On The Hook

Being The Change You Wish to See

Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash

You want to be on the hook. We need you on the hook.

Only those on the hook make the difference, make a change, make an impact.

And when a group of people on the hook come together, the sky is the limit. A group of people on the hook can create a life-saving C02 filter, a world-healing vaccine, and the Bill of Rights.

The Peril of Being on the Hook

Many people shun the hook.

The World is full of people looking to avoid it or give it to someone else. They’re worried about the downside. The World sells downside.

When you’re on the hook, it can go bad, and it might be your fault. Even if it isn’t your fault, you may take the fall.

That’s the downside — this might not work, and you might suffer.

That’s the ontology of the hook.

The Hierarchy of On the Hook

You may have “leader” in your title. Are you leading a country, or a company, or a dance troupe?

You may be a member. Are you part of a research lab, or a book club, or a soup kitchen?

You are an individual. Are you out of shape, delinquent in your accounts, or angry with your spouse?

You are likely all three at various times. You can’t avoid the hook forever.

Flipping the Script

You say we need different. You say we need change.

You say you want to make a difference. You say you want to make a change.

Then flip the script and get on the hook.

The Best Way to Get On the Hook

You may get on the hook because of external circumstances. Your spouse, or your boss, or the investors have asked something of you.

This works, but it’s not the best way.

The best way is to stand up and put yourself on the hook. You can decide that enough is enough, or that you will apologize first, or that you will stay late, or that they deserve a hot meal and a warm place to sleep.

When you put yourself on the hook, you have chosen to focus on what you can control. You’ve signed up to do your part in making a difference.

Putting yourself on the hook doesn’t require standing in front of the camera or the front of the room, but it does require you to stand.

Seek the Hook to Make a Difference

The World is full of people avoiding the hook, blaming others, or worse yet, taking credit for being on the hook when they weren’t. Avoidance, blame, and stealing glory are the superpowers of the selfish, the fearful, the blowhards, and the coattail riders — those that don’t make an impact.

But avoidance, blame, and stealing glory isn’t possible without those who have signed up to get on the hook.

Said perfectly by Steven Pressfield in The War of Art:

“It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.”

Every community on this planet needs more people willing to be in the arena getting stomped by the bull — whether it’s your country, your church, your car wash, your over-40 hockey team, your kids, or the guy looking back at you in the mirror.

Next time the hook comes around, grab it and get on it.

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