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Edition 3: How to Start Building By: Sgt Frye

What if I told you that building the future was easier than you thought.
This Edition focuses on 4 Steps you must take before you start.

There is plenty of time to discuss strategy and software, trust us, we’ll get to that. But first, you need to be the person you need to be to achieve your goals.

Declare. Declare your intention to build a better life for others and not just yourself. Whatever your goals are, maybe it’s to Colonize Mars, build a 21st century digital and physical infrastructure, strengthen our rights, protect our planet, or like us – all of the above! Whatever your vision or goal, you MUST declare that goal to others. Despite what the cynics will tell you, you must begin enlisting others in your mission first rather than heat seeking for the opposition as seems all too common today. If others reject you, keep trying. As long as you're leading with a purpose that provides value to others, solves problems and lifts others up (rather than pure self interest) and iterates until your vision takes hold, then you are doing the right thing.

Acknowledge. Does acknowledgement seem in short supply today? Do we accept our own limitations and conversely, the virtues of others, particularly those we oppose? Or do we merely make excuses for our own failures and look for how we can cast blame onto others? Acknowledgement is not about agreeing, or giving up what you believe in. Rather we should acknowledge our own role in our current problem or situation and release ourselves as helpless or victims. Now, victimhood is a real thing, but the false victimization we place on ourselves is a cop out. Stop. When you can acknowledge your role as the barrier to the solution of the problem you wish to solve and acknowledge that others may have done more, or less, and both are ok. Above all, when we stop portraying ourselves as victims, we take back control and give ourselves the power to do something about our situation and begin accomplishing our goals.

Enter The Fray. You will never win the game from the stands. You have to get out there and actually play. Sorry 12th Man! Once you have declared your intentions and acknowledged your role in the problem and are humble in your ability to single-handedly bring about the solution; you're ready to Enter the Fray. Imagine the political fray as a freeway with unlimited on/off ramps, that is constantly moving with everyone going in opposite directions. Would you get on a freeway NOT prepared and mentally sharp? Would you enter without being sober about your outlook, skills, and the associated risks? It's within everyone’s self interest to arrive safely, which requires a mindfulness of others. It is no different in the policy space. If you attempt to run over others, you crash first. How you enter the fray is your first test and your initial conditions are critical to your future success.

Give. Giving back to others, or the company, constituency, movement, or institution you're now privileged to be a part of is a critical first step. It’s not all about you. Beyond that, are you giving enough to the people you're helping, and perhaps more importantly, are you even considering the ones you may be hurting. Reject those that speak of pure hate, corruption, and evil driving your opposition. These are emotional reactions, not logical ones (Author’s Note: I suffer from these flare ups daily). What if, instead of search-and-destroy bloodsport politics, we found ways to give back to institutions and opponents as well? OK, I know that sounds insane. But, what if we talked to our “opponents” first? Instead of fully solidifying your support to maximize your position at the expense of others, what if you gave them something or acknowledged their needs too? How would you respond if they showed you that level of gratitude and respect? Could they stab you in the back? Sure, but they do that already. Now they’re the heel and you’ve got the high ground.

What if your opponents listened and engaged - not pressured and intimidated? How would you respond? There’s power in giving and humility, use it.

Now go. Enter the Fray.

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