It is obvious we are in a unique and interesting time. Never before have we witnessed an election spectacle such as the one we just had in 2016.
We are living in a period of unprecedented division and anxiety that is brought on by a variety of issues affecting people across the country in both similar and different ways.
Exacerbating the anxiety and confusion people feel is the steady streams of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts that mislead people with half-truths, and sometimes outright blatant lies.
Everyday people like you and I are expressing their opinions, thoughts, and beliefs, and just about every other feeling and emotion possible tells the Artificial Intelligence (AI) robots what sort of stories and news you want to hear and read, the ones you agree with. And ta-da, the machine is fed.
Suddenly, people who have never had opinions or cared to have a voice regarding politics are now hiding behind their devices lobbing shots at their perceived arch-enemy.
Without having to physically interact with one another, it’s not difficult to say whatever you want, to suggest this or that, or simply repost content that he or she would normally never stand up publicly with.
As a result, our society has become more and more disenfranchised, divisive, and single-minded in our points of view.
As I’ve traveled across the country and the world the last 18 months I have talked with many people from different walks of life and circumstances. One permanent and unbending fact about them all is this:
They are all human beings who have needs, fears, anxieties, and challenges. From every walk of life, the conversations have been similar, different, and extraordinarily interesting to say the least.
Growing up in Ontario Canada, working blue collar jobs most of my life, and living in the mid-west, I can completely, and all too well, empathize with people who are facing the same challenges that I faced 15 years ago before I started my own business.
While everyone has their unique set of challenges, rarely peoples’ opinions on how to solve them change. My friends in the mid-west have their point of view and cultural perspective, as do my friends on the west and east coasts.
Part of each group blames the government, the current president, or the previous prime minister for their situation. Some blame technology, some globalization, and some blame Mexicans and Latinos for their hardships.
Regardless of ‘who’s to blame,’ the one opinion that seems unshakable to most is our government has failed us. Especially for my friends in the mid-west, those who voted twice for Obama in the hope he would be their savior. These people have changed their posture to one of being willing to try on any leader who will just ‘fix’ this.
No matter how new, different, or unconventional, they saw something in Trump, and so the ballots were cast.
The media called these people racists, bigots, and xenophobes, while the opposition called them deplorable. Regardless of the title, the one undeniable fact is when people are unable to make ends meet and are stuck in the perpetual cycle of struggle for success and survival, people need a practical solution.
When the fear and anxiety sets in because the traditional jobs that promised a comfortable life are no longer within arm’s reach, disenchantment quickly and necessarily turns into a hot anger.
Of everyone I met and talked to along the way, they all had aspirations. Like me, they have good character and are hardworking people looking to create a great life for themselves and their families. They spent the money on what was a seemingly promising education, and now these same people are wedged between a rock and a hard place.
The problems facing the lower and middle-class population have not lessened but have, in fact, become worse. On the cover of Atlantic this month (November 2016), it reads, “The Secret Shame of the Middle Class.”
Nearly half of Americans today would find it difficult coming up with $400 if and when a crisis occurs. With inflation in mind, people today take home less of a paycheck than they did with equally equivalent jobs. By contrast, the wealthy and bourgeois status continue to experience a completely different phenomenon. Their wealth and abundance are increasing at unprecedented rates.
The lower and middle-class have been squeezed in our economic vice, and their juices have run dry—dried up fruit ready for snacking remains.
But here we are. At the end of the day, we have a new president and all bets aside, will anything change? While it may be controversial, I say it anyway, in my opinion, it’s a matter of perspective. In some regards, EVERYTHING has changed, while at the same time, NOTHING has changed. Here’s what I’m getting at.
Millions of people are still in shock with our country’s decision.
We’re trying to come to grips with ‘President Trump.’ Evidenced by the fact that the Canadian Immigration website crashed late on election night, the stunning upset sank deeper.
To debunk any creeping concerns that this article has a political agenda, I want to let you know that more than anything I want to bring questions, concerns, and possible solutions to the table in this time of extraordinary need. I need to raise the question, “Are you ready for this?”
I believe all that has happened within the last few weeks can and only will affect me to the degree that I let it. That might come across a little harsh, but one thing I know for sure is my last 15-year journey has taught me something—I have a response-ability.
I never had a seemingly solid education provided for me. I never had a ‘guaranteed’ corporate job reserved for me once I reached a certain age. I never had a hand out as some receive.
No. I only had me, and a CHOICE, “Do I take full radical responsibility for every aspect of my life? The good, bad, and the ugly – can I or will I take responsibility for all of it?” I did. But listen, I too am upset seeing the person I hoped to have elected fail.
If you chose to minimize your fears, personal anxieties, and discredit your values/ethics and voted for Trump, that is wrong and unfair. However, those did the same with Hillary are taken to task as well.
Pay attention here, “Aren’t we all on the same team? Don’t we all live in this country?” Let’s dig deeper here.
Because I am an entrepreneur, regardless of who is elected, for the most part, I create my own job and run my own economy. My life and business will continue to push boundaries and carry out my life’s mission, “To wake people up to the choices that every individual has and that they can also create the life of their choosing.”
The United States still is an amazing place full of opportunities and advantages for all, the kind most people only dream of in other parts of the world. This is a result of our country’s solid democracy where we vote and choose our leaders.
This is in part what makes this country so great. We have access and the right to pursue happiness and freedom — however that appears to us individually.
Given that I have been an American citizen for years, I have seen first-hand both the wonders and advantages, as well as the shortcomings and differences this country offers. The beauty of living in a democracy is we all get to have a voice in the life we choose; it’s a fact.
However, after following the 18-month campaign trail and witnessing our recent presidential election, I have come to the conclusion that people are fairly unaware of their true capabilities.
