With the summer drawing to a close, I’m working to reign in all of my thoughts and ideas (which continue to come so quickly that I must forget half of them!). I’m (yet again) working to gather all of my bits and pieces that have accumulated in notebooks, on sticky notes (both real and virtual), backs of receipts, in computer documents and emails… I’ll share some gems along the way, highlighting the key elements of my overall vision, scattered as it may be at times, but rich with potential and overall good intentions.
The following is an early attempt to summarize my vision. I wrote it back in March when, don’t laugh now, I went away for 3 nights to write a business plan. My apologies to Bentley, my alma mater, for my extreme naiveté in imagining for even a moment that such an undertaking could be tackled with a few days in a hotel room. Let’s just say that my business sense was a little rusty but my enthusiasm and positive intentions were as fresh as a daisy. Read on for the full quote, this taken from an entry I made in my business plan software for social enterprise.
“The vision of TIME WELL SPENT is to improve both the quality and awareness of one’s life for its members so that they are empowered to consistently think, live and grow in a way that reflects positive stewardship toward fellow man and toward nature, such that a ripple effect is generated, nourished and expedited, resulting in a better quality of life throughout the community, locally, statewide, nationwide and globally. This vision reflects an underlying truth that those who help others begin to experience increased happiness, increased gratitude and increased energy and motivation, and given the time, will make helping others a part of their general lifestyle even as they live their own lives more fully, feeding their own needs and desires. Furthermore, the vision is rooted in the reality that we are social beings who benefit from human contact living in a world that is becoming increasingly busy, often with less human contact, even as it is becoming more nationally and globally connected through the now-established world at our fingertips, the internet.
TIME WELL SPENT will take its first critical step toward achieving its vision through the complete creation, conceptually and physically, of a working prototype of the cornerstone of its concept – a place where time is well spent. By providing a centralized location where members and guests (non-members) maximize their positive impact on society one small act at a time, the cumulative effect will be greater than the sum of its parts. As members and guests contribute within their individual comfort zones and based on their current circumstances, they will begin to awaken to the joy of coming together and contributing in a meaningful way and to the possibilities that exist to do more together to affect change than they ever dreamed. In time and in turn, there will be increased activity and opportunity both presented to the members and born of them, the particulars of which one can only imagine.
In physical terms, TIME WELL SPENT will be a welcoming, whimsical and eclectic center-based site centrally located to its two anchor communities, Rowley and Ipswich, but also with additional ease of access to the many passersby on the main thoroughfare that is affectionately referred to as “Old Route One.” The “centers” will include a creative and spacious work area, an organized and inspiring recycling space, a cozy and comforting reading/sharing/research space, a special multi-use private room as well as retail sales space linking the areas together.”
Not bad for a start… It’s actually interesting how much of my initial concept and vision remain intact today, supporting my belief that my purpose, as steward to the overall concept, is to share it with others, making it a reality, both for the benefit of others within and touched by my local community and as a prototype, a scalable plan, dealing with obstacles along the way and paving the road for others to follow my lead on a slightly easier path. Whenever I am reminded of my role as steward to this idea which is so ripe with opportunity for positive change, I am always renewed in spirit and with purposeful intent to keep going forward with the somewhat overwhelming task at hand. Good thing…I was feeling a little tired!
Fall is in the air! Here in New England, that means fresh, crisp air replacing summer’s frequent humidity. Take a deep breath and let that fresh air wake you up and re-fresh your spirit! N.