From economic trends and positive psychology, to the massive awakening people are experiencing, a dramatic cultural change is already underway. A revolutionary breed of entrepreneurs and thought-leaders is emerging, and as we shift into this new era of awareness, optimism is more than just hope, it’s a powerful fuel charging the way.
Profit for purpose. Values-aligned business. Connection and collaboration. A call for revolution. An answer.
At a time when the media is spinning in a tornado of political hullabaloo, and as our U.S. conversation grows more explosive every day, it can be difficult to see the goodness within. Voices of hope are drowned in a sea of worry, and the spark of optimism is snuffed by the weight of despair.
And yet, we cling to hope…the belief that somewhere, somehow, things are improving.
Though at times, even the most determined optimists may ask in the quiet of their own minds…
Are things really getting better?
Or are we headed even further down a deepening spiral of hatred and fear?
And as I start to hyperventilate just thinking about this, I remember, to…
Stop. Breathe. Center. Notice.
While the current debacles swirling through the airwaves can certainly be distracting, the fundamental shifts that have emerged and continue to develop remain strong. Amidst the turmoil, there lives a burgeoning economy of purpose that is pushing through the surface of the frenzied storm we see.
There is hope.
And there is more than just hope. There is a deepening of truth and love from the very foundation that we sit and stand and live upon that is expanding as we speak.
Mindfulness, awareness, and personal growth, have gained popularity and traction in the past few decades, and they’re transforming the culture we live in. While we may have a ways to go, a new system of operating is spreading, both internally and externally, and we’re beginning to reach critical mass. The positive tipping point into our future is here.
inner personal transformation + external aligned action
= an integrated system of positive change
= the Mindfulness Economy is well underway
Sounds too good to be true? Want proof? You got it.
Let me show you what I see…
1. Millennials Are Reshaping Corporate Culture
As Millennials break through the confines of our institutions’ status quo, old paradigms are beginning to dissolve around us, and the demand for new leadership shows promise from within.
The results from an extensive survey conducted by Deliotte, one of the world’s largest financial services and research organizations, showed that millennials “yearn for leaders whose decisions might benefit the world—and their careers.” Based on data from over 10,000 millennials in over 36 countries, this is one of the more robust studies of its kind.[i]
On top of this, by 2020, millennials will make up approximately 50% of the workforce, and 60% of them have stated they won’t accept a job if their employers don’t have solid corporate social responsibility values.[ii]
The shift from “what’s in it for me?” to “what’s in it for us?” is becoming the new norm, and within the structure of our current economy will force employers to adapt to the cultural demand for purpose if they wish to stay afloat.
increased demand for social responsibility + capitalism
= supply shifts to meet demand
2. Gen Z Will Reshape the Job Market
Did you know that Generation Z, the children of millennials, are already entering the workforce?
According to the World Economic Forum “By one popular estimate, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.”[iii]
As millennials continue reshaping corporate culture, their children will step into jobs that haven’t even been created yet. Both what they do and the way they do it will be brand new, and we’re in for a dynamic change.
uprooting the status quo + 65% brand new jobs
= a new business landscape for the future
3. Profit-for-Purpose Business is Expanding
The old model of having to work for a non-profit or be a social worker to help the world is fading and new ways to create powerful positive change have emerged.
There are a slew of purpose-driven business models on the rise, and on top of that, they don’t just make you “feel better” - data shows that purpose is good for the bottom line.
According to a 2015 study by Nielson, a global measurement and data analytics researcher, 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands, with purpose-driven missions ranging from utilizing organic ingredients, making environmentally friendly choices, and a commitment to social value.[vii]
Money matters, and thanks to our capitalistic society, the upswing in purpose-focused preference is good news for do-gooding businesses on the move.
positive purpose + catering to preference
4. Freelance Business is Booming
Change isn’t just happening at the corporate conglomerate level. Self-employed micro-business owners are multiplying as well.
According to a recent study conducted by Edelman Intelligence, freelancers comprised 36% of the U.S. workforce in 2017 – for a total of 57.3 million - with growth in this sector outpacing the overall job market by a factor of 3x. If the current growth rate continues, freelancers are expected to be the majority of the workforce by 2027.[viii]
More and more people are leaving traditional roles to forge their own path, share their gifts with the world, and do what they love. While the road isn’t always easy, when you’re in charge of your own business, you get to decide even more directly what values and intentions you bring to the work you do.
sharing your gifts + self-employment
= core-values driven products & services
5. Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact (SRI) Investments are Multiplying
Did you know you can invest your money in things that make a positive difference in the world? And avoid ones that don’t?