People are living the life they are because they’re oblivious to the extent of choices right in front of them.
Despite the many choices people are blind to, they fully see their pain, anguish, and discontent. What people need to be woken up to is these feelings need to be felt, but if allowed, they are blinding to our massive potential.
I get it; the American dream has failed us, or maybe the way we’ve conceived it has. The fact is, no one is coming to save us. Clue in here, ONLY YOU CAN SAVE YOURSELF, ONLY YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR DESTINY.
Try taking that in for a moment. These seven simple words, “No one is coming to save you,” leave us with a hard and stinging truth to deal with.
So the timely question is:
“What does all this mean and how can I save myself?”
You’ve seen this election. Do you really believe you’re going to be saved?
Are our factories coming back fully restored and ready for new production, ready to increase your wealth? NO!
Our system is broken, and the cogs are jammed. But here’s our conundrum, many other countries think we have it made in heaven. So where’s the disconnect? We have first world problems and sitting around blaming each other has never, and will never, change anything.
The solution, the game changer, the golden nugget, the key to your freedom and castle, is to get up, walk to your room, stand in front of the mirror, lift your head, open your eyes, and behold — look at your one-way ticket to freedom. You.
Sorry if you want to lean back and lash out here, but it’s true.
You are personally responsible for the life you create. You are responsible for yourself, and you are responsible for whether or not you use your God-given talents to better OUR world.
I get it; I feel it too. We all need healing, we all need comforting. Today, though, we’d do well to clue into the fact that it’s not one part of us that is ‘sick’ or ‘hurt, ’ but rather, all aspects of our life need it healing and restoration.
My dear friends, on the flip side of every obstacle and challenge, is an equal or greater opportunity. I’ve become known to say, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” What I mean by this is there has never been a more exciting time to be alive and to pursue your dreams.
No matter who you voted for, no matter what your feelings and emotions, PICK YOURSELF UP OFF THE GROUND, DUST YOURSELF OFF, AND GO FIND YOUR MIRROR!
Look yourself in the eyes, open your mouth, and tell yourself, “I AM GOOD ENOUGH. IF IT’S TO BE, IT’S UP TO ME. I WILL CREATE A WAY.”
The blame game is a killer.
Stop blaming the president, stop blaming your parents, stop blaming your competitors, stop blaming China, stop blaming Mexico, stop blaming immigrants, stop blaming technology, and take some f**king responsibility.
Not the sort of responsibility where you make yourself wrong for something. Clearly, millions of people did nothing wrong here. People have found themselves in hopeless situations, stagnant wages, increased costs of living, and advancements in the digital economy causing massive destruction across countless industries.
This is the key point here. With the advantage of technology, infrastructure and access to numbers of people than ever before, this is our time and the opportunities are endless.
Is it possible that maybe, just maybe, by accessing and tapping into these advantages we can be part of our own healing?
If that last statement does not excite you, then I really don’t know what will. We live in a time where technology can be our biggest ally or deterrent, our greatest freedom or our most daunting limitation.
Again, what can we do about it?
Well, given our current western culture and how many of us operate in it, taking our pain and anguish and blaming someone else for it not only digs our hole deeper, it blinds us from the advantages right in front of us.
But here the pin drops. Even with all the advantages, are we willing to get up and do the work?
Here’s where this is all coming from. Just a few days ago I witnessed men and women casting their vote now with the values and ethics in mind, but with an aim and desire to disrupt our system.
Again, here’s another key: the first step to disrupt a system is people yelling, “Enough!” Any person willing to start with their voice and progress to do the work will not only continue to inspire themselves, but it also inspires and causes the masses to follow suit. That’s a fact.
And the reality is, our system has already been flipped on its head.
Look at this:
- Artificial Intelligence is replacing jobs, not presidents.
- Access to the Internet is teaching our children, not to always high-priced universities
- Social media is allowing people to scale and grow their own message, not just celebrities and athletes.
- We’re witnessing more movements in spiritual growth, enlightenment, entrepreneurship, creativity, and cross-cultural communications than ever before.
- The internet has and will continue to give people more and more access to audiences, ideas, and technology.
- It’s not just the giant corporations making money, more small business owners are becoming millionaires via Facebook, Instagram, Email, and smartphone, with less capital, less overhead, and fewer resources.
While in the not so far history, people were burning bras and lighting flags on fire to get their message heard, now governments are being overthrown via Facebook, elected officials are being ousted via Twitter, and charitable organizations are being amplified via YouTube.
Today, with all our means and resources, there is no good reason why the hurt of a nation of people cannot turn inwards, take a stance on their life, and create a new reality, a new America.
The same smartphone you have in your hand, reading all those depressing Facebook posts, had more computer power in its slim body than the entire space program that put a man on the moon.
You can literally be connected to customer and opportunities around the world seven days a week, 365 days a year. The opportunities are limitless.
I am not speaking as an entrepreneur telling generations to become one.
I am speaking as a human being who realizes his own potential and is urging you to take control over your life, your emotions, and your circumstances.
John F. Kennedy once said,
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Well, now what?
It’s time to change and grow. And then, bring all your transformative success to the masses in the process.
Remember this, if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.
I’ll leave you with this:
“It’s time to wake the f*** UP!!”
Everyone needs to put their big boy and big girl pants on and stop blaming, stop the division, and stop ridiculing each other.
It’s time to figure out who you are, what you want, and make the decision once and for all not to settle for anything less. I have witnessed this countless times over the years. Change comes to those who want it badly enough. At the same time, mother-time ruthlessly exposes those who wait around for a handout, or some politician to make their life better.
I choose to take full responsibility for my life, even if it’s not my fault. Because the word responsibility is not one but two: the ability to respond. And that is something I control not someone sitting in the Oval Office.