Written by Shaun Lindbergh from MobiliseGauteng.co.za
We, the Boomers, are the biggest and most-profitable market segment the world has ever known and will remain so for the next twenty to thirty years.
We also own the largest reserve of knowledge and expertise on the planet and will probably continue to do so for the next twenty to thirty years.
We have ushered in the Digital Revolution.
We have transformed the world into a global village.
We have maintained the longest period of global peace since the Holy Roman Empire.
We have achieved more than any other generation before us and those that follow will be hard-pressed to match our achievements. And we are not done yet!
But we haven’t been all Good, there has also been the Bad and the downright Ugly as well.
We have been an incredibly self-indulgent generation, rapacious consumers of the earth’s resources and mindless accumulators of meaningless junk. In our self-grasping ignorance, we have been careless of the looming environmental crises we have created and inconsiderate of the increasing disparities of wealth and resources around the globe.
We are handing the next generation a world mired in enormous global challenges, concerned only with our personal investments and retirement choices.
Surely, we can do better than that!
What the world really needs now is a healthy dose of wisdom, the wisdom that comes from decades of experience and contemplation.
We, the Boomers, have the greatest reserve of experience on the planet but, in our busyness to succeed, we have done far too little serious contemplation about Life, with a capital ‘L’.
But all is not lost! We could easily live another twenty, forty or fifty years. That’s more than enough time to convert our experience to wisdom. More than enough time to capitalise on the good we have done and mitigate the damage of our bad and ugly actions.
As a generation, and as individuals, we own an enormous wealth of knowledge, money and expertise and, as Andrew Carnegie, my hero, admonishes us,
“Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in their lifetime for the good of the community.” (The Gospel of Wealth)
This is not a time for Boomers to be retiring, it really is a time for us to refire!
Look at the world’s problems and ask yourself where your passion and expertise could contribute to meaningful solutions. With whom could you collaborate and cooperate to realise meaningful solutions? These should be the Big Burning Boomer questions today.
Could you get fired up by a mission to make a positive difference in the world? Could you get fired up by the idea of transitioning from success to significance?
Yes? Then don’t retire, refire!
We are not done yet! Not by a long way. The world needs us now more than ever.
All it requires from us is a willingness to adapt and a decent dose of humility. I can tell you from personal experience, the next generation is hungry for our knowledge and expertise … if we will wise up and stop telling them how useless they are and start collaborating with them for the greater good of all. An opportunity to invest in a better future together; now that’s a retirement plan worth thinking about, isn’t it?
On a personal note, I had to refire in 2009 when my business crashed and wiped out the major part of my retirement savings. At fifty-three I had to reinvent my life and start again. I tapped back into my old activist energy and styled myself as a business activist. I developed a new philosophy “Enterprise with a Social Agenda, a Mind for Profit and a Heart for Community” and adopted a new mantra “Creating inspired solutions for global problems through intelligent design and simple application.”
It’s not been an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination, but it has been an adventure in possibility. It’s taken eight years of bootstrapping, failures and curved balls to reach a point where I have an inspired solution for a global problem, a solution that fires me up so much it pops me out of bed at 4am every morning.
The problem I am fired up about solving is an increasingly disrupted society and my solution is a community-building system to grow a more caring and resilient society, a society better equipped to navigate the challenges of the Digital Revolution together, one community at a time. The idea piloted in 2011/2 as Motivate Cape Town but crashed after a curved ball took out my CEO. After five years of evaluation and testing v2.0 is launching in a more robust form as MOBILISE! Gauteng. The next stage of the adventure has just begun.
Feel free to connect with me if the MOBILISE! mission fires you up. MobiliseGauteng.co.za
076 342 1621