A Message for the New Year
A multi-national company known for its bandages and medicinal ointments came up with a genius breakthrough – a painless, odourless and invisible method to disinfect and protect a wound. No need for a sticky bandage or alcohol, no burning sensation when it was applied. Expecting accolades and major revenue return the company produced a huge inventory and embarked on a major advertising campaign expecting to sell out quickly and change the industry forever.
However, within months it became clear that this product was a huge flop. People wanted to see their bandage. In fact, they wanted more options for colour, shape and even cartoons to cover their wounds. They wanted to feel a sting when antiseptic was applied. They needed to smell the alcohol and feel like healing was in the air. They even missed the anticipation of the sting. How else would they know it was working?
Lesson learned. The whole line was eliminated quickly and the company never again asked their lab to find a painless solution for wounds, bites, blisters or cuts.
Such is our need to feel, even if a painless solution is available.
Yet, as we progress in the twenty-first century, we can change this. Progress does not have to be painful. An ill-timed marketing campaign may have failed, but the idea was superb. Even the simplest scientific and technological solutions can be extraordinary. They can disrupt, innovate, cure and prevent.
My invitation to you is to use that invisible bandage, the odorless ointment, the sting-free remedy (metaphorically, of course) in your own life. Let us resolve to allow new, intelligent, and yes, less painful solutions to drive our lives.
May your stress turn to strength, your fear turn to innovation and your pain turn to feelings of courage and compassion. Let us draw on the sacrifices of 2020 to help drive the discipline needed now.
In 2021, we are not applying a bandage or coming up with a new way to improve on an old solution. We are learning to reset our very purpose of life, individually and globally. By doing this, you and I can model a world where pain does not govern our actions.