Close your eyes. Let your mind wander. Back, back, back in time. A little further. 

There.

It’s 1985 or so. You’re in first grade, and you are confused. 

The teacher at the front of the room says it’s time to put away your art project for the day and get ready for language arts period. But that doesn’t make sense to you. You want to say, “Wait. I’m not done yet.” You’ve only had 30 minutes to work on your paper mâché fish, and you were just getting into it. The teacher tells you again it’s time to stop. She instructs you to open up your thick workbook, the one you don’t particularly like.

Or, perhaps you’re at recess. It’s a gorgeous fall day.

You and your friends had designed an elaborate game with a very intricate scoring system, something like Calvinball from Calvin and Hobbes. But it’s time to go in for math period. The bell has rung. You kick the dirt, frustrated. 

There was no way for you, at the age of six, to explain the problem: your school had relentlessly compartmentalized the learning students were supposed to be doing each day, and it felt so odd to you. Why the constant switching? Why was learning broken into pieces?

During the k-12 journey and on into undergraduate programs and beyond, why are we not taught to think about the integrated whole? The emotional aspects of being human? I’ve never understood it.

For example, in high school:

  • You learned algebra, geometry, trigonometry but not budgeting, investing, taxes
  • You learned economics, geography, and history but rarely anything about how other countries understand these subjects 
  • You attended a PE, music, or computer class but not a meditation, emotional wellbeing, or authenticity class 

The same principle holds in most MBA programs. 

Roger Martin, former Dean of the Roman School of Management at the University of Toronto, recently said, “Business schools do not teach the fundamental problems of business. What they teach are finance, what they teach is marketing, they teach us HR. As the greatest management thinker of all time, Peter Drucker said, ‘There are no marketing problems, there are no finance problems, there are no accounting problems, there are only business problems.’”

Peter Drucker was onto something. Just like you were when you were six years old.

A New Way of Being

You can open your eyes now. The Age of Aquarius is upon us; the Age of Pisces is over. We were long taught that we were supposed to be learning in chunks, in pieces, via separateness. After we graduated and moved on to the working world, we were expected to be an expert in one piece of a larger puzzle. We were never taught about oneness; and though many of us intuited the interconnectedness of all things, we usually left the notion unexplored. 

Well, hold onto your hats, my friends, because all of this is about to change. We are on the cusp of seeing the world much more holistically. Where people were once deliberately divided, they will again come together for the good of all beings. There will be new possibilities in the air, new jobs, and new relationships as the 2020s unfold. 

But first, some questions: Will you fight the changes? Or will you slowly walk toward them with a sense of peace and curiosity? Are you prepared emotionally to shed the old and embrace the new in your life? In your work?

The phoenix is rising for Earth in 2021. The signs are all around us. For me, they’ve manifested in the book I’ll be releasing on January 1. Without me even asking for it or discussing it with her, my talented designer presented me with a powerful image of a phoenix rising for my cover art. Instead of questioning her, I chose to meditate on it and saw that her choice—and her strong conviction that the choice was aligned with my mission—was perfect. 

As we all begin to experience a complete shedding of societal norms, mores, old ways of being, and old habits that don’t serve us anymore, we will begin rising—begin standing up—as our more authentic selves. The highest and best version of what we choose to be.

You were taught separateness. What’s coming is something quite different. 

Humans are formulating new mindsets to see the interconnectivity of everything…the whole. From viewing your life in fragments or buckets, as in, “work bucket,” “family bucket,” “school bucket,” we’ve been asked in 2020 to do it all at once, to connect all the dots. Yes, it’s been difficult. But we did it. We lived in the overlap.

Today, we have the world’s information available for free at our fingertips; for the first time in human history, you can be and do anything you desire. So it’s our work to get very curious about what that thing might be. As Peter Drucker, again, so eloquently put it, “The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.” 

To me, the wrong question to be asking right now is: “How do I return to the old normal?”

An Invitation to Wholeness

As 2020 has taught us, what matters most in terms of our success and overall wellbeing is our personal capacity for managing change. That means, for many, they now work from anywhere, with kids schooling at home. We’ve experienced the loss of habits, routines, work, and loved ones. And we’ve just started to overcome the burnout of taking unnecessary action, of saying yes when we really mean no.

The first quarter of 2021 will bring the destruction of that which is selfish, confrontational, aggressive, and unwilling to compromise. We are likely to see extremism, violence, polarization, and misinformation. Our political systems may change; an economic crisis is likely. But don’t despair. In the second and third quarters of next year, we begin healing and evolving quickly. Societies will begin to move forward constructively. Most people will be doing business mainly online. During this shift, the goal is to start identifying with people who are not like yourself and bring empathy, compassion, higher ideals, optimism, and hope to conversations with them.

During the final part of next year, people will begin to see just how connected we all are: people to people, people to plants, people to animals, and people to Earth. We’ll start a multi-year journey toward a more humane world. The world is changing for the better, even if it is not easy for us to see right now.

Thus, the invitation I have for you is simple:

  1. Stop doing ANYTHING that doesn’t bring you joy; slow down. Do less. End the relationship, change jobs, start a business, share your emotions, meditate, do yoga, or sit in nature.
  2. Experiment with more things you enjoy doing.

You’re being given a chance right now. Society is being given a chance. I invite you to question everything, to make different choices. Make choices that are meaningful to you. 

Rise.

I’ll meet you up there.

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