The availability of investment vehicles that fit this niche have been growing over the past few decades, and in recent years have seen a tremendous boom.
According to The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment’s most recent 2016 report “The demand for sustainable and impact investing is growing— investors now consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors across $8.72 trillion of professionally managed assets, a 33 percent increase since 2014.[ix]
To put this in perspective, this represents “more than one out of every five dollars under professional management in the United States”[x] and the trend is moving upward.
But what exactly are ESG factors? While they vary across investments, they may include screening for issues such as human rights, environmental sustainability, weapons production, and addictive substances, with the intention of avoiding certain industries, or supporting specific causes.
We have more choice than we think, and the choice is becoming more visible every day.
money + positive focus
= a powerful tool for change
6. $100 Trillion Will Change Hands by 2050
According to Joel Solomon, author of “The Clean Money Revolution” and chair of Renewal Funds, the largest mission venture capital firm in Canada, there is a “massive wealth transfer currently underway as affluent Boomers pass their wealth to Generation X and the Millennials. Occurring over the next thirty years, it’s the largest such turnover in history.” [xi]
The figures are estimated at $30-$50 trillion in the US and Canada alone, and $100 trillion worldwide.[xii]
Money doesn’t talk. People do. And the conversation is already changing. This massive shift in wealth, combined with the demand for purpose-driven enterprise, is creating an opening for hope and change in the future unlike any we’ve ever seen.
being human + accumulating wealth
= everybody dies someday and new inheritors emerge
7. Positive Psychology is Opening New Doors to Happiness
Positive psychology turns 20 this year (happy birthday!) and while still young, this emerging field is already reshaping the world of personal growth as we know it.
Birthed in 1998 within traditional psychological domains, Martin Seligman is credited with bringing this new form to life. Rather than focusing on “mental illness” or “fixing what’s wrong,” positive psychology focuses on how to live “the good life” – one of happiness and fulfillment.[xiii]
One of the many exciting results to come from this research, is the uncovering that one of the keys to living a happy and fulfilled life is participation in “positive institutions.”
What are “positive institutions” you may ask?
Researchers from St. Peter’s College summarize these as “institutions that move individuals toward better citizenship, responsibility, nurturance, altruism, civility, moderation, tolerance and work ethic.”[xiv] Even the most altruistic person desires happiness for themselves, and the good news is that the two go hand-in-hand. With scientific data to back up the positive benefits of sharing what we feel in our hearts, the possibilities become exponential.
Our minds love data, and now we have it…so go ahead…be selfish…and help people!
science + new tools
= a shift in how we seek happiness
8. People are in Pain
There is A LOT of pain in the world right now, and this gives me hope.
“Whaaaaaaaaat?” you might ask. “That’s crazy!” you may exclaim. “How cruel!” you gasp.
But let me explain…
While I’m all on board for optimism as fuel for change, sometimes, some of us have to hit rock bottom before we’re willing to jump ship and go an entirely new route. People seek change when they’re in pain. We see it all the time, whether it’s finally leaving dysfunctional relationships, quitting soul-sucking jobs, or dropping behaviors and habits that drag us down.
When the pain of the current experience becomes greater than the perceived pain in changing our experience, we make a move. The ouch-factor propels us forward into something new.
pain + fed-up
= a powerful fuel for change
9. Awakening and Shared Spirituality is on the Rise
In addition to this pain, and in many ways because of it, people are waking up. We’re being cracked open, out of our rigid belief systems of what we thought was true, and into greater truth – one that values connection and a shared understanding of humanity, that we are one.
Using “the s word”…spirituality…can be dangerous territory for some, but it’s becoming more and more a part of conversation in the mainstream these days, a conversation that allows common ground for us to connect at the core of what we value within.
Love, truth, and oneness. An honoring of the journey that we are all on as humans in this lifetime.
Bestselling books like Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” and the Dalai Lama’s “The Art of Happiness,” speak to fundamentals that are accessible to all, regardless of (most) religious, atheist, or agnostic beliefs. Major publications like TIME Magazine[xv] and institutions such as UC Berkeley[xvi] are sharing information that explore spiritual practices to cultivate greater inner peace and connectedness with tools and concepts that pull from around the world.
We are stepping into a more accessible space of spirituality, beyond strict rules and “shoulds” and into the shared humanity of who we are at the core.
breaking open + awareness of oneness
= love available for all
10. YOU Are Changing Each Moment
What you have read here today is not merely a list of hope for the future. It’s an inventory of what has ALREADY changed. And seeing what is already in motion, what is truly possible, is key for mobilizing an entire force of positive changemakers in the world.
