Mar 21, 2015

Creating a Life in Forward Motion


About three years ago, I wrote an eBook titled Creating a Life in Forward Motion. The intent behind the book is to help people help themselves through their real-life experiences by sharing my wealth of business and life experience, my coaching and counseling tips, and through easy-to-use Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) exercises that I fully explain how to use. I want you to get a taste of what the book’s content is with the sincere desire that you not only thoroughly enjoy, but are able to improve at least a small part of your life by means of it!

Chapter 1
We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto!

“In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive
They may find…
In the year 3535
Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
Everything you think, do, and say
Is in the pill you took today

In the year 5555
Your arms are hanging limp at your sides
Your legs got nothing to do
Some machine is doing that for you…”

Those lyrics are from a 1969 song that Zagar and Evans wrote and sang.

What the song was pointing out through its lyrics was that technology was growing at such a fast pace that, soon, man wouldn’t need to think or act because machines would be doing everything. Yet, to give you some perspective, when this song was topping the Bill Board Charts, the U.S. was still just a few days away from walking on the moon for the first time. There were no cell phones, microwave ovens, LCD/LED plasma screen TV’s, or Google Glasses.

We’re not in the year 2525 yet, but we’re well over 40 years past the time the song was popular, and what do we see? Has the need for people to think and act become less with the advent of all this new technology? No, in fact, in 1989 we went from the Industrial Age to the Information Age, and ever since, we have seen more of a need for people to think and act. As of the writing of this book, technology is doubling every 18 months and that can’t happen without the uniqueness of human thought. The exponential growth of technology has given us so much in what we can get done in a day’s time. According to the song’s lyrics, we should be starting to see ourselves with a wealth of free time. Is that the case for you? Do you find yourself with times where you have just nothing to do? If so, you’re in the minority. The majority of people who grew up before most of the inventions we see today find that they’re busier now than they were 20 or 30 years ago.

There are unique challenges, though, that technology has brought upon us; Lack of motivation, a sense of not having a clear direction, and a weakening of our daily thought processes being among them. With technology growing exponentially, human society is having a difficult time keeping up with the changes. We haven’t prepared ourselves to advance our social and work skills to keep up with them. People today are gifted with more options they have ever had before, and these options cause people and organizations to lose the sense of direction and loyalty of the past. Whereas, our father or grandfather might have had one job for 30 years and retire with a guaranteed pension, today we might have anywhere from 3 to 10 jobs and our retirement is now our personal responsibility. You now not only have to know how to do your job, you have to know, or should know, how to invest your money to maximize your retirement.

Another way that motivation affects us on the job today is the way employers treat us. For instance, there are basically two types of jobs, algorithmic and heuristic. Algorithmic jobs are “straight-line” jobs. You do this, then this, then this, then this, and you’re done. Many manufacturing jobs fall into that category. Heuristic jobs require creative thinking and don’t have an exact process that takes you end-to-end. With the rise of technology, these types of jobs have become more prolific. But, think about this, has society caught up to the change in the style of management needed for this type of job? Just the fact that we still use the terms “management”, “manager”, and “director” tells us that we haven’t. Yes, we do use the term “leaders” and “leadership” today and we put “managers” through “leadership training”. But, can a “manager”, one that manages systems and processes so that they are followed and done correctly, really change their mindset when working with people and become a “leader”, a person that sets the vision, goals, motivates and inspires? It happens only on rare occasions.
Today, people want to be self-directed. We have the need to contribute to something bigger than ourselves and have found an outlet in the power of Social Media. It has been used to let people’s voices be heard that would normally have been silenced. It has been used to elect a President in the U.S. and topple governments in the Middle East.
We want stability and, right alongside it, we want variety. We want to feel connected to others, either at home or at work, or both. We want to feel that we mean something, that we are significant. And, we want to grow, or, at least the opportunity to grow.

This applies in the family, too. Gone are the days when parents can say, “Do as I say, not as I do” to their children. Our kids are enlightened at a very young age to the potential the world has to offer and the opportunities set before them. I’m not condoning a careless attitude and lack of responsible child-rearing on the part of parents. What I’m saying is that, just like in the work environment, parents need to be less “managers” and more “leaders” in the family. In order to give our children the opportunity to have the best life possible, we are obligated to help them be self-directed, learn to contribute to things bigger than themselves, enjoy and learn to use stability and variety, know the value of close human connections, understand being significant, and provide them with opportunities for growth.

What meaning is there to it all? What part, if any, do you play in it? What direction should you take?

(End of excerpt)

I hope you enjoyed this brief look into Creating a Life in Forward Motion and will begin living a happier and more satisfying life because of it!

Creating life in forward motion,

Dr. Edward Lewellen