January 2010 - Forecast for the Year
January 2010 - Forecast for the YearThemes and trends
Many of our institutions and structures have crumbled in recent years – the financial services industry is in shambles, housing is taking a beating, retail is suffering, manufacturing is struggling, etc. Government is even suffering and has to cut back on services due to declines in revenues. All of this means that our important institutions are not meeting the needs of our society and much change. While this seems like "tragedy" to some, it is part of the evolutionary cycle. In order to re-build, the old structures have to be torn down and rebuilt. Eventually, the new structures will be much stronger and more appropriate to what our society needs.
Some industries are flourishing in this time of change. Arts and entertainment seems to be a bright spot in the economy right now. Social networking is exploding and will continue its growth as people feel the need to connect. [We've just put up a Facebook page.]
When times are difficult, people tend to connect more with others. This is part of a much larger scale trend away from an emphasis on individual competition to more team-oriented business and ways of being. People don’t want to be alone during hard times. Smaller, faster, lighter, fancier gadgets seem to have a ready market. We expect a continued growth in electronics of all types and industries that help connect people.
Health care and related issues will continue to draw our interest, our time and maybe our passion. There will continue to be new developments in curing diseases and in keeping people healthy. Many people are returning to feeling responsible for their own health and well-being, not just accepting what a doctor says is true or taking drugs to cover up their symptoms.
Alternative wellness practices are becoming more and more mainstream because they work. As people become healthier and take responsible for their own health, the costs of health care will be reduced. We expect continuing debates about which is the "right way" to be healthy or to do health care. There is no single right way. In fact, there are quite a few "right" ways and there are quite a few "wrong" ways. What may be right for one person may be wrong for another.
The retail, manufacturing, distribution and media industries have been changing over the recent years as the explosive growth of the Internet has offered new ways of connecting customers with suppliers. This trend will continue for many years and is a major catalyst for the changes we are seeing in our society. Many people have forgotten how it was in "the old days" of just 10 or 20 years ago. Other industries are having the same types of transformation, some more noticeable than others.
Large corporations will continue to crumble and disintegrate if they cannot be nimble and flexible to meet the fast-paced changes that these times demand. We have seen some interest in dismantling or changing government organizations as well, such as the Federal Reserve and major regulatory agencies. There is talk of a world government vs. local country governments. There is some interest in having three major political parties in the U.S. instead of just two. There is discussion about whether the services offered by government are the right ones and whether they are funded in the right ways. If public or private organizations cannot adapt to the needs of the society, they should be destroyed and rebuilt with something that will work. It is healthy to look at how we do things, and look for new and better ways of managing our important institutions.
Difficult times open up massive new opportunities for those can see through the bad news to the many opportunities that are becoming available every single day. Many of those who lost their regular jobs have created new "jobs" by putting their passions and individual interests into starting a new business.
The old saying, "necessity is the motherhood of creativity" is still true. With large companies failing and huge layoffs, we need to create new businesses with new ways of creating income and productive activities to support our growing society. We wrote a book specifically dedicated to helping people see their own creativity and how to use it to create income. (See the "Income Without a Job" website for more details).
Change is rippling through our entire society and each of us as individuals. It takes courage to change proactively. Some people will rejoice at the coming changes; other will dig in and resist with all their might. Some people will decide they have had enough of this planet and move onto another dimension. "Resistance is futile" and change will happen, whether we are ready or not. Change is part of the natural evolution of the planet, of people, of systems. Change represents vitality and life itself. What doesn’t change, withers and dies.
In the spirit of change, we expect more people will want to get out and have adventures, travel, see the world or see their local sites. People may change their lives, homes, jobs, relationships, etc. There should be a lot of moving and changing going on in the next few years. Adventures can be very simple and done in your own home town, neighborhood or back yard, or on a more elaborate scale. The goal of an adventure is to have a new experience, to have a thrill or to experience something different than the "same old, same old" daily routine.
Just as following the Great Depression, our society is demanding that we re-think some of the ways we do things following the Great Recession that we are now recovering from. After major trauma, people are never the same. That’s true whether the trauma is family, internal or a society. We have suffered collectively through a major trauma; we no longer think and feel as we once did. Therefore, our needs are different, our priorities are different and maybe even our values are now different. We no longer want the same things; we are no longer willing to put up with some things. Other things are just not important any longer. We see a growing interest in people who are able to understand how the larger scope of our individual decisions affect our larger society, and how the larger society issues affect us individually on a day-to-day level. Everything is connected.
A recent study indicates that many people in the US have expanded their spiritual practices beyond what "traditional" religion teaches. "The religious beliefs and practices of Americans do not fit neatly into conventional categories. A new poll by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that large numbers of Americans engage in multiple religious practices, mixing elements of diverse traditions. Many say they attend worship services of more than one faith or denomination — even when they are not traveling or going to special events like weddings and funerals. Many also blend Christianity with Eastern or New Age beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects. And sizeable minorities of all major U.S. religious groups say they have experienced supernatural phenomena, such as being in touch with the dead or with ghosts." Source: The Pew Forum on Religion & Life, December 2009 survey http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=490
Ultimately, what can we control by ourselves? Not very much. So, the best we can do is to find peace with ourselves, our family, our day-to-day lives and do what we can do to be happier. We have learned that we can live with less than we thought possible and that being frugal isn’t a bad thing. Many people have actually felt much better with less ‘stuff’ to worry about and are happier living a simpler life.
Take a few minutes to acknowledge what you have learned during the past year and how that has changed you forever.
An exercise you might try:
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"I daresay you haven’t had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.~ Gandhi
Disclaimer: About our resource links: We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links. We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.
Page updated: October 16, 2023
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