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The Desiderata for Projects


You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
(from “The Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, 1927)

My brother Jim gave me a poster with the Desiderata poem on it for Christmas when I was a kid. The poem was quoted by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau when his government lost its majority in the 1972 federal election; he said, “The universe is unfolding as it should.”

Morgan Freeman told Oprah Winfrey that the Desiderata shaped his life.

If you are in the middle of a project or two, the Desiderata has some good advice for projects, as well, such as:

  • Project Risk: Do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. (Remember the Utility Theory of Risk.)
  • Project Communications: Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others.
  • Project Integration: And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. (Useful to remember when we’re keeping the project together.)
  • Project Human Resources: Enjoy your achievements, as well as your plans. (Remember to build in those recognitions and awards and never forget project planning!)

Brenda Fay

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