"Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else””if you run very fast for a long time, as we've been doing."
"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
We live in a wonderful time. There is more abundance and connection than ever before.
But god damn does it take a lot keep things up to date. Like in the Red Queen's race, standing still means going backward. Inaction = obsolescence.
Let's say you buy Apple's new MacBook Pro for $2,000. The tool allows you to connect with the world. To use advanced programs that can create videos, images, presentations and other forms of expression. The MacBook Pro is the Gutenberg press on steroids, crack and pcp. It's fucking powerful.
You take this $2,000 tool and stick it in the closet for 10 years. What happens when you pull it out? Will it turn on? Maybe. But it's essentially useless. An overpriced paperweight. The computer won't be able to communicate with the current software or internet protocols.
The device stood still so it became obsolete.
I know a few people who managed to keep a computer functional for almost a decade. What did it take? Hundreds of software updates. Hundreds of reboots. A handful of hardware upgrades. A significant amount of maintenance to keep the same functionality. To stand still.
Our bodies are the same way. We are all becoming obsolete. Our shelf life might be a bit longer than a computer but the same maintenance is required if you want to stay relevant or stretch out your lifespan.
Order moving to disorder is universal. Stars collapse into black holes. Empires fall. Gardens become overrun with weeds. Things fall apart.
Stay awake. Make those little software updates. Reboot. Debug. Upgrade. Don't let the chaos build up.
Being on the treadmill sucks if you are not engaged with what you are doing.
Me. I like learning. I like exercising. I like the upgrades to my iPhone. I like to sprint. I enjoy the vigorous push, the momentary pause to reflect and then sprinting some place new.
But what about those who prefer walks?
Those who have a slower default pace are being left behind. It started in manufacturing. Now artificial intelligence and automation are beginning to do the work of those with advanced degrees and specialized training.
The faster pace of standing still is dividing our society. In the United States, the income gap between the top earners and the rest of the population is reaching Gilded Age levels. The large, visible income gap causes discontent and anger.
The next 10 to 20 years will be interesting. What we do about the increasing speed of change and growing income inequality is open to debate.
Because right now (for our careers, smartphones, minds, bodies...) running means stasis. Sprinting will get you ahead. But if you stand still, just like the citizens of wonderland, you're moving backwards.
Politically, I imagine we have some populism in our future. But waiting for a redistribution of wealth is not the best solution for someone struggling to make ends meet right now. It's also not helpful to someone who can see the disruption of their industry on the horizon.
For those who want to take matters into their own hands. To embrace the reality and the discomfort that comes with change. To keep the dragon of disorder at bay by:
- creating the right habits
- building the right community
- planning the right actions
- managing the body's energy
I've got something to show you.
It's my good friend and mentor's new podcast. It's called Life Skills That Matter. This 5-day a week podcast will teach you how to run faster by using your natural talents and strengths to create meaningful, valuable work.
The first episode is chock-full of ideas on how to handle the shift we are seeing in the economy. It also sets the stage for the interviews and stories to come.
When all the running you can do means you end up in the same place, you need a better trainer. Stephen Warley has been that trainer for me. Now is your chance to connect with him and many others who are finding their way in this new wonderful world we live in.
To your success,