Future cars, Future technology - Anything is possible
Take a look at the future of cars – an electric vehicle with a space-age look -- soon to be made in California. Give California credit. They have an "anything is possible" attitude. Instead of commuting in a bus-sized gas guzzler, you could be driving one of these machines. It looks like a “Jetson” flying car that doesn’t yet fly.
All of America needs this attitude that anything is possible. Texas, my home state, included.
We need a mental bailout on a national scale. Since I’ve already been on this road, I know. When I lost my high-flying Fortune 500 job in the mid-80's, I had to become an entrepreneur instead of a corporate thinker. When you don’t have a guaranteed paycheck every two weeks, your thinking becomes very motivated and creative. It meant having to try new things I never would have; to go places I’d never been. It means becoming both CEO and secretary, accountant and marketing rep. It means taking chances but not foolish to think you really won the British lotto.
Because of the free fall, and mistakes made being new at entrepreneurship, I lost all of my property but I also discovered that I didn't need it.
I also discovered how to succeed in the midst of chaos or despite of it. That experience, which millions are now having for the first time, proved to be a valuable lesson that is still paying off today. I find myself in the odd position of rapid increases in business while the rest of the economy sags. It also proves that providing the right service at the right time makes for success even in a global recession.
A different attitude by Americans will do more to generate our success than a thousand plans. We need an attitude adjustment. "Anything is possible" means that we try new things to generate new jobs and services. It means you listen to the person with the best ideas instead of the ones who are loyal yes men. There a millions of smart people of every skin color who never went to an Ivy League school but have built successful businesses and created jobs. We could export more and put solar panels on our roofs. I have been getting emails from around the world by people interested in our U.S.-made technology.
Not all of the businesses I tried worked, but the experience made it possible to avoid past mistakes and to grow a business that does work. When I was a Fortune 500 attorney, I never thought I'd be involved in saving energy and protecting people's lives and their property with Armor Glass. But because anything is possible, I find a positive change happening in my life.
On the international front, I see signs of positive changes in attitude as well.
The Saudi ruler has started replacing hard-line religious types who interfered in people's lives with more moderate people. Under the hardliners a woman who was raped was punished more than the men who committed the crime. And a woman being alone in a car with a man who was not a relative was considered a major crime for a woman in Saudi under the hardliners. So Saudi is going towards the center. It still has a way to go in a county that does not let women drive or any religious organization other than Muslim, but it is a move in the right direction.
However, the hard-right in India have been going into coffee shops and harassing women, telling them they are not being religious by drinking coffee and not wearing traditional saris. Backwards thinking seems to have no national barrier. Even the far lefty, Venezuela’s Chavez, is trying to abuse his power and remain President for life. America is good at not letting that happen.
Backwards thinking or inaction is not going to solve our problems or fix the financial mess. Tax cuts alone certainly won’t. It was backwards thinking that a nation and people could borrow and spend without end during the good times. It defied common sense that people could borrow money without showing proof of income, and that no one on Wall Street thought that would prove to be a problem. During the boom years America lost its common sense. Guys delivering pizzas one day became mortgage traders the next day -- making $20,000 a month with no training! Wall Street was drunk, but it wasn't alone.
We need to adopt the California attitude that "anything is possible" but apply it to real technology advancements, not Ponzi schemes where there is no oversight -- no one to question whether a practice is creating a threat. We need a return to common sense.
"Anything is possible" will produce the new green economy and jobs of the future we need. "Anything is possible" will save America and help us build a better 21st century in which we work with our global neighbors to do the same.
If it can happen in Saudi, it can happen anywhere.