Thursday, January 10, 2008

If I ...

One of my favorite books is Dr. Seuss’s If I Ran the Zoo. To refresh, the book features Gerald McGrew, a kid who, when visiting a zoo, finds that the exotic animals are "not good enough". He says that if he ran the zoo, he would let all of the current animals free and find new, more bizarre and exotic ones.

I wrote a sports column in college paraphrasing Seuss and personifying Gerald McGrew, opining the changes I’d make in sports, corny stuff like, “I’d tear out all the artificial turf, to the dump it would go, save a few knees and a couple of stubbed toes.” It was fun.

As I’ve lamented (here, here, and here, for three), too often people pass time in a yeah, but … brain-dead cloud, slogging through staid and unimaginative task after task. What’s more fun is to don your zookeeper-for-a-day cap and dream of (then act on) If I could… possibilities.

The great Mumbo Gumbo provides melodical inspiration in the aptly titled Anything:

If I could be invisible and have the world on a string
I could do, I could be, I could do anything

If I could be a movie star I’d put it all on the screen
I could do, I could be, I could do anything

If I could be a rocket man I’d fly away on a dream
I could do, I could be, I could do anything
If Gumbo’s not your taste, Jimmy Buffett offers an alternative recipe:
Oh, I could be anyone I wanted to be
Maybe suave Errol Flynn or the Sheik of Araby
If I only had a pencil thin mustache
Then I could do some cruisin too
The point? When you’re charting what to do with your life, within your company, or with a new product or service, it’s much more fun and rewarding to imagineer in an open-ended, all possibilities on the table manner. After all, you can be and can create anything you want to, which beats the pulp outta doing something you do not want to do.

No comments: