I’ve been using a 1 minute and 44 second video when working with groups wrestling with the challenges and choices that come with organizational or personal change. The “Lost Generation” video features a poem written by Jonathan Reed for a “U @ 50” contest among 20 – 22 year olds on what future they see for themselves in 30 years.

The short poem is a palindrome. That means the words read the same backwards as forward. On top of that, Jonathon made the words mean the very opposite when read in reverse. The opening few lines sound very cynical and pessimistic:

“I am part of a lost generation
and I refuse to believe that
I can change the world.
I realize this may be a shock but
‘Happiness comes from within.’
is a lie, and
‘Money will make me happy.’”

If you now read the lines by starting at the bottom and reading upwards you’ll get a hopeful and optimistic message.

Sponsored by the American Association of Retired People (AARP) everyone in the room was awe-struck at the end of the video clip and broke into spontaneous applause. CLICK HERE to watch this powerful 1:45 video.

The video wonderfully illustrates our workshop discussions around perception, what exactly is “reality,” and how we choose our perspective. Here are a few short items from Growing @ the Speed of Change  and previous Leader Letter  articles outlining those points:

Range of Reality: Choosing the Best or the Worst of Times

Lessons in Perspective from the Dung Beetle

Keeping Problems in Perspective  which includes Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm…on Choosing Our Perspective

Grappling with the Science of Reality: Dreams, Illusions, and Perceptions

Leading @ the Speed of Change workshop in Calgary, Vancouver, and Halifax

The only open or public workshops I have booked are set for September 24 in Halifax, September 29 in Calgary, and October 1 in Vancouver. Since our business is built around customized programs and services I do very few public workshops. It will likely be a few years again until I deliver public sessions in these cities. So if you’re in these regions – or want to take a trip to great Canadian cities at a beautiful time of year – I hope to see you in the fall!