; my art is in the creation of ideas, concepts and solutions, no matter how big the problem is. Many times I have wondered where half these ideas come from and the truth is I really don’t know, I watch something on the TV or hear something and the outline of a solution pops into my head. I then turn it into a workable pilot or feasible model for market testing and work with others to study the results, adapting the original concept as it is tested. But perhaps this is the limit of my creative ability, as it is for others to expand the idea into a much larger organisation or roll out the concept across regions. Yes I can do this organisational development and have done so successfully, but I don’t enjoy the day to day operational hassles that come hand in hand with the emergence of a company unfolding into long term operations.
I like to think with the continued onset of my condition, its steady march against me and my ability to self-care, I can choose what it is that I get involved with as a positive against the negative that is my disability. I do find great pleasure in the creativity I have described and it also means I can work from home much of the time and spend time with my family. It seems to me as I weaken physically that intellectually I improve, my ideas are more plentiful and in many ways better, more thought out, and as each year passes I become a better business person despite the negatives my family and I live with. I spent many years working to death, all hours, 7 days a week, now it is time to spend time more wisely, more rewardingly, more family based. This is my pledge for 2014 and beyond.
Have a really good 2014, I intend to.
Yours most sincerely
Smiling Cat Ventures (www.smilingcatventures.org)
Innovative Minds @ Work (www.innovativemindsatwork.org)
Mind the Step (improving accessibility)
Able Politics (increasing disabled peoples engagement in politics)
Face Book: Disability in Business
Linked-In: Jonathan Wade (Innovative Minds at Work)