Your lost cause isn’t lost.
I mean, you found it, right?
And you often find other Champions have arrived on the scene at the same time… equally bewildered that no one is already tackling the issue. Something made you and those first allies HAVE to pick up this assignment, and that THING, is the same thing that won’t let you let it go.
And most lost causes aren’t lost because they can’t be seen. Most of these causes have been found before, perhaps thousands of times, but they have been left to sit there.
It’s not lost because it can’t be seen. Everyone sees it, but it’s seen as too hard to tackle. What is it about small groups who, when they find their lost cause, are unable to let it sit there unaddressed? What makes people like us tick? And once they make the cause theirs, what is the fuel that keeps them going? One “job opening” becomes many and, all of a sudden, the “applications” come pouring in. One person, or a band of two or three rally around the cause… they find it, point to it and name it, and they coalesce a set of founding ideas about addressing it. Then others, seeing a baseline of investment, put their hands on the pile.
Soon, there is a functional workgroup assembled, but it is unlike a typical workplace team in that everyone’s motivation is the cause and not pay. There are no performance reviews or metrics of accountability. They aren’t necessary. Love of the cause is the glue, and it is the strongest glue. People in this workgroup also promote themselves, demote themselves and fire themselves in a fluid way that keeps the core group strong, focused and with fresh legs. This gives the group a nimbleness that gives them the edge in dealing with flat-footed government, and that is true always, but especially if the relationship is adversarial. The people in government, after all, have regular jobs, with the ordinary motivators. They don’t run on the same special Champions fuel… a potent mixture of relentless passion, creativity and plucky resolve.
By being told what we want is impossible, the best of us comes out, because we refuse to believe it.
We believe in our cause that much.
We cannot be convinced that we are doomed to fail. We know better.
We are getting our cues from our higher, nobler, aspirational selves, and our conviction is bulletproof and inviolable.