Our planet has currently about 7 billion people, including one billion who are hungry and worse off than people were during the stone ages. The prosperity that most people experience though is greater than in previous generations due to better living conditions and freedom from diseases that still cause havoc in the developing world. These include illnesses such as bronchitis caused by inhaling smoke from cooking fires, diseases such as malaria and those caused by contaminated water and lack of sanitation.
We are living longer, safer, healthier and wealthier lives, are better-educated, have more time at our disposal to enjoy and participate in entertainment or to do as we choose.
For much of the world, though, not much has changed. In Malawi a woman spends 35% of her time gathering food, 35% cooking and cleaning, and 20% of her time getting water and fire wood. That only leaves 10% of her day for everything else.
Each of us has 24 hours in the day and we do our best to manage our time well, by saving and making time. We have saved time with better transport, water collection and storage systems and by practicing more efficient ways of cooking. We consume a diverse range of global, mass-produced products, and lately have been exchanging information at a rapidly expanding rate, thanks to modern technology.
Yet despite all of these improvements we are struggling with quantum change. The world is not how it was, and everything that is, wasn’t. The map that we have of the world, our old brain, does not fit the new territory we find ourselves in. There is massive deconstruction and reconstruction going on with our corporations, associations, institutions, governments and within our own lives. We are stressed, burnt out and overwhelmed, struggling with our jobs, families, finances, health and feel trapped within our own situation.
Our leaders have been equipped for another time rather than for the complexity and chaos of today. We now have an interconnected communication system with a high level of governance. We are all in this together so whether we like it or not, we have to learn to work together.
Our world over the last 150,000 years was “local and linear” with literally one step being taken at a time and everything happening within a day’s walk from home territory.
Now however, the world is “global and exponential”. This means that the rate of change is constantly doubling and the world appears to be shrinking with the massive global networks now in place.
The challenge for us is that our brains and societies are built for local and not global environments. The amount of data we are exposed to daily is more than the 17th century person was exposed to in a lifetime and this continues to grow exponentially. This can lead to feelings of overwhelm.
Our brain works like this. When we receive information through our five senses it is first sieved and sorted for danger by our old brain, being designed to protect us and keep us alive. The amygdala is an almond shaped tiny piece, situated in the pre-frontal cortex, and is wired evolutionarily and architecturally for the primal emotions of fear, rage, hate and “fight or flight”. This is why newspapers focus 90% of the time on bad news, because that is what gains our attention, even though statistically the world has never been safer.
If we are thinking globally but acting locally how can humanity make sense of and continue to prosper in this time of exponential change?
How can we work together toward a more co-operative rather than a competitive style of being to solve the world’s environmental, ecological and social issues? How can we move away from war embracing patterns of the past and present and end ancient hatreds? What rich, evocative alternatives can we implement? How can we build capacities, skills, and potentials to enhance social choices and raise self-esteem to create a better world for all humanity?
Steps for Managing Change Successfully
Follow these incremental steps to implement change successfully.
1. See the need for change and want to change
• Sometimes a crisis has to happen before change is seen as being necessary. That’s okay as that is part of the learning process. What sort of change is required? Spend some time on this.
2. Be willing to participate in the process of change
• Feel empowered, invigorated or inspired by taking responsibility for initiating change rather than reluctantly being dragged along with it
• Seek the support of others to assist with but not control the process
• Embrace technological change at least in small steps
3. Invest in the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviors to make change effective and long lasting
A. Develop awareness of your sensory environment.
• Recognize that change is a process not a destination and expect some discomfort at least at first
• Recognize that we need to heal from the center of ourselves
• Feel and know in new ways by making conscious use of the wisdom of the body, mind and spirit to develop greater sensory
• Notice and discard old thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that create the obstacles to your success and keep you where you are
• Pay attention to your dominant sense, and to your inner seeing (memories and imagination), hearing (intuition and self talk), thoughts and emotions. Practice changing negative thoughts and emotions for positive ones
• Spend a few moments each day with an image of your mind and body in perfect health. This exercise will give you practice in visualizing a project or idea holistically as the visual brain can see and choose options in a split second.
B. Develop awareness of your personality
• Be aware that you have many persons inside yourself – the eternal child, the artist, midwife of the soul, evocator, and healer and be thankful for all that you are
• We all have every trait that can be expressed at different times in different contexts. Get to know the creative process of your inner and outer story and dig deeper to find it
• We need to become a new kind of healer – outrageous, challenging old paradigms, deep, rich, seeking new possibilities, different, moving from the limited and healing into higher wholeness.
C. Develop yourself as the social artist.
• You are being called to develop your skills and passion to help to heal yourself and those around you
• Become the social artist as never before with greater focus, skills, understanding of ourselves and others and a fresh vision
• Bring the deep polarities and dissenting stories within people, together
• Preserve the genius of the person or organization when activating a new story
• We need to ignite the uniqueness and potential of others and throw out the old dependency model
• Use constructive feedback and support that will enable you to move forward to a place that will assist you and those around you
• We need to develop radical empathy, rapport, and communication skills with others by listening to and not judging others’ stories
• Develop collaborative networks and sharing partnerships. We are hardwired for a network of a tribal group of about 150 people.
• We need to recreate social forms that inspires participation, opportunity, responsibility, recharges the imagination, encourages a dialogue of fairness, social theater, hope, refreshed attitude of gratitude, a never give up attitude, positive beliefs, a world server and co-participant, and have the ability to abandon oneself to the strengths of others when required.
D. Do our bit to heal the planet.
• Act globally and think locally as never before. We are planetary citizens in not just a universe but a multiverse that is larger than our individual aspirations
• We need to remain informed about world issues, and adopt liberating thought waves that are beneficial to self and society
4. Reinforce the change with practice, altered lifestyle, thoughts, beliefs, actions and support.
• Studies show that regular check-ins with a supportive person, will increase your ability to change to almost 100% compared to 50% without constant reinforcement because it will increase your courage and persistence
• Congratulate yourself on your achievements and show gratitude.
What if you develop the skills and talents and do the necessary healing to move forward positively in your life, what then will you be able to achieve?
About the Author
Gaye O’Brien is a Life & Business Coach, NLP Trainer, Time Line Therapist, Hypnotherapist and International Best-Selling Author of “NLP Essentials for Teachers”. As a catalyst for transformational change Gaye shares her insights in an inspirational, educational and entertaining way, with businesses and individuals who desire to make their greatest contribution to the planet and co-create a more enlightened world.