Shift Happens: Dealing With The Speed Economy

By: Gail Lynne Goodwin
Ambassador of Inspiration, InspireMeToday.com
Posted: January 18, 2010 03:34 PM

We are living in exciting times of great transformation. The speed of change both around us and in our own lives has gone from linear to parallel to constant and environmental. Change is no longer one of the dynamics that come and go in our lives, it is the environment in which we live.

Shift happens. If we are to thrive in this environment, we must be open to shifting our thinking, our perspective, our way of doing business and in many ways, our way of living. With the world changing so fast around us, we can't afford to stand still and remain stagnant in our thoughts, ideas or our beliefs. What was current yesterday is already outdated today. This second is already gone.

Adults today have seen more changes in their lifetime than any other prior generation. According to the emerging futurist of our time, David Houle, author of The Shift Age, "There has been more change in the lifetime of the baby boomer generation than in the prior five generations combined. The amount of information created and the number of discoveries made in the last 10 years surpasses the prior 100 years."

According to David, "We are entering the Shift Age and the disruption we all feel economically and elsewhere in our lives is due to the transition from the Information Age to the Shift Age. Those of us over the age of 40 were born in the Industrial Age, have lived through the Information Age and are now entering the Shift Age. We are the first generation in human history to have experienced three ages in a single lifetime. That is the larger context of why the acceleration of change feels stronger than ever before."

We're all feeling the effects of this shift, even if we don't know that it exists. For most of us, this is a time of great transformation, upheaval, creative destruction and accelerating change. With that, there may also be some really rough times and situations. But while shift at that high of a rate of speed creates unparalleled change and disruptive bumps in the road it also creates unprecedented opportunity.

Never has the ability for one person to reach the entire world been greater than it is today. Think of it this way -- what used to take years now takes months, weeks, hours or sometimes only seconds. Imagine how different your life would be if you were living about 150 years ago when it would have taken the Pony Express weeks to deliver a letter across the country. Today, it is commonplace to not only have instantaneous communication with any individual globally; we can also reach millions of people with the click of a few computer strokes. It took the television 34 years to reach 50 million users. It took Facebook less then nine months. That is shift.

The bigger question then becomes, at this rate of exponential growth, what opportunities will tomorrow bring?

At a recent conference I attended David asked, "Raise your hand if you don't have enough information in your life!" No one raised his or her hand. David believes the Information Age is over, as scarcity adds value and if there is no scarcity of information, it no longer has value. Additionally, it is attention that will create value for information. If we can create attention, we will create value.

How do we create attention? To me, I believe that comes from following our own bliss. Each of us has an inner voice that speaks uniquely to us. Now, more than ever, it's not only okay to follow it, but it is essential that we break out of the information crowd around us and shine. The best way to prepare for the changes ahead in what David calls this "Transformation Decade" is to create attention for our product or service by being the best "me" we can be.

According to David, The Shift Age will be one of the most significant, transformative times in human history. We are entering one of the great moments in the history of Modern Man. It is an exciting and transformative time to be alive. We will need all of the inspiration, creativity and individual contribution to guide us collectively through this decade.

The accelerating electronic connectedness we are experiencing is a technological model for a new human consciousness that David believes could begin as early as the 2020s. All signs point in that direction.

Therefore, now is the time to collaborate, encourage and inspire each other to get there. There's no better time than this moment to create attention for our own projects and ideas and it all starts with following our own bliss.