This article was first published on The Super Age blog
The world is moving fast. The fire hose of information and around the clock news has created anxiety in society. Those best able to handle the onslaught possess what author Thomas Friedman describes as “dynamic stability”. He writes,
“There is only one way to thrive now, and it’s by finding and creating your own eye. The eye of a hurricane moves, along with the storm. It draws energy from it, while creating a sanctuary of stability inside it.”
Faced with decades-longer lives and the financial consequences, aging generations must have a willingness to become collaborative participants in a quickly evolving world. To thrive there is an imperative for agility and it will become a critical skill set for anyone who doesn’t want to be left behind.
“Making the most of a long and multi-stage life means taking transitions in your stride. Being flexible, acquiring new knowledge, exploring new ways of thinking, seeing the world from a different perspective, coming to terms with changes in power, letting go of old associates and building new networks.”
For many, retirement is now a myth, and the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing workplace is fundamental.
Way back in 1997, Max Comfort (his real name) coined the term “Portfolio People” and published a book of the same name. His theory described a career pattern that was becoming more common with the phenomenon of multi-tasking. He wrote that workers would no longer expect lifetime employment with one employer or in one type of job and there would likely be more part-time or multi-time working. Today, entrepreneurship, side-gigs, multiple professional commitments, are all in the mix as the world has become more connected and dependencies more fluid.
Easy enough you say? The truth is, changing baked-in patterns of how things should be requires techniques to see opportunities through “fresh eyes”.
The Mindset Movement
With origins in the self-actualization movements of the 60’s and 70’s, today’s personal and professional development leaders are elevating the idea of Fixed Mindset vs. a Growth Mindset.
The thinking goes that a “Growth Mindset” challenges the subject. Their point of view is:
- I can get better
- I can always improve
- A great chance to develop skills
- A year ago I wouldn’t have done this well.
The “Fixed Mindset” views new experiences as a threat. Their point of view is
- What if I’m not good?
- Maybe I don’t have the skills
- I could make mistakes
- Others may do it better.
These ideas combined with the adoption of mindfulness techniques are creating a more open-minded generation addressing change and transitions in their lives.
Without a doubt, cycles of change are moving ever faster. Those best able to nimbly move from event to event will weather the transitions best. An openness to adapting will separate those who thrive from those unwilling to change.