2025 – The Evolved Human (It isn’t about Mindfulness)
It’s my contention that in the mid-term, we can be more effective in our work and broader lives through a better understanding of how the human mind works. Quite innocently, we assume that the mind works like a camera, drawing input from the senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste) or an input which we can then interpret through thought (like a camera plus Photoshop). But now pioneers at the edges of modern science are pointing towards what spiritualists and mystics have suggested for thousands of years; namely, that the human mind works like a projector. Our reality moment to moment is created from the mind, and projects it as the world that we see as ‘out there’.
Why do we need to evolve our understanding of the human mind? It’s simple. The World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs’ report, 2018, points towards a world where machines will by 2025 undertake over 50% of the tasks currently performed by humans today.
In very generalised terms, machines will expand further into tasks including ‘reasoning and decision-making, administrative and information search tasks’. This will inevitably lead to some – even many - jobs being lost, but new jobs will also be created. Alongside the obvious emerging jobs in technology (machine learning, data visualisation etc.) are entirely familiar work themes: more human-centred roles such as Organisational Development Specialists, Sales and Marketing Professionals, General and Operations Managers. It's not just white collar jobs either. As people live longer (perhaps even to 1000 years old), there's a case for the growth of ageing specialists and even care workers in the workplace.
Accompanying these roles is a growing need for so-called ‘soft’ skills like Leadership, Innovation, Creativity, Emotional Intelligence (forecast to 2022 in the report) and so on. All of these emanate from a more intuitive (read: human) part of ourselves, as opposed to the cognitive (read: machine-like) part of ourselves.
The traditional approach to personal development has mostly revolved around learning new strategies and techniques. For example positive thinking, mindfulness, habit creation, CBT, discipline, goal setting etc… These can appear helpful, and necessary but actually run contrary to the fact that future desirable skills outlined in the FoJ report are already innate, and become more prevalent when we don’t run the psychological interference of trying to create them.
Take these for example:
Resilience: Have you seen how quickly little kids bounce out of a tantrum? They don’t need to do anything in their minds (talk it through or analyse it) in order to get back to their calm state.
Creativity: Have you noticed how your best ideas come when you are NOT thinking about them? Maybe while you’re going for a walk or in the shower?
Leadership: The best leaders feel like they really listen; and are very succinct (less is more). They give off bags of charisma. It is innate: a 6-year-old can have the same qualities.
Connection: Have you experienced meeting a stranger on a plane or train and feeling like you really connected instantly? Or that natural smile to your local coffee barista? These are not some subliminally deeper connection but simply the natural and pleasant result of an absence of personal thinking and judgement.
As science starts to validate the spiritual nature of consciousness, so we see new approaches to personal and professional evolution continue to develop. Since 1970s Syd Banks’ revolutionary ‘three principles’ ideas around Mind, Consciousness and Thought (See Anil Seth's Ted talk), there’s been a steady growth of practitioners extolling the virtues of an ‘inside-out’ understanding of the human mind. With this understanding, comes a realisation of the innate qualities humanity will increasingly need as machines do more of our work.
Self-awareness, positive thinking strategies, CBT, or even 'spiritual' rituals such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga, etc. can all serve us well to bring some relief into our minds and positive results into our life. However, they innocently and invisibly point in the wrong direction as they:
- Perpetuate the idea that we need the outside world or our self and internal state to be a certain way, and are there to be fixed or managed.
- Don't recognise the true nature of the source of capacity of the human system, which is a fundamental design to return to balance. What is missing is the true understanding of how the mind works and a paradigm shift in society.
William James, who is regarded as the father of modern psychology, once wrote that the field of psychology had no true principles. He said if such principles were ever realised on a large scale, it would make the importance of every human advancement since fire pale in comparison.
The Evolved Human will truly understand the inside-out nature of how the human system works and always have those critically needed skills available to him/herself. They will also be best positioned to comfortably work alongside machines, not against them.
If you’re interested to find out more about enhancing your own understanding of what it means to be an evolved human, check out the following resources:
- Michael Neill's book 'The Inside Out Revolution', a simple to read yet revolutionary way of understanding how your mind works.
- Piers Thurston from Making Change Work is the person that I explored the principles behind what we are referring to as the ‘evolved human' with. He's made a time-limited offer to my community an opportunity for a free 30-45min 1-1 with him. If you both decide there's a desire to explore further, then a heavily discounted place is available on his next 3 day open programme for business people to explore these principles.