It’s that time of year again when we look back to what we accomplished over the past year and forward to what we wish to do in the next twelve months. For many years this has been an important time of reflection and goal setting for me but this year I’m approaching it a bit differently – by first looking at the really big picture to envision the changes I would like to see in the world and then working back from that vision to imagine how I might participate in this evolving view. It’s a multi-dimensional perspective of an integrated and holistic world experience with a re-visioning of five major institutions of modern life, the resulting impact on each individual and how we might participate along the way.

The world I imagine is connected in co-operation; operating consciously and sustainably. Seeing ourselves as more similar than different, we realize we are all in this together and that our collective survival is contingent on our individual thriving. And rather than attempting to dominate the environment, we see ourselves as stewards of the planet we inhabit. To illustrate how this might look, I have re-visioned five of the major institutions of modern life within this worldview.

An Economy that sustains itself and our existence without the addictive practice of consumerism – producing services and substance that enrich our experience rather than so many goods that are thrown away too quickly. It refocuses our attention on living prosperously rather than accumulating abundance – and distributes equitably rather than rewarding the lucky few.
The Financial Markets fund and support a vibrant economy without being an economy of their own – connecting those with money to lend or invest with those having ideas and goods worthy of investment – rather than continually moving the same money around and around without any concern for what the business actually does or even a desire to influence or affect how it operates. In short, the financial sectors support and serve the economy without dominating, controlling or manipulating it.
A forward-thinking Government that turns its back on being manipulated by special interests and instead uses its power of taxation and regulation to encourage behaviors that support a sustainable future and positive, equitable existence for all.
The Education System prepares students for the 21st century by abandoning a system of memorizing data for one that teaches us to better know our own selves, understand the dynamics of the world in which we live and to continually learn; while teaching how to access and use data when we need it rather than attempting to know it forever.
Our Healthcare System actually addresses and heals that which really ails us through a holistic approach to treatment with attention to both symptomatic conditions and the greater disconnection from our higher selves.
Now, imagine similar transformations across other structures and institutions of modern life. The result is a thriving populace living sustainably across all measures of being – connected, contributing and conscious – with little recall of an earlier time of feeling un-empowered, defeated, insignificant or disregarded.

It’s certainly a bold vision and perhaps one I may not see realized in my own lifetime. Zora Neale Hurston wrote that her mother exhorted her to “jump at the sun. You might not land there but at least you will get your feet off the ground.” Visioning isn’t so much about attaining exactly what we envision as it is about changing the dream we dream by questioning our current circumstances and imagining how things could be different.

As we move into the New Year, I encourage you to envision the world differently in some way. Then consider what actions – however small – you might take to move in the direction of that vision. And in so doing, may we all get our feet off the ground.

Author's Bio: 

As a Business Focalizer, Barry taps into deepened awareness as a valuable business resource for creativity and innovation through leadership mentoring and business coaching.