Our primitive ego loves to daydream about the future. Unfortunately our primitive ego does not like to “see” or be bothered with realities that fail to support our daydreams. In fact, it pretty much dislikes reality because reality is change; and our primitive ego does not like change—-especially when it creates conflicts with our treasured expectations and daydreams.
In case your primitive ego hasn’t noticed, the world is changing very rapidly. We are beginning to encounter the consequences of a world that has been living well beyond its means. We are experiencing the painful reality that unlimited economic expansion is a myth——there are limits; and those limits have to be embraced, not denied.
If you are dreaming about your future here are some facts to consider.
We are beginning to awaken to the reality that our dreams and expectations about tomorrow’s world being better than today’s world is also a myth. In fact, the world of our parents may turn out to have actually been a better world than the world we are entering——-at least for the daydreams of our primitive ego.
For example, previous generations had pensions for retirement; social security income that kept up with real inflation; good middleclass job opportunities; a stable market economy that grew 6% to 10% a year; and home ownership that, over time, would actually contribute to one’s retirement resources. They also had retirement accounts that actually grew.
Our primitive ego optimism about the future has begun to encounter reality. Saving for retirement is quickly becoming a personal discipline. Retirement is no longer covered by corporate or institutional pensions offered for a lifetime of hard work. In fact it’s estimated that roughly one half of all baby boomers entering retirement today have less than $25,000 in their retirement accounts; and half of that 50% are entering retirement in debt; at a time when health care costs are rising exponentially.
For many, the future is indeed looking bleak. But despite our pessimism and concern about the future, it’s not the end of the world. So sitting around waiting for the world to actually end is not going to be a helpful option.
Like it or not, and our primitive ego won’t, we have to begin preparing for tomorrow. We have to stop daydreaming about financial security and recognize that the rules for success have changed. Just showing up is not enough. We will need to become increasingly self-motivated and take more intentional, and fully conscious, charge of our own lives.
The “system” is not going to be able to take care of us the way we’ve grown to expect. If we want to be successful in the world that is coming, there are a few new rules that we as awakened, self-motivated persons will need to embrace.
Regardless of our age, we will need more formal education.
Technology is growing rapidly. The job market will require technical skills that are well beyond those offered in a high school education. Continuing education will require a lifetime commitment in both time and financial responsibility. We can no longer wait for the “system” to pay for our education, and we will have to accept the reality that it will probably take more than four years to pay for, and earn a college degree.
Regardless of our age, success will require life style disciplines well beyond those required by our parents.
It will mean learning to invest in our “self” by doing first things first——every day. In other words, we will need to define the top core values that give our life meaning and purpose, and then make certain that the first four hours of every day are devoted to working on those goals—–those things that will prepare us to live our life passion or purpose.
And yes, that will probably mean getting up very early in the morning, watching less television at night, drinking less alcohol, getting more exercise, reading more, and making certain that the big rocks get into the jar each day before we start adding the gravel, sand, and water called reading emails, answering phone calls, or focusing on other people’s emergencies because they failed to plan or do first things first in their life.
The biggest, first, and most important rock we put in the jar each morning should always be the rock that represents our life passion; the reason we’re here; the reason we were born; the thing that we were meant to do——–that thing that will add value to the lives of others.
If we are willing to work hard, we can achieve our dreams—–is not so true in the world that is coming.
Today we will need to work smarter, be better educated, and be more disciplined than our parent’s had to be. Hard work alone won’t cut it in tomorrow’s world. In fact, it’s not cutting it in today’s world. There will be fewer and fewer “work harder jobs” in the future.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying hard work isn’t important. It is. But hard work also needs a healthy dose of self-motivation. Unless we are willing to mix a lot of self-discipline and “smarter” into our hard work, and hold our standard of living below our means so we can save the difference, the probability of achieving a successful life will drop dramatically in tomorrow’s world.
It’s not the end of the world; we’re simply entering a new and different world—–a world our unconscious primitive ego will not embrace until we choose to awaken our consciousness and fully embrace the reality that the world is changing—–and the rate of change is growing.
The evolving universe “is” change. We can allow our primitive ego to resist and deny the reality of change, or we can get on board, wake up, and use change to create a successful life. It’s our choice.