January 29, 2009

Interview with Michael Green: The Man Behind the Day Zero Project (1)

by Diar Adhihafsari - 2002

Earlier, I encouraged you to set more concrete goals, whether in personal life or in organization life by, one of the so many ways, modelling the Day Zero Project. I also promised you my interview with Michael Green, the man behind the said project. May you be inspired after reading our two-part interview :)

Michael Green, who lives in Auckland, New Zealand, is an Information Technologist, yet his real passions are Latin American culture, good cinema and music, and exploring the wilderness of his own country. He's interested in all things inspirational and the pursuit of happiness. Since then, he started the Day Zero Project site (http://dayzeroproject.com) to involve others in an experimental journey in motivation and self improvement. In this first part of our interview, he talks about how the origin of Day Zero showed up.

Diar (D): How did you first come up with this amazing project?

Michael (M): I would love to take all the credit for coming up with such a simple concept, however the true origin is not known but appears to predate the blogging phenomenon. I originally saw a post about 6 years ago where a blogger was attempting to complete a list of 101 things in 1001 days. I was instantly attracted to notion that you could create a challenging plan for your immediate future -- in a sense a game where you are competing against yourself. After about nine months of casual brainstorming of ideas for my own list, I wrote up the mission, criteria, and goal setting tips that have now been been proliferated across thousands of websites and used as the template for participants around the world.

Last year, a reader traced the earliest reference to an old teen TV show Breaker High from 1997 -- starring a young Ryan Gosling who had list he was completing using the same basic premise.

D: Why 101 things? And why 1001 days?

M: I see the idea of 1001 days as one of the most appealing aspects of the project as it overcomes the major failing of the popular 'Things To Do Before You Die' lists. Two and three-quarter years is a relatively short period of time where you can identify things you want to achieve in your life right now. It can be a burst of motivation that gives people the inspiration to take immediate action in their lives. From experience, many participants have found that even over 2-3 years, your goals and ambitions in life can change dramatically. This is to be expected in life and rather than see this as a negative against the project, I prefer to highlight this as a sign that the project is evolving your personality and direction in life. Maybe you won't end up doing all the tasks on your list, but you will know more about what you really want to achieve by the end of it.

D: What was your initial intention in forming this project?

M: Almost every goal setting guru will tell you that one of the most important things you should do is to write your goals down. This is the first step to making them a reality. The act of writing a list is a revelation for a lot of people -- it is surprisingly common to have no plan or goals at all for the next 2-3 years in the future. By starting this project, I was interested in both putting pressure on myself to complete some mostly trivial tasks and also in seeking out new experiences.

Next up: As he's the man behind this gorgeous project, you may wonder whether or not he's still doing the said project himself now? Watch for the answer (and more) in the second part of the interview :)

0 comment(s):