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05 2010

Independence Day thoughts

Posted in Life | 0 comments

Fourth of July

This Sunday was the Fourth of July, America’s independence day.  As I am sure you are aware, this is a very important holiday in the United States.  While the Fourth of July has basically become synonymous with barbecues, swim parties and family picnics, it is still hugely symbolic not just for American patriotism but for the freedom it represents.
Of course, as an American living in France, my Fourth of July is just another day because absolutely no one celebrates it.  However, I don’t have to wait long until the French themselves have their own Independence Party—the 14th of July.
Different circumstances of course, but the same sort of celebration.   For both America and France the 4th and the 14th represent a new beginning and the end of oppressive regimes (England for America, the King for France).
Independence.  Freedom.  The stuff of dreams.  Unfortunately, in today’s world, very few really feel that they truly hold their destiny in their hands (including many I know both in the United States, France and beyond).  Whether it is the tyranny of money (or the lack thereof) or addiction or sickness, even the haves in this world feel a very heavy burden as they try to make ends meet and have some semblance of a quality life.
This is, by all counts, not the world’s finest hour.
But why on earth am I discussing this subject on a column about social media?  Basically, I believe the greatest paradox in the world today is that NEVER have so many people felt so much discontent  while in fact there is so much opportunity.  And in my book, this is because so many of us cling to an old way of doing things and don’t realize the great potential that is staring us in the face.
Just a few years back, something odd happened.  For years, the internet with all its potential sat on the sidelines.  Yes, we were all using it. We set up our websites.  We created our emails.  We even started to shop a little online.
But at some incalculable moment, the importance of the internet shifted.  No longer a mere addendum, it became front and center.   And I am not certain that many of us have caught up  with that yet. We still live in an old world with decaying systems and archaic mindsets.
And while social media leads the pack, the internet in all its iterations abounds with opportunity and wealth.  Used correctly, the internet/social media has mindboggling potential to change your life and your business.  .
But before you can really take advantage of the opportunities, I think it is important that you wipe the slate clean.  Start with a fresh envelope. Re-evaluate what you are doing.  And make dead certain that fundamental basics are in place.  I’ll talk more about those in my next post…