TITLE: Waiting on the World to Change AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: May 27, 2007 4:54 PM DESC: ----- BODY:

me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it

so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
-- John Mayer

I'm glad to know that Mr. Mayer and his friends care about the world they live in, but I'd like to suggest a different strategy than waiting. The world changes when people change it. So... If you are a software developer waiting for a better working environment, where you feel confident moving forward and have fun delivering value to your customer: Write a test. Do the simplest thing that will make it pass. Refactor. Then do it again. If you are an instructor waiting for a better classroom environment, where your students are engaged and you have fun working with them on the material they are learning: Pick one session of one class you teach. Eliminate the slides on any topic. Replace them with an interactive exercise. Try it in class, and make the exercise better based on the feedback. If you are like any of us waiting for better health, for a life in which you wake up ready for the day and feel better throughout: Go for a walk. If you are already walking, throw in a block of jogging. If you are already jogging, throw in a little pick-up where you push your limits for 50 or 100m. This isn't magic. The world will probably push back. Your tools may not support you; students may resist leaving their cocoon; your body will probably be a little sore tomorrow morning. Changes aren't usually care free. So stick with it through the initial resistance. That's the closest thing to magic there is. Look for other people who are trying to change their worlds. Talk to them. You'll learn from them, and they'll learn from you. Make that change. -----