Are we at the end of consumerism?

I doubt it, but we are starting to see a shift in how people are spending their money and their levels of resilience.

If we look at the time period 1950 to present day, then much has changed.  A generation that experienced rationing during the war are mostly in their later years, they may well be in receipt of both company and state pension, but are unlikely to be spending large amounts of money on household goods, clothes.

The next generation, now predominately in their 50s, may well have seen their children purchase their first house, have grandchildren and find themselves knocking about in a house that is comfortably-furnished, probably a little on the larger side than truly required, have the mortgage paid off and with the shed, garage, attic and even possibly the back bedroom crammed with stuff.

A visit into any of the above, often ends up being a trip down memory lane, remember the Kodak disc camera, or the tapes that used to go into the early video cameras, then there will be the album upon album of 6×4 photographs; all no longer held by the dried-out-sticky-plastic over-sleeve.

The generation after this starts to become very interesting; now in their 30s, they have no recollection of houses without colour TV’s, computers, central heating, and any number of gaming devices, kitchen gadgets to make life easier, whilst preparing dishes whose origins are from far and wide. Put simply, this is the first generation whose reference structure from childhood is likely to be one of if we want it we can have it.

But what are people turning to, if it’s not getting the latest thing? There are reports and evidence in the slowdown of sales for the latest smartphone models when released, retailers are and have been for some time turning to innovation to keep potential customers engaged, but people are realising that the innovation is for innovation’s sake. Has our appetite for the latest thing passed? Well evidence is showing increasing interest in buying ‘experiences’ .

Time is a precious commodity when it’s gone, it’s gone, I was sitting for 15 minutes the other night, waiting to get off a motorway junction.  Yes that’s right, 15 minutes in a queue half a mile long on the hard shoulder!

People now want more for their time, they are indulging their hard-earned money on having an experience.  Out is the latest lawnmower; in comes paying someone to come round once a month to cut and treat the lawn, in the time saved; we go out, pay to stay a night in a tent ‘glamping’ so we can see the shooting stars at night, listen to the wind and be greeted by a cow mooing over the fence in the morning. Yes I am buying the experience, without all the stuff needed to do it. I have de-cluttered… or at least, not added any more clutter to my hoard. I am free to move onto the next thing, because, ladies and gentlemen, here is another facet of modern life. I don’t want to stick with any one thing for long, my attention span is short, I want variety, choice, indulgence but what about resilience? The ability to resolve things that don’t quite go right first time,  ot to expect instant results or to get more understanding and become part of the community engaged in the effort. Don’t worry about all that I will just move on, I am here for the experience, to say I’ve done it, to fill my boots with experience.  I have the selfie to prove it.  Without all the stuff.

Personal Resilience

Building Personal Resilience

That your attitude matters so much has always been known, so it is no surprise that this truism has now passed the rigours of scientific method.

New research by Psychologist Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ. Not only that, she found that you have one of two broad mindsets, a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.

People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.

Reading an article in a newspaper over the weekend, I quite liked the analogy “face up to life’s challenges and see effort as a path to mastery not as a brand of suffering.” I think that this is particularly relevant in today’s world where we are seeing an ever increasing number of people wanting and expecting everything instantly. When faced with a knock back, a refusal or a requirement to put in some effort with no guarantee of success, they struggle to find their resilience!

According to Dweck, success in life is all about how you deal with failure. She describes the approach to failure of people with the growth mindset this way,

“Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.’”

This reminded me of the story of Edison who brought the commercial light bulb to the world. who after each bulb failure framed the failure as just another way it hasn’t worked, proceeding to learn from the failure and moving straight onto the next design.

Persistence is rewarded when a flexible and growth mindset are present.

What’s also important is to understand your motivation.  Knowing the things you love to do will be a big influence on your success, you will do these things easily, knowing the things your passionate about and making these the things you concentrate on will, combines with the flexible and growth mindsets nearly always guarantee your success.

Want to build your personal resilience? We have the above cards available from our shop

Personal Resilience

So much has been written about building personal resilience and it seems that it is one of the hottest topics in businesses and organizations as they look to support their people and look after their well being.

Could it be, that in a world of instant gratification, where we are led to believe that there is always a way, that we have built up a reliance on others to come up with solutions?  Could our desire for inclusion, our worry that a child should not experience rejection on the sports field, that ‘taking part is more important than winning’ result in us losing the ability to cope with difficulty and belief in ourselves to overcome adversity?

Human beings are enduring creatures, we have spent thousands of years dealing with challenges, overcoming what the natural world has thrown at us, yet we seem to struggle with the man-made challenges of modern life. Expectation, falsely-created needs and a desire for an easy life.

Life just isn’t like that, there are real challenges and threats, not the sabre tooth tiger that wants to hunt us and eat us, or (for many of us) the need to find food and water daily in order to survive.  No…modern challenges, like adapting to rapidly-changing technology, coping with change, dealing with global competition, remaining relevant in the workplace, managing others’ expectations and self-expectations.

So just how much control do we have in our lives?  The answer is a lot, but only if we take charge, choose a positive outlook, cultivate the motivation and determination to see things through.

Every four years, we see athletes from around the globe come together to compete, to win and for more to go away empty-handed. The common themes are stories of clear goals, dedication and sacrifice on the way to success and for those who were unable to claim a medal, defiance in defeat, a commitment to work harder, to find new ways to train, to up skill, bank the experience and return stronger. This is resilience in action.

We have worked hard over the last few months to bring to you a set of Building Personal Resilience Coaching Cards, a grouped resource that can be used by individuals, organizations and teams to understand what makes up resilience.  There are challenges and questions to self-coach and develop those skills, thinking and mind-sets needed in order to be successful.

Follow the link to find out more goo.gl/KHZkic

 

Thomas Edison made 1000 experimental light bulbs, all of which failed before he succeeded on his 1001st attempt.

Albert Einstein said ‘failure is success in progress’.