We’ve all heard the saying “good things come to those who wait.” It’s hard to believe this to be true when it seems that the world may be on the verge of collapse.
But look at the last two decades: the events of 9/11, then the Great Recession, followed now by the Covid pandemic. We as a country, and globally, have consistently pulled ourselves up by the proverbial bootstraps to begin yet another Phoenix rising.
Consider the Great Resignation, coming out of this pandemic. Business Insider recently reported that 95% of people surveyed were thinking about quitting their job. One-third suggested that burnout was their reasoning behind this. I suspect the reason, or reasons, are deeper than burnout. We’re on a precipice of something…something communal, something epic.
All processes of nature are forcing us to spring forward from hardship and uncertainty into a greater future. Spiraling forward in our personal and planetary development (just like adolescence or the midlife renewal process), we must accomplish required developmental tasks if we are to move through the sequential stages of our life course—our time here on earth.
Our world is undergoing a major cleanup. A major tug of war encompasses the globe. As always, it’s about power and control over resources, peoples, and landmass. Pushed past its natural limits, our planet, and life as we know it, is destined to break down. Self-correcting, the earth always jumps into the next phase of her development. If we move quickly to take collaborative action, we will move from breakdown into breakthrough in the U.S.A and around the world, as well as to preserve Mother Earth. Best hurry or we could very well morph into something we never intended. And something I, certainly, don’t want.
The swing of the pendulum in this cycle of change is far greater than in 2000 or 2008. The real question we all need to ask is: how wide and lasting a swing is this?
It’s been since just before I was born that this same demonic cycle had been stopped in motion. Who ever thought we’d see this again? That was before we knew about cyclical change. Not even 100 years have passed, yet here we are again at the quintessential battle-ground with lines drawn between “good” and “evil” and “the light” versus “the dark.” Taking on the personae of our own treasured Star Wars hero and heroine, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leah, we too will have to step up and out, willing to join against the demonic Darth Vader and his evil forces to save our world and our very way of life.
Rallying, marching, organizing, boycotting, speaking out, running for office, voting and more is our modern-day Kryptonite against the powers of evil. Our joining will sap the power of the demonic forces of the far right/alt right until this cycle completes itself or aborts on its own, due to the fomenting civil unrest mounting day by day.
All generations are afflicted with this renewed malaise and many of us are going back to the basics: seeking more meaning and quality time. Some of us have been forced to downsize as we have lost clients or contracts or have been outplaced or forced into early retirement. Others are coming out of retirement and having to retread their lives. Some are leaving high-paced lives and choosing new lifestyles and directions in favor of lives that give them greater freedom and flexibility.
Whether you’re focused on your job, determined to lead your company through these tough times, making a difference in your community, or simply wanting more time with your loved ones, major change is in the offing—and it is time you learn tools for reinventing yourself and your professional life and identity. If you wait for others to define you, you will miss your chance to fully realize who you are and what is possible.
As with any venture or journey, we need to know where we are headed, how to get there, what to take with us or leave behind, and what to do once we get there. So, if you aspire to greatness, craft your own personal definition to guide you into the future. And if you are leading others, be sure to communicate your vision so that together you can create an extraordinary future.
As Abraham Maslow, renowned father of the human potential movement, explained, there is a developmental hierarchy of needs. The lower rungs are safety and survival-based needs; once those needs are addressed, the pathway is open for greater self-actualizing and transcendent understanding. Indeed, as a long time ICF and CCE Master & Board Certified Coach and strategic consultant, I see more and more accomplished clients and readers who have fulfilled their basic shelter and food needs and are looking for greater purpose and meaning, demanding authentic communication and connection. Having realized success at great personal cost, they look for a more balanced marriage of their work, family, and personal lives. Their new priority is to have time for what really matters most.
What better antidote could there be for a world of accelerating chaos? Our current model of win-and-consume-at-all-costs is damaging both to individuals and the planet, and multitudes are now beginning to question developed countries’—especially America’s—way of doing business, and the very real threat of plutocracy and tyranny as populism threatens to overthrow the rule of law. As we face the challenges of our conflict-ridden and increasingly fast-paced lives, a new paradigm is being born.
We are in fact in the throes of a shakeup…and shake out down to our very core. We, each of us—all of us—are being besieged by new threats in the world and are responding by asking, “How can we make the world more whole? How can I make choices that benefit the world and not only myself? How can I lead in a way that is keeping with my values?” As we look toward greater balance, we are potentially moving toward the creation of an enlightened leadership that no longer focuses on the bottom-line only, but rather the Triple Bottom Line of people, planet, and profits.
Live your life more consciously and authentically: this will bring society as-a-whole along for the ride. Creating a better life for yourself makes ripples that move throughout the world, elevating and improving our way of being.
Not to worry. We are right on time. We are on the verge of a process of renewal.
Do your best to be patient, resilient, and relevant in these VUCA times.