New pathways – leopards can change their spots.

It’s 11.32 pm Friday night, I’d fallen asleep watching an episode of Sons of Anarchy. I woke and realised that I hadn’t done my 750Words for today.

I have religiously done 11 days in a row.

I was going to give in and not do this today, I said ‘don’t be too hard on yourself, you can’t expect realistically to do every single day’

So here I am at my desk at home listening to Ian Brown F.E.A.R. and you know what, I am doing my 750 words, I am not a quitter and it’s not about sheer will power, it’s about a determination to do something because I have a reason and a strong reason.

I know that I am a good writer and I know that if I practice, I will get even better. I have always wanted to write and I want to write a book, may be more than one, but one to start with would be great.

This is all part of my desire to deal with the gremlins in my head, the ‘truths’ that we all tell ourselves. Guess what if we tell ourselves these ‘truths’ often enough. Then they become the ‘truths’ that we believe and start to allow our lives to be determined by.

Well I have had enough of allowing the so called ‘truths’ about me, that I have told myself over many years, continue to stop me doing the things that I really want.

We all have them, those limiting beliefs, that prevent us for getting to the goals and dreams that we want to achieve.

I wrote only a couple of days ago about the ‘why’ power and that if we aligned this with our values then we would continue to do the hard work necessary to achieve our goals.

This is true, but there is one other factor that stands in the way of progress. That is the gremlins, the limiting beliefs, the untruths that we turn in to the truths. These gremlins as you get older become more stubborn and difficult to remove.

So that’s why I am sitting here doing this commitment.

This is one of those days, where the gremlin would have normally taken over and stopped me from going on.

Even though I am tired and probably not at my best for writing anything that will make a great deal of sense, I am here 404 words down, writing.

The longer we allow these so called truths about ourselves to remain unchallenged, the deeper they become ingrained and the more we act upon them without even realising that we are doing so.

The fact is that we can change anything within ourselves, if we are prepared to tackle them and if we are prepared to stick to it religiously to change, what after all is only a habit.

It’s a bit like a path through the forest. The path is the bad path that we walk every day and that path stays free and remains clear through the thick forest undergrowth.

So we decide we want to cut a new path. So we get out our machete and we start to cut a new one. On the first day it’s really hard work and we make a little progress. We start to make a new one. Each day that we go back to the new path and cut a bit more, the new pathway starts to open up and over many weeks of hard work, we get a new path.

The old one is now starting to get a little more overgrown every day that we don’t return to it. Eventually with enough time it will become overgrown and disappear.

This is what happens in our brains, if we work hard and long enough on something, the connections fade and new ones are made.

This is how you deal with removing the untruths, that we have held as truths for as long as we have kept walking that same path.

This is the amazing thing about life and it is the reason that I no longer believe, that we are what we are and some things just can’t be changed. The leopard can change it’s spots, it can become different.

So next time you are telling yourself something about you, that you believe is a ‘truth’, then ask yourself, if it’s really true. If you are not happy with that truth, if it makes you feel bad about yourself, then it’s time to believe that you can change that and cut a new pathway.

I’ve finished my 750 words for today, it took me 23 minutes to do and it has helped me to continue to cut that new path, had I not done day 12, some of the new path would have become a bit overgrown.

Why is the sharing economy so important?

Why is the sharing economy so important? 76% of people in UK have not even heard of it.

Sharing Economy

What exactly is the sharing economy?

Well according to a recent Nesta report in to the collaborative/sharing economy the 5 defining traits are:

1. Enabled by internet technologies.
2. Connecting distributed networks of people and/or assets.
3. Making use of the idling capacity of tangible and intangible assets.
4. Encouraging meaningful interactions and trust.
5. Embracing openness, inclusivity and the commons.

It then goes on to define it further in the report by describing the 4 pillars of activity:

1. Collaborative consumption – gaining access to goods/services through bartering, renting, lending, swapping and so on. Examples of this could be Grub Club.

2. Collaborative production – groups collaborating on design/prodcution. Examples Quirky, Nimber and OpenStreetMap.

3. Collaborative learning – sharing knowledge and resources with learning experiences that are open to anyone. Examples of this are FutureLearn, Skilio and Wikipedia.

4. Collaborative finance – funding, lending and investments outside the traditional financial institutions. Examples Seedrs, Echo, or Zopa.

It’s estimated that within a decade the sharing economy could be worth $335 million globally.

This is not a fad either, this is a complete shift in the way the world is going to operate.

There are three main reasons for me saying that with confidence.

Firstly, the internet/technology is enabling a more efficient way of connecting supply and demand, producers with consumers, which will reap the reward of cutting out a lot of links/middle-men in the chain. Thus making great efficiencies.

Secondly, the dwindling resources coupled with the every increasing demand from the 7 billion and growing people on the planet. This means that sharing and more efficient ways of producing, distributing and consuming goods and services is inevitable and necessary for sustaining the human race.

Lastly, there is a growing generation or community of people who want this and are driving this forward. The connected generation who live in that digital world, who live through their connected online networks. This is growing year on year and these people will be the majority of the working population globally by 2025.

This last reason is the thing that I am most passionate about.

At the age of 47, I have grown up in the 70’s and, most influentially on a whole generation, the 80’s. I grow up through, what will be seen as the worst part of capitalism, where the endless pressure for never ending increases in profit at whatever cost, created a world of selfishness and greed.

We have collectively created that ‘me, me, me’ culture, where we worship at the shrine of possessions, money, profit, bigger, faster and more stuff. The cynical machine has most of us trapped on the hamster wheel of working to maintain that lifestyle.

We live in a world where we are made to feel like a loser if we don’t keep consuming and achieving. Our measure of worthiness is how many friends we have on Facebook.

This is why the sharing economy is so important for the world. It’s not just about efficiencies and technology. What it’s about is people and communities.

The sharing economy is already and will continue to bring people together with a common goal and purpose. That goal is not driven by money and is giving people a chance to belong and become worthy again for being themselves.

The heart has been ripped out of the world and has killed idealism and created cynical greed. What the sharing economy will do is create communities focussed on people.

It is like a beacon of hope on the horizon for all of us, it’s chance to start to unravel the past and a chance to bring equality in to the world. We can start thinking about a human race, which all 7 billion of us belong to. We can start looking at what’s good for all of us, instead of what is good for that top 1%.

So we are at that fork in the road for the human race, one way is clinging on to the old world of ‘ism’ and that broken OS that’s failed or we can be brave and vulnerable and take the other fork.

The other fork allows us to install new software on the world, a new OS that is hard wired to focus on people first and not money.

So if you are not yet involved with the sharing economy, collaboration, then find out about it and get involved for all of our sakes.