“The limits of my language mean the limits of my life.” ~ Ludwig Wittgenstien
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated with the power of language. We can bend it, refashion it, and use it to do work in the world. We can use it to inspire, persuade, or degrade. In order for a new idea to be conceived, language must be put together in ways that it hasn’t been previously. It’s this sharing of new language, language on the margins of currently accepted ideas and thought, that carries the most risk. It is also where the biggest rewards have the potential to be unearthed.
In the hours leading up to my talk I felt a sense of restlessness. How would these ideas be received? Could I fully invite them out of the confines of my mind, or might some things get lost in translation? I took a morning walk downtown to try and take the edge off. As the first couple of speakers finished their talks, I wandered into the control room to feel closer to the event. As I paced the bowels of the building behind the stage, a strange calm settled upon me. Trust your preparation, I told myself.
I was ready.
As I took the stage, I felt a responsibility to deliver these ideas with all of my heart-and-soul. My mentor, David Epston, my colleagues, my clients, my life-partner and wife, Allie, and my communities, had all influenced these ideas. I owed it to them to get this right. I could feel their presence with me on stage. The intense attention of the audience throughout followed by the standing ovation at the close of the talk were overwhelming. It felt like my community instantly got multiplied.
My imagination tells me this is just the beginning. I hope people who were in the room and feel so inclined will take these ideas into the world and put them to work. Perhaps some of those who watch the video later will do the same. Know that I stand in solidarity with you, and if you have time, please report back and let me know how things are coming along. It was truly an honor to have been granted your attention.