Now we are going to find out how to live a more generous life and become like Superman… but I might have given that away yesterday.
Each year, Charles Handy, the management guru, and his wife work out what they need for the coming year, and add 20% as he is pessimistic. He then divides the year into three: one-third spent on management consultancy, one-third on writing, and one-third on working for nothing and connecting with people. He wanted to maximise his life, not his income.
What is enough? How many presents do we receive that we don’t really want? And by implication, how many presents we have given haven’t been wanted? A colossal waste, driven by thoughtlessness. And take food. We throw away one-third of all the food we buy. One billion gorge ourselves and pay for gyms and diets, while another billion starve.
Everyone in this theatre could be Superman to the other billion: provide a microloan, sponsor a child’s education, get together at lunchtime to raise money for a well in Kenya.
Mike thinks he has discovered the purpose of life – what the riches we are receiving at TEDx today! – which is to help other people, people we know and people we have never met before and perhaps will never meet.
Our homework is to work out what enough is for us, to stop buying stuff we don’t need, to get a grip, and to turn ourselves into Superman or Superwoman.