Sometimes it seems like all we hear these days is talk of the tough economy. I actually conducted a little sociological experiment this weekend, and counted up how many times I heard people refer to the economy in a negative way. I got 43 hits, even though I stayed home quite a bit.
There is, of course, some objective measurable truth to all of this depressing talk. If you own a house, it's probably worth considerably less than it was five years ago. If you own a business, you may be making less money than you were, and you may have even been faced with the difficult decision of laying off some of your employees. If you're an investor in the stock market, you may have seen your portfolio go down in value.
But not everybody these days is having a terrible time. I've conducted another little amateur sociological experiment over the last several weeks. I asked a lot of my colleagues -- writers, teachers, seminar leaders -- how they would evaluate their year so far, not just financially, but according to a broader spectrum of measurement. How are your relationships? How's your creativity? How's your health? How much are you living your deepest vision? I'm a member of two extraordinary mens' groups, one where I live in Nevada City, and another that I travel to in Marin County. I asked this question at the recent meeting of the Transformational Leadership Council. More than half the people I asked told me that 2010 was proving to be their best year ever, myself included.
I hear people ask a lot on the blogosphere and in the media, "How long is this recession going to last? When are we going to go back to where we were?" Well, here's a shocking question for you now. What if we never, ever, ever go back to where we were? What if the old game is now coming to an end, and a whole different way of relating with each other financially and energetically is emerging?
Let's cast our mind back for a moment to the early part of the twentieth century, and imagine that one of your ancestors was in the business of shoeing horses or making saddles. Looking at the increasing popularity of the motor car, your ancestor might have asked his friends and neighbors, "How long is this going to last? When will things go back to the way they were?" For someone completely immersed in anything to do with horses -- shoeing them, building saddles for them, operating stables for them, cleaning up their droppings from the road -- those years would have looked like a tough economy. For Henry Ford, it was boom time. You can extrapolate what I just said in many ways. The 80's were probably a terrible time for people involved in the gramophone record industry. The Great Depression in the 30's, which hit not only the United States but Europe as well, was a truly terrible time for most people but it was also the period when discount stores first got off the ground, and many other new things were born.
You get my point. Every area of decline is experienced by somebody as a period of growth, rebirth and opportunity. I got really interested to ask myself, and other people like me who are experiencing that this is their best year ever, what are the keys to thriving in this new economy?
From interviews and conversations with these "thrivers" I've been able to identify twelve primary qualities of thriving in the new economy, as well as as many as 20 other sub-qualities. A lot of these qualities are really easy to understand and assimilate, starting today.
Over the next weeks, I'll be offering a series of blog posts and free tele-seminars, with a series of expert guests, on how to thrive in the new economy. Here are the twelve primary themes that I'll be elaborating on in the series, starting in a few weeks.
1. Question your mind.
Pretty much everything you think you know about work and money has been conditioned by the old game, the one that is declining. Thrivers like Hale Dwoskin, the author of "The Sedona Method," realize that we become wise through letting go.
2. Discover your deeper nature.
Everyone I've spoken to who is thriving has found a way to tap into a dimension of themselves beyond the personality, beyond the mind, beyond the personal story. We can call that a moment of "awakening." Thrivers like Eckhart Tolle place awakening as the highest value.
3. Recognize your unique gift.
As we just begin to hover in the realm of awakening, a unique gift starts to emerge: your real reason for being here. Thrivers help others to discover their true gift.
4. Recognize and respond to opportunity.
People who thrive in the new economy work less with initiation, intention, and effort, and more with the relaxed ability to recognize and respond to the opportunities that come to them. Thrivers like Jack Canfield have learned the magic of "just say yes."
5. Excel at what you do.
A number of books written in the past few years point to the fact that greatness and success are often simply a function of just repeating the same skills over and over until you get good at them. Thrivers like Stewart Emery have studied the secret mechanics of greatness.
6. Wake up your intuition.
Thrivers have, for the most part, recognized that logically working things out, balancing the pros and cons, is a much less effective way of giving your gift than tapping into a dimension where you "just know." Thrivers like Sonia Choquette help people live from just knowing.
7. Be yourself.
It's an old platitude, but today it's more than just good advice, it's an undeniable foundation for thriving. The proliferation of social media has made authenticity more appealing than slick advertising. Thrivers like Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks realize that you don't need a rehearsal to be who you are.
8. Enough is enough.
Our interest in unlimited wealth, which made the topics of manifesting and the law of attraction so interesting just a few years ago, have now become oh-so-2005. Thrivers have come to enjoy the word enough: enough money, enough toys, enough of everything to be happy and give my gift. Thrivers like Lynn Twist expound the wisdom of sufficiency.
9. Be guided by greatness.
People who thrive in the new economy have discovered that learning is not just a phase you go through as a young person. It's a life-long attitude to thriving. To be able to remain a learner, you simply need to put yourself in dialog with people who can do things better than you can. Thrivers like John Assaraf realize that coaching and mentoring are the short-cuts to a life of meaning.
10. Fuel the fire.
Thrivers have learned not to push the body past where it wants to go. They've canceled their subscription to Red Bull, lunches on the run and working until late in the night. They know how to replenish their energy while it is being used. Thrivers like Stephen Josephs and Anat Baniel teach business owners how to stay energetically topped-up.
11. Experience the richness of giving.
The old economy was based on the mathematics of lack. "You can only cut a pie so many ways." Secrecy, campaigns launched with military precision and going into price war with the competition were the testosterone-driven ways. Thrivers like Ivan Misner, the founder Business Network International, have recognized that when your focus is on giving back more than you take, thriving is an inevitable byproduct.
12. Embrace the return of the Goddess.
You may have noticed that we are now witnessing a huge resurgence of feminine energy after thousands of years of the domination of the masculine. Thrivers like Marianne Williamson celebrate and welcome the return of the feminine.
As I've said, this is not an exhaustive list. We could come up with a dozen more "thriver's qualities" in a finger-snap.
I put on a great tele-seminar on August 26th. We went into each of these 12 primary qualities of thriving in more detail. You can register below for the replay.
If you register for this event, I'll let you know as soon as the twelve week series is scheduled to start.