What I hear from most people around me, is that they think that work and private life are two separate things.
I think it has to do with the way our society and economy in Europe has been structured for a long time: Businesses are run to maximize production and pay taxes, employees are often in the hamster wheel, working to make their living, while governments provide a sort of social security that cares for health and, later, pays for retirement. While this system worked well for decades, we are now in a situation that it is getting out of balance.
Beyond the pandemic, climate crisis and increasing violence, we see many symptoms for this, here just a few:
- 50% of employees feel overworked, with mental illnesses at the top
- Pension systems face major challenges in most countries
- Health care costs explode in most countries.
We need a paradigm shift away from a profit-oriented to a purpose-oriented society, including businesses.
The old system has come to an end, and most of us can feel this within.
Looking into the future, this brings many opportunities. Believe it or not, I see us moving in a good direction, despite all the disruptions that we experience now. Most hope I get from my students: Today’s Generation Z shapes our future with social startups instead of corporations. They go on the street to claim their purpose, and to start a movement that increases awareness for the future instead of defending past achievements.
My wish is that we all join this movement with a little trick:
Let us all reflect a bit more and listen to our inner voice.
5 minutes of self-reflection each day, looking at how we envision our best future as human beings, could do wonders.
It will help us to learn what we need most: Learning to let go from the old. Freeing ourselves from material and spiritual ballast in order to be open for new experiences. It’s not a loss, it’s a gain.
Japanese wisdom says: If you want to start over, you should do it immediately, because one overcome difficulty avoids a hundred new ones.
Instead of thinking of life and work as something different, let’s see fulfillment in life and at work go hand in hand.
It’s the first step into a bright future, sustainable and balanced, with a rich dialog across generations and true social innovation becoming reality: Living in ecosystems with high personal impact and a universal basic income that makes purposeful life and work a right for all.