In a blog titled "Something Extraordinary Is Happening in the World, and Most People Haven't Noticed" Brazilian entrepreneur Gustavo Tanaka listed 8 reasons why he believes that the world as we know it is changing - and that it is a good thing.
His blog has been widely shared, so clearly his message has resonated with many. I am one of them and I felt compelled to share 8 examples that validate how these changes are playing out in a human life. Mine, to be more precise.
1. No one can stand the employment model any longer.
After 12 years of senior leadership roles in the corporate world, I looked myself in the mirror one day and asked "Am I still making a difference or am I caught up in the corporate spin wheel, endlessly running and no longer knowing why?"
The answer from the woman in the mirror triggered a chain of events. I said goodbye to the corner office and the "golden handcuffs", jumped off the spin wheel and started my own company; helping leaders create inspired corporate cultures where people really feel they make a difference with what they do.
It was the best choice of my life.
2. The entrepreneurship model is also changing
Becoming an entrepreneur was beyond scary and to some appeared an insane choice. I left my safe job, sold my house and moved from Oslo, Norway to big vibrant London to build my dream. A year later my co-founder joined; she shared my dream and was also willing to risk it all to make it work. Together we became a company we loved working for.
We know we have the ideas, the skills and the passionate will to do this. As most entrepreneurs we are building the road as we are walking on it, learning from our mistakes as we are making them, and above all; keeping our relentless optimism and enthusiasm intact while never losing sight of the big dream. The big dream of a corporate spring and better work lives for all.
Investors have made us offers but we have continued to choose freedom over security.
We might have a few regrets, but building our own dream instead of being hired to build someone else's dream definitely won't be one of them.
3. The rise of collaboration
The world is changing rapidly so the way we work, lead and operate needs to change accordingly. In a highly complex and rapidly evolving economy, a vibrant corporate culture has become a business essential and a prerequisite for growth.
Still, most business leaders struggle with it and 9 out of 10 workers say they are not engaged in their jobs as a consequence. This is bad news for business, and bad news for people's quality of life.
This needs to change and change fast. Those of us who are passionately driven to make these changes need to know about, support and help each other.
"Who are your competitors" people ask. "We don't have competitors, we have collaborators, and we need a whole lot more of them!" is my reply.
4. We are finally figuring out what the internet is
When I first started my company, Skype became my new best friend and I spent my first months speaking with clients in Europe, US and Asia on daily basis from my kitchen table in Oslo.
Today, living in buzzing London, with clients and collaborators from all around the world accessible in person and online, the world is our oyster, our laptops are our offices and flexibility is our business model and way of life. New and interesting people and connections keep showing up in our lives through social media; like this Brazilian blogger on the other side of the world - thinking, feeling and seeing the same things as we are. We need to talk!
The world is getting smaller, we are getting wiser and more connected, and much of it is thanks to the internet!
5. The fall of exaggerated consumerism
I used to have a black belt in shopping, but somewhere on the way I lost interest in buying things I don't really need. I still do like to acquire beautiful things now and then, but the ethical aspects of things are now considered alongside with price and looks.
I'm a big fan of Uber, AirBnb and the sharing economy and I love the freedom renting instead of owning is giving me.
I've realized that having too many things weighed me down. Travelling through life with as little baggage as possible is wonderfully liberating, and collecting experiences over things gives me a much richer life.
6. Healthy and organic eating.
My healthier-me journey started with an ambition of losing weight two years ago and quickly grew into an entirely new way of relating to food.
Delicious, organic and pure foods are welcome into my body, foods that are obviously bad for me or that contain suspicious ingredients I can't pronounce I avoid.
I love buying from local farmers, and supporting ethical, healthy food-production feels good for my soul.
30 pounds weight loss in 6 months without dieting made me realize how screwed up the food and weight loss industry is. When I stopped dieting and started indulging in delicious healthy food (which includes wine, champagne and chocolate btw) I finally got the body I always knew I was supposed to have.
7. The Awakening of Spirituality
Having grown up in a home where science was the only God, the journey into my own spirituality has been a bumpy ride, to put it mildly.
I am not much into religions. I don't think there are any easily comprehensible answers to the questions we all ask. However, I do believe there is more to life than what we can touch, measure and scientifically prove, that some things can only be felt and not seen, and that life gets more beautiful and exciting when we invite a little bit of magic into it.
As Albert Einstein said : "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
I'll go for the miracles any day.
8. Un-schooling trend
When we consider all the changes happening around and within us, how are we preparing our children for the world they will be living in when they grow up? Well, we can't, but we can at least try to wire them for handling the unknown, help them learn and grow, encourage their curiosity and creativity and inspire their beliefs and ambitions of creating a better world than the one they were born into.
When my 16 years old daughter enrolled in school in London, we were not prepared for the old-fashioned educational culture she would be forced to accept. So after 6 months we agreed for her to embark on a different kind of learning journey; this has involved creating her own education, taking online courses and pursuing her own passions and talents instead of showing up in an uninspiring and outdated school environment, designed to create copies instead of originals.
At age 18, she is now a small business owner, inspired singer and songwriter, curious learner and fabulous dreamer. Letting her grow into who she can be instead of fitting her into something she's not and doesn't want to be, is the best gift we could give both to her and to the world she is helping shape.
I hope these examples will inspire others to share their stories too. Thank you to Gustavo Tanaka for starting the conversation. His blog has just made many more people notice that there is indeed something extraordinary happening in the world right now... and that it is pretty amazing to be part of it!