I don't know about you, but my social feed is looking pretty negative lately. Closing off a year that many would call the worst in recent memory, I still can't quite figure out why we don't talk about more of the amazing things that happened this year. Perhaps this is what sells, is shared more, or is easier to relate to, or perhaps this truly is a reflection of a year that is coming to a close. Regardless, though, there hasn’t been much of a theme of happiness circulating over the past 12 months.
See, what I’m starting to believe is that in a world that is as connected as the one we are living in, we tend to get caught up in things that don’t affect us. We stress and lose sleep over things and events that don’t matter to us, and with ‘fake news’ being a theme, I think we even worry more about being first than we do being right. And so this perpetual game of telephone spirals through the networks and ends up spewing storytelling that doesn't relate to us, and isn't even correct.
The problem is that I don’t think this is going to change. Not yet.
But it can.
Happiness can be the word of 2017. It can be if we choose it to be.
We came out of a depressed year where we thought it was cool to ‘hustle.’
We glorified ‘busy’ to no end.
We thought it was cool do be doing more than the next.
Where we have reached the pinnacle in thinking that someone else’s definition of success should mean the same as ours.
It isn’t. It can’t be. It never could.
Your success looks different than mine, and we can be equally successful. We can be equally happy.
And so my challenge to you is to see the happiness in personal, family, and team successes. See and celebrate the things that are going well, and know that the world you (we) are living in isn’t going to change all that much if we don’t let it.
With technology exponentially changing the world we live in, the way we communicate, and how we work, we still have the ability to choose what success means to us.
With political change being as rampant and unpredictable as it is, we have the ability to adjust to policy change, and even move if necessary. After all, Harun Yahya once said “I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.” This quote has fuelled my drive to not only move in the last two years but has defined my career path as well.
We aren’t obligated to hustle, to pursue jobs, education, and things that don’t align with who we are. We don’t have to post that thing to get those likes, and we don’t have to work towards something that doesn’t somehow put a smile on our faces.
Yes, 2016 is coming to a close. There were a lot of great things that happened this year and in 365 days we will be able to say the same about 2017. The difference, at least I hope, will be that we can say that we were happier than we were stressed, fulfilled more than we were busy, and slowing down in a world that seems to be doing nothing but speeding up.
Preorder Eric's new book Rethink Work today.
After working with DRYVER for a couple of years, we’ve seen a lot of questions, and asked even more. While looking at cultural optimization, and helping clients better understand that a universal best culture doesn’t exist, we learned quickly that communication about the experience of the job is essential.Read more
On December 5th, Amazon released a video of what we all thought might be coming, but in fact is a lot closer than we think.
Actually, it is already here.
In the video that lasts less than two minutes, we see people scan into the grocery story using an app on their phone and then pick items off of the shelves and walk directly out of the store without paying at a checkout. Through algorithms and similar technology found in driverless cars, the store knows which items are taken and automatically charges your card through a virtual shopping cart, almost like you were online shopping.
And while this is certainly fascinating and something that would save all of us some time during our shopping routines, I can’t help but to think that this is merely the tip of the iceberg, and that drastic change is going to happen fast.
This shift is real and it is already happening.
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, there are 4.6-million Americans working in retail sales while 3.4-million more work as cashiers, making up almost six percent of total U.S. employment. And while you might think that there may need to be support staff for restocking shelves and cleaning spills, etc. you’re right, but automation of these jobs isn't far off now.
But lets not forget about a month ago when 50,000 beers were delivered in Colorado by a driverless truck. And lets not forget that according to the American Trucking association, there are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers. All of these jobs are at risk too.
But what about other jobs that have a high chance of being automated? How many people are working in each profession? Just because we haven’t seen the video yet like we have for trucking and cashiers, here are a few:
Accountants? Over 1.3 million.
Lawyers? ~.8 million.
Servers? 2.5 million.
Insurance underwriters? .5 million
Secretary and admin assistance? ~4 million.
Although the list may go on (for quite a while), I’m going to stop there.
Doing some quick adding, the jobs I mentioned add up to a figure quite staggering:
20.6 million. Conservatively. And without going into details of other professions (which there are plenty of), know that the automation does not stop here.
But while instilling fear isn’t a goal of my articles, and optimism is, I believe we have an opportunity to have more of our days back.
I believe we have an opportunity to consider liberal arts as a leading degree.
I believe that we will increasingly value creativity, problem solving, and social skills. Where critical thinking will be second-to-none and we are trained to adapt and evolve with the world around us to make the best decisions for ourselves.
I believe we will be educated as ‘thinkers’ that ‘do’, and not ‘doers’ that occasionally ‘think’.
I believe that there will be more flexibility and free time to work on the world we live in and not in it.
I believe that we will adopt something along the lines of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), and that people will be more free to do good in their communities.
I believe that we will be able to connect with people in ways that we haven’t been able to for years because the lack of focus on people and relationships, and the glorification of ‘hustle’ and ‘busy’.
First, there is going to be fear. Change is scary. There will be millions of jobs lost and it will take a generation to accept it. But as the next generation adjusts, a new generation of automation will be taking place simultaneously.
But lets keep in mind too that we are all on the pursuit of happiness, and while this transition may be drastic, the opportunities to do things we simply didn’t have the time or resources for will become even greater.
Exponential change is happening and whether we like it or not, we’re going to just have to (Amazon) Go with it.