Technological advancement is part of everyday life. The acceleration of development in this area is overwhelming and astounding. The computing ability of some of the smaller gadgets and devices takes your breath away and the instruments become sought-after and very desirable “must-have” accessories for ease of access to online information, business and social media connection. Communication seemingly has become easier, although one’s life now seems to be somewhat more crowded, with ever-increasing demands on swiftness of reply. Working “normal hours”, as a concept, is a thing of the past – there seems to be an unsaid expectation of accessibility even into the late hours of the night. And then there is the demand of upgrades – the incessant call to “download the latest version of whatever software” or the urge to “purchase the latest phone or computer”, of course with new features, better operating environments and faster applications. Most of these features are usually quite helpful and innovative and certainly add quality to the whole online experience, but do they truly enhance the human experience of life?
There is an easy answer to that question – the features and applications were never designed to give one a deeper experience of life, but were simply created to enhance efficiency and productivity and make communication a little easier. While this may be true (and I agree with this explanation for the most part), there seems to be a notable lack of corresponding acceleration of emotional development in the human being – perhaps even a retardation of growth in emotional intelligence, maturity and wisdom. For example, I am astounded by the inability of many of my workshop delegates to hold a meaningful conversation for longer than five minutes – professional people who are easily distracted by the LED notifications on their mobiles. I love technology, use it for a significant part of my day and stay abreast of the latest developments, but “not being able to put the technology down” qualifies for obsessional status!
Perhaps equal amounts of focus, effort, money and energy need to be put into self-development – a desire to grow to maturity, get life perspective and to develop an understanding of one’s role to contribute back into the human experience. If this is to become a reality, attention needs to be given to the following development areas:
- Clarity of one’s purpose – having a clear picture of why one exists and the contribution one is to make is paramount in defining one’s value and self-respect
- The development of self-awareness – being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses and the impact that one has on others is essential in being able to grow one’s influence
- An understanding of one’s giftedness – the more one works according to one’s giftedness, the more doors will start to open for one and the more joy one will experience
- The establishment of meaningful goals – these are goals which satisfy the human spirit, which give one a sense of real accomplishment and which contribute to the overall well-being of family, friends and colleagues
- A strategy for implementation – an achievable and measurable day-by-day, step-by-step execution of a plan to give feet to one’s life’s purpose
Over the past two decades or so, there has been an incredible acceleration in technology, particularly so in the field of information technology. At the same time, and over the same period, there seems to have been an apparent lack of acceleration in the technology surrounding human growth – a lack of development in emotional intelligence, maturity and wisdom. Equal amounts of money and effort should be invested in upgrading the human being to the latest version!