I can’t help but notice the signs more and more that some kind of global awakening is taking place in our world; you’re probably noticing it too.
What's a global awakening? For me, it's a move on a noticeable, global scale, person-by-person, towards living better lives, lives that love us back, love the earth back, love all human beings back. Towards living our individual truths whatever they may be and helping others to live theirs too.
It’s a move towards our true nature as human beings really i.e. truth, love and growth.
I'm avidly interested in the state of the world in this way, so as I’m moving around the world, I’m talking to a lot of different people, taking in a lot of different situations and noticing the commonalities and trends across it all. I’m no statistician and this is not an in-depth, statistical analysis…but here are some changes I’m noticing in the world that would suggest that there's a movement where we’re all waking up to our truths more and more.
Passion Over Security
Choosing passion and happiness over money and security is becoming more and more normal. Whether it’s because we’ve seen the proof that a steady job and a mortgage doesn’t necessarily mean you’re secure for life anyway (downturns in economies, mass lay-offs, fluctuating interest rates and property markets) or because we now know those things don’t automatically buy us happiness anyway, more and more people are steering the direction of their lives based on passion, not security. You can see it is in the rise of entrepreneurship/start-ups/online business/small business, you can see it in the rise in the number of people living nomadic or flexible lives.
With computers and automation predicted to make many, many jobs redundant in the coming years, it seems it might be smart to have a crack at doing that thing you’re passionate about now; building the dream business, becoming an expert in the thing you are passionate about, creating a new role for yourself in your company that actually fulfills you, because you might not have a choice soon anyway. According to the Guardian, "The coming wave of automation, currently stalled because our social infrastructure cannot bear the consequences, will hugely diminish the amount of work needed – not just to subsist but to provide a decent life for all." It seems automation will uncover the truth in all of us; one day soon we’ll no longer be able to hide behind jobs we don’t care about, a computer might be doing that job for you. We’ll have no choice but to share our true talents with the world.
We no longer need to just survive or feel secure, we need to fulfill our passions and life purpose.
Power of The Big Guys Corroding
We seem to question big companies more and more these days; with so much choice and information thanks to the Internet, in a lot of areas, we now have the power to go elsewhere. And there always seems to be someone clever figuring out a fairer, cheaper, smarter way of doing business whether it's in banking, online shopping, renting, transport. It seems like we’re less under the control of the big guys thanks to the sharing economy, the Internet and pure innovation in the way we do things.
Rise in Long-Term Travel, Mobility and Flexibility
Anecdotally, I feel like everyone I know is suddenly picking up and deciding to take a break from their normal life – temporarily or permanently. 'I'm moving to Japan for a year', 'I'm going on a never-ending surf trip', ‘I’m taking a career break’, ‘I’m going to run my business from Bali for a few months’ are all statements I've heard from friends and family in the last month.
The point is not that everyone now wants or needs to travel the world full-time or forever, the point is that we now have a choice. We can connect with on-the-ground jobs and contracts in foreign lands through the Internet and innovative agencies like WorkAway. We can do so many jobs remotely now thanks to the Internet. We can find people all over the world online to buy our products, read our blog posts, hire us as coaches and consultants. A luxury previously reserved for the select rich and famous, mobility is something many can now enjoy. And this is a luxury that inspires us, exposes us to new ideas and people, it helps us to thrive more.
Authenticity and Getting Real
Where before our information was limited to mass media and traditional advertising, real people like bloggers now have a voice; many now have more influence and reach than magazines for example. Authenticity is being rewarded and lauded in so many ways. A lot of the bloggers who come out on top seem to be those that are more and more willing to let go of ego and perfection, who are willing to have fun, and show their real, flawed selves. This is being rewarded, humans connect with this, these bloggers are the ones with the huge audiences, the ones getting paid and getting their message out into the world.
The move towards authenticity is visible in the business world too, where traditional advertising is being overtaken by content marketing; people respond better to real stories delivered by real people, over a well constructed corporate advertising message.
Experiences, Not Things
Milennials are leading the way to lives where everything is shared, rented or borrowed, not owned. Whether it’s out of necessity (our generation just can’t afford it) or choice, everything from home ownership, car ownership, to TV ownership is on a downward trend and the sharing economy with an endless supply of companies like airbnb and Zipcar are making it a whole lot easier to only use and pay for things when you need them.
This has two benefits the way I see it, 1) we don’t have to spend our lives paying off these big things, spending money, time and energy maintaining them and staying in the one place with them to keep an eye on them and make sure we ‘get our money’s worth’ 2) We’re forced to realise we don’t need them, that security and happiness must come from within, not from external, material things.
Rise in Interest in Spirituality
There’s no question that Western interest in spirituality, yoga, meditation, astrology, mindfulness, the cosmos etc. has blown up. It’s even now coming to the point where it’s cool to flaunt your spirituality. It’s cool to wear your yoga pants to weekend brunch, people are responding to modern spiritual sites like The Numinous, Google Trends tells us people searching are things like ‘mindfulness’ more than ever before, gurus like Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle are becoming household names, Oprah’s life is now pretty much dedicated to interviewing spiritual teachers, people will ask your star sign alongside asking about your hometown and job.
How many people do you now know who actively practice and are comfortable openly talking about yoga and meditation? In contrast to even just a few years ago, it’s so much more present in our lives, and I think the growth will be exponential, speeding up as times goes on.
We’re now asking questions of the world’s supply chains; we want to know where our clothes, food, everything comes from.
We want to know that everyone in the chain, including people, animals and the planet are being fairly treated. We're no longer content to put just anything in or on our bodies and homes. We’re aware of the energy of products and people and how they affect our own energy. We're becoming conscious of everything we consume.
And you can see the results of this shift in the world in many ways; the French government continues to support the growth of the organic farming industry. More and more European countries are banning the genetically modified corn produced by Monsanto. The conversation around ethical fashion and the exploitation of garment workers is getting louder with organisations like Fashion Revolution and mainstream documentaries like The True Cost. Products that are 'organic', 'handmade', 'ethical', 'conscious' are so well-received by consumers nowadays they're found on supermarket shelves and sold by mass retailers. Equally there are many examples of countries, governments, people slow to change but it seems we're lifting the lid on a lot of things at a greater rate than ever before.
What do you think? Can we be optimistic about waking up and the state of the world? Comment on Instagram if you've got some thoughts on the subject!