Special Supplement – What I Want for 2015

As a special supplement to yesterday’s blog about what we should all want for 2015, I wanted to share with you what some of my personal goals are for 2015 in working on ending homelessness and increasing affordable housing:

1. To not feel alone when I sometimes feel afraid.

I am afraid sometimes that no one else is pushing the rock uphill. I am afraid sometimes that those precious resources that are available are being spent all wrong. I am afraid sometimes that more people will die before we commit ourselves to change at a scale that is necessary. There is an “I” in “Illness” and a “We” in “Wellness”. When I am sick and tired and lonely and worn out I am afraid that I am all alone. This year I want to know how I am connected to others on the same mission with the same goal. I want to know there are more shoulders carrying the load, acting as one. I want to know that on nights when I am all alone and on the road and miles from home that someone thinks all of the effort is worth it.

2. Fewer haters.

This work is hard enough. I could use a few less haters of me or the message this year. And I know other long blades of grass in a sea of lawnmowers that feel the same more often than they should. On the interpretation of facts, I welcome people to disagree. On the merits of my presentation methods I appreciate not everyone understands or applauds how I present the messages I choose to speak of in any given day. But your hatred is wearing me down. Haters started to win in 2014 and that caught me off guard.

3. An End to Askholes – Accepting the answers to the questions asked.

The classic askhole wants the answer but doesn’t want to act upon it when given. I am a professional answer giver. I get paid to give my best possible answers. Here’s to a year of people accepting the answer they are given and acting upon it rather than: a) thinking the answer given cannot possibly be the solution; and/or, b) asking more questions from other people until they hear what they want to hear.

4. A positive spin on being an arms dealer.

Generally speaking I do not like being touched by people I do not know really well. I want to get over that a bit in 2015. I want more hugs from people that just want to communicate in a way that only an embrace can – I am with you.

5. Improved health.

Here is to a year with fewer red-eye flights, accepting more homemade dinner invites rather than restaurant food night after night, more runs on roads I’ve never visited before, and lower blood pressure. Here is to a greater focus on mental wellness. Here is to a few more nights of at least 6 hours of sleep.

6. More time with family.

My family pays the biggest sacrifice for what I do every single week. I need a few more weekends with an extra day at home. I need a few more work assignments when daddy can have one of his special assistants come along for the plane ride and extra time in the swimming pool.

7. Renewed faith.

More than once in 2014 I lost a little faith in humanity. It felt a little like vomit does when it reaches the top of your throat and goes back down. I want to rediscover faith that sometimes all of this hard work pays off. I want people to share what is working not to be boastful, but to give the rest of us collective hope that it is all worth it.

8. Less agreeing to disagree.

If someone is completely wrong, I need to speak truth to the power of their lie. When there is fact, I am compelled to allow that to contradict opinion. If they are held tight in a cocoon of cognitive dissonance, I need to keep saying it in different and polite ways – you are wrong. Why? Because I care too much about ending homelessness and improving housing and social policy to allow for the continuation of fairy tales when we have proof.

9. Figuring out the business side of consulting.

We give away a lot of stuff for free (as you will note if you ever try to “buy” things off our website…your check out cart asks for $0 money) and we lose money on the SPDAT and I bought out the other partner of OrgCode in 2014 which came at a huge personal cost. Balancing what people can afford to pay with what we need in order to cover our costs (I am not the only staff at OrgCode) is always hard. There is no Foundation or Sponsor of our work. We aim to be more or less a break-even, for-profit company. But I need to get my head around how to do that better and not alienate potential communities to assist in the process.

10. Being awesome.

I want to inspire awe. This probably means I need to dedicate some time to the things I love like music and stand-up, and maybe even take a retreat and a real vacation to charge my batteries more than once this year. I want to be the man my young kids think I am, while being worthy of the highest esteem of my wife. I want them to know and feel that all I do is worth it.

About Iain De Jong

Leader. Edutainer. Coach. Consultant. Professor. Researcher. Blogger. Do-gooder. Potty mouth. Positive disruptor. Relentless advocate for social justice. Comedian. Dad. Minimalist. Recovering musician. Canadian citizen. International jetsetter. Living life in jeans and a t-shirt. Trying really hard to end homelessness in developed countries around the world, expand harm reduction practices, make housing happen, and reform the justice system. Driven by change, fuelled by passion. Winner of a shit ton of prestigious awards, none of which matter unless change happens in how we think about vulnerability, marginality, and inclusion.

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