We are in a time of unprecedented turbulence, at the conjunction of changes in geopolitics, technology, demographics and the universal existential threat to our environment. The status quo has gone absent.
We need to step into our own authority, to be the genuine author of our own lives.
In his introduction to “The Alchemist” Paulo Coelho identifies four barriers that stop us; firstly that we are told from childhood that everything we want to do is impossible; secondly that we will hurt those around us if we set off on the path we want to follow; thirdly the fear of the defeats we will encounter along the way and lastly the guilt and fear of realising what we have always wanted. (If you haven’t read it, put it on your list – it is a beautiful little book)
More prosaically, we talk about the path from dependence, through independence to interdependence. Each state is largely a choice, with the hurdles above looming in front of us.
The turbulence we are in is key. All of us in the West alive today have been brought up in conditions where dependence has been encouraged – reward for conformity. Dependence on an employer, or the state. Independence achieved either by climbing to the top of the pile, or becoming an outlier and abandoning the pile altogether. True interdependence largely countered by a culture of competition.
In the very near future we will find out who is right about the impact of Artificial Intelligence – those who say it will destroy jobs, or those who say it will create them. Whoever is right though, it seems sensible to hedge our bets.
To identify what it is we really want to do, or are prepared to commit to, wholeheartedly.
To seek mastery of something that gives us independence, and allows us to make a choice with whom, and for what purpose, we are willing to be interdependent.
To step into our own authority.