September 29, 2015

To be home is to be the best me

Far away from my sweet pup and my cottage in Chapel Hill, NC, I am sitting in a hostel in Wicker Park, Chicago. My endeavor here is centered around how and why I am choosing to take responsibility for my part in contributing to a positive cultural transformation underway. This shift I am referring to is how our society is poised at the “seed-time of a new personalist culture.”

Firstly, what is seed-time? And what is a personalist culture? Seed-time is the moment of a new beginning. When a seed is planted in the ground and the surrounding conditions are just right – soil, sunlight, water – it will sprout at the right time and eventually become a strong tree, plant or living entity. In the same way, societies and individuals encounter seed-time – moments in history in which multiple aspects of society are increasingly aligned around specific growth transformations.

This begs the question: In what direction is humanity currently transforming? Theodore Rosak, in People/Planet (see below for context in excerpt), introduces the idea that we are living in the fertile time of a new cultural transformation in which multiple aspects of society are increasingly personalized around individuals according to their desires and uniqueness. This also includes where and how these individual traits intersect with the deeper ecological and technological spheres.

This transformation of individual lifestyle design is underway in technology as we customize our phones and measure our unique body activities through wearables. It’s underway in the creation of new business models as they meet needs of individual consumers. It’s underway in the advancements of personalized medicine, as we tailor drugs and health solutions suited for unique genetic sequences and diseases.

And yet, customizing a phone, and other desired experiences, doesn’t foster true cultivation of a person’s unique identity. Although, a new personalized learning process could.

Alright, so what does this have to do with why I am living in a hostel in Wicker Park? Because as an individual, I am owning my own growth as I strategize and design my life forward. If we entertain Rosak’s prophetic vision, then spiritually, ecologically, biologically and technologically, the time has come for each individual to discover their uniqueness and find a way to channel their energy system into vocations that align their individual fulfillment with the fulfillment of universal progress.

Dabbling with band-aid solutions, like flexible work schedules and workplace perks, will continue to prove insufficient at fulfilling human potentials. Therefore, this is one reason I chose to leave the security of a multinational corporate job to join the pioneering leaders at Experience Institute who are transforming learning models with the bold mission to authentically bring out the best in individuals. Although in one perspective, this could be viewed as a selfish motive because I want to bring out the best in myself, my true belief is that continually growing into an infinite series of better versions of myself is truly the greatest gift I could give to all of humanity, all entities and all life.

Hidden in the chaotic industrialized workplace, I was truly seeking to know myself and then construct my identity accordingly. But now, I am taking stance to own the responsibility myself, as I embrace the interconnectedness of all things, and discover my unique aspirations that are entangled within biology, technology and consciousness, and to live them out vividly with bold purpose.

Experience Institute offers a solid community of support and tools to help trigger self-discovery and shape key skills and abilities. Evenmoreso, the team cultivates the rare space for individuals to learn how to shine their brightest. As the light that shines farthest often shines brightest at home, we must learn to find our home within ourselves. I’m on my way home. And I’m ready to design it as my own.

Reference Theodore Roszak’s words in 1979:

It may only be a certain nagging sense that the world you live in does not fit. The job you hold, the education you receive, the institutions that claim authority over you (the government, the corporations, the unions, the courts, the welfare system), all these may seem to have been crudely designed for everybody in general, but for nobody in person—least of all for you.

These may come and go as fleeting, private irritations.

Nevertheless, they are signs that the great change I speak of is at work in your experience, nourishing a certain brash assurance in you that you have a right to be handled with care, a right to the employment, education, time and space you need to find your peculiar style, a right to participate directly in the decisions that shape your life even if exercising that right means endless delay and disruption.

But where do you think these rights come from? How long do you think they have existed? Which is really to ask, how long do you think your experience of uniqueness has existed in the world? Perhaps you sense that such rights would have been seen as preposterous luxuries by your grandparents, perhaps even by your parents. But do you know they would have been regarded as utterly incomprehensible no more than a century ago—even as a kind of intolerable insanity? Would you be surprised to discover that this right you feel so certain is yours, this right to have your uniqueness respected, perhaps even cultivated, is not at all a simple extension of traditional values like civil liberty, equality, social democracy—which is precisely why it must now pit itself against so many institutions that were created to further those familiar ideals—but that it springs independently from another, far more mysterious source, one that reaches into the biological foundations of life.

(Excerpt from Person/Planet by Theodore Rosak)

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