The Future is Uncertain. Own it!

June 29, 2024

The Future is Uncertain. Own it!

May 29, 2023

Chip’s Note: Peter is one of my favorite MEA alums and it’s been great to see his evolution over the past few years from his head to his heart.

Having reconnected with my purpose at MEA in 2023, I began to look at the uncertainty that seems to have engulfed the world today in a different way. From anger and frustration at all the unsolved problems and dysfunctional actors, I moved to the realization that this huge topic needed to be looked at very differently: with curiosity, a growth mindset, as part of a community, from a sense of inner peace. After my time at MEA, I realized what I could do differently and went “back to work” as a business coach.

Yes, we are facing numerous and profound challenges that threaten to overwhelm us, and while there’s lots of talk about the potential crises in the media, there’s much less information on how to deal with it. We hear a lot of questions: will democracy breathe its last breath in 2024? Will war and hate continue to ravage the planet?  Will another virus force us back into the isolation of 2020? What’s the job market going to look like now that AI is here? What about climate change? Are the Baby Boomers ever going to retire, or will they continue to hold on to their positions of power and privilege blocking avenues of advancement for everyone else? 

All very valid questions. With all these real and meaningful challenges, it is no surprise that instances of depression and anxiety have shot through the roof. It is a reasonable response. 

The question I hear the most is one I have grappled with myself: who will save us from all these disasters? Who can do something to help us? 

In the famous words of the poet John Donne: “Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee”. It is YOU, it is ME, it is US who are called upon to address those challenges. Because we are all in this together. 

In the business world, where I have moved all my life and will continue to move, following my relaunch as a business coach, we traditionally expect that company culture and change start with the CEO. But we know that it is also shaped by everyone wherever they are today in an organization. Waiting to be saved by others is not a realistic option. You too can play your part if you want things to change. And by being proactive you will feel a greater sense of control over, at the very least, your own life. 

In the business context you can try to find a job at a company you respect, or go into politics, or work at a nonprofit. You can start your own company and enjoy the freedom and control of entrepreneurship. In your private life there are a myriad of choices in, for example, volunteer work. No matter what path you take you will need to confront some key existential questions if you want to feel good about how you spend your time every day: who am I? Where do I stand? What do I know is right, if hard, to do? Who are my stakeholders that I need to align with? All these questions that MEA teaches us to ask. Whatever choice you make, it’s important to remember that success requires you to show up.

Whether you are facing these questions in a business context or in the context of your personal settings, this path requires courage and energy. Clarity on how you can and want to show up. If all of this seems intimidating to you, you’re not alone. In the business world you typically use a coach to support you on this path. MEA is a wonderful resource to launch you on your own path with a great curriculum and alumni community that is available to you. There you will find your accountability buddy.

As Karl Marx wrote: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world. The point, however, is to change it!”

-Peter

Attending MEA several times (including to renew his wedding vows on the beach in Baja), Peter discovered that his purpose was to give back to the world as an executive advisor and coach. Peter works with managers at all levels to help them develop new perspectives, to address their personal and organizational challenges, to find their individual purpose, avoid burnout and build legacy.

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