When we say to ourselves “nothing has changed” not only is it literally not true, but it puts us in a state of fear, drains the energy from our tanks, and demobilizes us from action.
But…when we can see the truth…that change is not only possible, but already underway…this positive awareness fuels us with optimism, and changes the whole game.
This isn’t just a theory. In fact, you can test it out right now in this moment if you like. How? Simply by noticing the following…
How do you feel right now vs when you first started reading this article? Do you have less positive energy than before? Or more? Do you feel defeated? Or more inspired and hopeful for change?
The 10th positive change that is already underway…is you. Right here. Right now. Simply by being a part of this message.
The question is…if something shifted inside of you, if you received a spark of inspiration, how will you put it into action in your life and world today?
present moment + you in action
= you are a catalyst for positive change
The Mindfulness Economy is a revolutionary new way of thinking, being, and doing that has already taken root, in both our internal and external worlds.
While the seeds were planted long ago, the growth popping up around us brings new hope and light to the shifting economy ahead. And…like any growth, we must continue to cultivate it, both within ourselves, and in the world around us.
So share your gifts, your message, and your purpose with the world. Rise up and make a change.
One person does make a difference. It starts with you. And with me. And together we are already changing the world in a profound and positive way.
There is no time like the present. The world is ready, and so are we.
With love and gratitude,
If this article sparked something within you, please share it with others and pass the inspiration along. You never know who this may uplift at a time when they need it most.
Wondering where the ingredients for this article soup came from?
Many roles and learnings in my lifetime, including top of my class in science, an economics degree, 10 year career in finance, 10 year veteran in transformational studies, creative writer, researcher, soulful seeker, mindfulness maven, artist, workshop leader, public speaker, friend, confident, and fellow life traveler.
If you’d asked me years ago how I would combine all of these things into one place, I wouldn’t have known. This article is just one of the many outlets where my gifts and passions unfold.
So…if you are wondering how to put YOUR gifts into the world, just start! It won’t necessarily make sense at first, until it does, and the key is getting into motion. If you’d like support with this, please let me know. I am here, and would love to help you on your way.
Lena D. Meyer is a Transformational Life Coach, Public Speaker, and the founder of Gratitude6™ and The Soulful Entrepreneurs Network™. She is ranked as one of the top coaches in the Pacific Northwest, and since 2008 has supported hundreds of people in living their most joyful, meaningful, and empowered lives.
Copyright © 2018 Gratitude6, LLC, all rights reserved. Read full disclaimer here.
[i] Deloitte. “The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018” http://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html
[ii] Cone Communications. “2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study” http://www.conecomm.com/research-blog/2016-millennial-employee-engagement-study
[iii] World Economic Forum. “The Future of Jobs: Jan 2016, World Economic Forum Report” http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_FOJ_Executive_Summary_Jobs.pdf
[iv]Wikipedia. “B Corporation” Entry sourced on Oct 21, 2018 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_Corporation_(certification)
[v] Forbes. “6 Social Impact Business Ideas That Could Change The World From The Under 30 Summit EMEA” by Natalie Sportelli, Associate Editor, Aprl 5, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/nataliesportelli/2017/04/05/6-social-impact-business-ideas-that-could-change-the-world-from-the-under-30-summit-emea/#1083b9ac22ae
[vi] Deloitte. “Business and Social Impact” by Rhonda Evans, Tony Siesfeld, March 31, 2014, https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/business-trends/2014/business-social-impact.html
[vii] Nielsen. “The Sustainability Imperative” Oct 12, 2015, https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2015/the-sustainability-imperative.html
[viii] Edelman Intelligence. “Freelancing in America 2017” Sept 2017. Slides 15-16, 18
[ix] The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. “Report on US Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Trends 2016: Executive Summary.” https://www.ussif.org/files/SIF_Trends_16_Executive_Summary(1).pdf
[x] The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. “Report on US Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Trends 2016: Executive Summary.” https://www.ussif.org/files/SIF_Trends_16_Executive_Summary(1).pdf
[xiv] Toward the Creation of a Positive Institution by Lea Waters PhD, Mathew A. White PhD, and Simon Murray. St Peter’s College, Adelaide, Australia. May 2012, Volume 14 Number 1. References work by Seligman, M. and Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000) ‘Positive Psychology: An Introduction,’ American Psychologist, 55, 5-14. http://web.education.unimelb.edu.au/assets/pospsych/Toward%20the%20Creation%20of%20a%20Positive%20Institution%20St%20Peter's%20College,%20Adelaide,...pdf
[xv] TIME. “Does Spirituality Make You Happy?” by Brian Walsh. June 2016 http://time.com/collection/guide-to-happiness/4856978/spirituality-religion-happiness/