Adaptability in a point and click world!
The pace, unpredictability and intensity of change in the world is most likely going to increase. The 1996 Telecom Reform Act connected the world via fiber optic cable, pretty much ending the Industrial Age in America. With this, we now live in what is often referred to as the "Knowledge Age" and the world is moving fast. You can see the middle class shrinking as jobs are outsourced to India, China and developing nations. We hear politicians promise better education but the simple truth is China and India both have more honor students than we have students all-together. An MBA in a developing nation will work for $12 per hour, per task, per report, per job. Walk around the malls during the holidays and nobody is carrying bags from a purchase as with a point and click UPS and FEDex trucks are drop shipping gifts and goods at your doorstep. Goods made in China, Korea, Japan or Indonesia yet many believe a "job" is guaranteed in the United States. People, we manufacture nothing and our government is printing monopoly money. The supply of U.S. Currency has quadrupled in seven years as some believe we need a $15 minimum wage with no grasp the magic printing press is what enslaves us all while fueling inflation. Now, it's pretty amazing the US Post Office figured out how to lose $4.5 billion in this day and age, but I digress... The ways we work, play, eat, communicate and live will continue to shift in dramatic, unpredictable and in radical fashions. The technology you use and study in year one of college is often obsolete by year three. A new iPhone comes out every few months! Certain variables like climate change, digital technology, politics and a social atmosphere are just too numerous, to expansive and often intersecting for anyone to be able to create a model or forecast what's going to happen next. Today we have Baby Boomers getting back into the work force because they didn't keep up with the rules of money or the evolution of a global economic paradigm. The days of predicting change are largely over, all we can do is create educated guesses about the impact of all of these forces on our economy, ecology, culture and in day to day life. The question for each person, each individual is simple: "How does one prepare for multiple potential realities created by a point and click, ten second attention span world?" The answer is also very simple: All of us need to read more, take care of our bodies, hearts and souls while developing a larger capactiy for adaptability. The more you learn, the more you must realize how much you do not know. That's a fact! This should inspire you to seek mentors, coaches or trainers. This should help keep your focus on health, wellness and eating right. Think about this, when is the last time a friend mentioned you should read a certain book or watch a documentary? Did you listen and go do it? Even some of the most successful people I know are constantly pushing limits, hungry for more knowledge and often getting after new exercise programs. Part of developing adaptability is to in-fact push known boundaries and to be innovative. Elite athletes have multiple coaches and are always learning new ways to do a little more and perform better. The same is true for successful people, when something isn't broken, sometimes you have to break it and develop stronger capacities for excellence. 1) Resiliency: The very nature of change can be stressful. Building physical health and immunity is essential. Deepening mental and psycho-emotional equanimity is also vital. Developing skills helping to manage yourself and others through times of challenge or adversity is key. You have to learn to "flow like water" in a sense, with no need to control or even "know" what's next. You see, resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive and in my bubble help others adapt and do the same. When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience. Often, it is only when we are faced with failure or imminent change when we realize these resources and a certain potential were always within us. 2) Purpose: In a world where the “what” and the “how” of reality are virtually impossible to predict, you can always focus on the underlying “why” of your life. Regardless of what circumstances emerge, you can always tap into a bigger sense of purpose knowing your own personal potential. Create a "why" statement for business and life, then get after it with zero need for perfection. I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we're all teachers - if we're willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door. 3) Empathy: It’s safe to assume you are not going to be the only human being experiencing unpredictable circumstances. Aim to acknowledge and address the needs and challenges of others. Focus on building relationships around compassion rather than control; emphasize collaboration and interdependence over hierarchy. Look for solutions minimizing stress "downstream" and upon peripheral systems. Expand a sense of “you” to include not just immediate relationships but a larger local or global community! Empathy is about standing in someone else's shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place. Ultimately, the greatest rewards earned while developing capacities like these is that they will serve you just as well in the next few days, weeks, and years as they will in whatever reality the unpredictable future may hold. This is so important, because the only reality we can truly influence and enjoy is right here in the present moment. Just my .03cents today!