The roaring twenties have arrived, and before we greet it fully, it behooves us to reflect on the decade that preceded it.
The 2010’s saw a revival of the people’s movements, a call for social change from “the bottom up.” From Washington DC to Sudan, rallies convened calling to end racism, antisemitism, and oppression, prioritize climate change, and raise women’s voices to the forefront. We saw the skyrocketing of technology, innovation, entrepreneurial endeavors, digital nomads, and businesses built for social impact. We also saw an increase in depression, loneliness, screen and pill addiction, as well as acts of mass violence and hatred featured prominently in the media. With every darkness comes a surge of light, though, and this past decade has also seen the growth of collective healing spaces, mindfulness movements, conscious consumerism, and plant medicines.
For better or for worse, these movements are an inevitable meeting of the old world and the new age, begging for a generational mashup of change. With a world that is growing more connected and disconnected at the same time, a conscious evolutionary shift must occur, a breaking systemic structures of the past in order to redefine and refine a healthier future for humankind.
If hindsight is 2020, what lessons can we take from the past decade to ensure that 2020 is filled with foresight?
As we rest on the edge of the new decade, humans have the most access to information, communication and innovation than ever before. New ideas, concepts, and messages are introduced daily, and it can be overwhelming for any mind to intake all at once. With the bevvy of information, opportunity and options available, the key to clarity is recognizing the power of the thinking individual. The thinking individual is someone who is aware, curious, motivated, and has the capacity to zoom out or zoom in when needed. The thinking individual does not act according to the old system, yet is consciously creating the new. What becomes massively crucial is how we individuals choose to spend our time, who we spend it with, and where we choose to invest our attention.
Emerging research on brain science support the thinking individual, as it offers valuable ideas into the power of the brain and its behaviors, spotlighting the importance of habits, positive thinking, and human connection. By understanding more about what happens inside the human mind, it creates space for how to better manage our mental wellness, growth process, and evolving behaviors to support both individual and collective good.
Leadership is evolving, and it’s calling all thinking individuals. It is no longer the sole responsibility of one person in power to create change. It is about one person claiming their own power to create change, and taking personal responsibility to lead by example. One voice, one story, one action is capable of igniting change. Take Tarana Burke of the #metoo movement or Greta Thunburg leading the climate change movement. Social change starts with one dedicated voice.
So where do we go from here? Taking time to reflect on our lessons from the past is crucial to enable us to support a focused and flourishing future. Yet we must also remember to let go of what was, so that we can create what will be. May we feel grateful for the limitless knowledge, community and connection we have access to. May we learn how to manage our minds and bodies to make the most of our golden era. May we use this next decade to think deeper, learn greater, and lead better.