Can I run my life as if I’m running a company? If so, won’t it be nice to have a board? “But that’s a preposterous idea. It would be hard enough to find one person, whom you admire, and who is willing to commit time to get to know you, and to guide you through life as your life coach or mentor, never mind a whole group of people to be on your board. Who do you think you are?” I thought to myself. Frankly, I’d be lucky to find someone just to bounce ideas off from time to time.
But surely I can create an imaginary board. The meetings would all be in my head. I would picture myself having coffee or walking alongside of a board member, and asking him or her: “What would you do given the same situation?” I would then put myself in his or her shoes, and answer the question in his or her perspective. I would play the role seriously, taking their background, upbringing, field of excellence and their perceived political and social values into consideration, even their clothing and talking habits, and answer the question the way they would if they were really there.
I plan to start with 5 imaginary board members. You always want an odd number of people so you have a tiebreaker. Initially, I wanted all dead people. This way, I don’t have to worry about running into one of them on the street and feel that I know the person intimately since I’ve had countless imaginary conversations with him or her already. It would be embarrassing and somewhat creepy. But then I thought that the chance of running into one of them is very remote and I don’t want to miss out on opinions of my contemporaries, so I decided to include living board members as well.
Having these living board members made me unsure about sharing their names here on this blog. But then, what is an anonymous blog for? Plus, it’s not like I have many visitors. So here are my current imaginary board members in the order of their birthday:
- Peter the Great
- My Great-Grandma
- Louis Cha (Jin Yong)
- Malcolm Gladwell
- Gwyneth Paltrow
Now if I have a problem to address or a critical decision to make, I can consult with my board. I would meet up with each one separately to get their thoughts, then present my case to the entire group. Then I would accept and implement whatever the outcome of the meeting. Since it is ultimately ME in the voice and experience of these people, the decision is ultimately my own decision. And if it is a wrong one, at least it would be a well-thought-out one, and I can live with the consequences.