Putting a life Purpose into Practice – changing North Korea for the better

My purpose in life is to help people change the world for better. Within that purpose, a basic concept I believe in is that the goal of life is to be happy and to limit being sad. I also believe that everyone should have the right to be free to choose. Free to choose where they live, what work they do, what they wear, what to think.

So, in 2008 I came up with a Master Plan. A design of how to help others change the world for better. Since then I have been testing it out, with sometimes remarkable results.

The first test was in 2008, designing a way to defeat Robert Mugabe in the Zimbabwean elections. He lost the first round of the elections by 50.4%, ushering in a Transition Government and eradicating the 270 million percent inflation down to more modest 7% levels. OK, he is still in power as President, but the design and execution of a citizen-driven election monitoring system, inspired by similar work in Afghanistan in 2006, made a tangible difference to the lives of millions.

In 2009, I decided to design a plan to change the regime of North Korea. It was around the time of the Iranian elections, and the use of social media sharing and propagating information gave me great hope of change, only to be disappointed in the outcome. I had not been involved in planning anything in Iran (I am taking orders for next time round, though ;), and I felt that maybe it would only be possible to change the regime from within. In the case of Zimbabwe, I was able to work with a team in the know who were part of the opposition movement.

Undeterred, I took the view that if it was possible to change a regime from the inside, it must also be possible to change it from the outside, without any connection whatsoever to the regime or even the country. You might think this sounds illogical. It may well be. However, this technique is based on creativity methods designed to open people’s thinking about alternate approaches, and sure enough, I was inspired to take on an impossible challenge.

I vividly remember realising my vision and path of change. I was in the bathroom, finishing off a late morning shave. By the side of the wash basin was a copy of The Economist, and in that edition was a story on North Korea. Perfect.

A quick check on the Internet revealed that the country had approximately 23 million inhabitants. Even better. I had started using numerical targets to decide on focus areas. This would allow me to hit my target in a single project, with the positive effects rippling around the world. Moreover, a success in achieving the absolutely impossible would convince many that change would be possible in all spheres of life.

Right now, you might be thinking I’m nuts. At times I, and others that know me, would almost wish that to be the case. But if it works, the ‘it’ being the method for provoking and enacting positive change, then we may find ourselves as a human race on a different path. And that would be worth aspiring to, worth putting the hours in to see if it will work.

So, we shall see how things evolve. I’m going to chunk out the story in blog entries, rather craft an epic tome. There will hopefully be time for that – supported by good reason – later.

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