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5 Facts To Help Us Shift Out Of Crisis Mode

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5 Facts To Help Us Shift Out Of Crisis Mode

Gregg Braden Discusses The Key To Thriving In This Time Of Extremes
Gregg  Braden
Gregg Braden More by this author
Oct 06, 2015 at 10:30 AM

We’re living in a time when we can expect big things to happen—big shifts in the world and big changes in our lives. And just to be clear, the extremes I’m talking about don’t necessarily have to be only bad things. And they don’t even need to be good things for that matter. It’s just that they’re big things. And big things are happening all around us in our lives as well as our world.

The Big Picture

Fact 1: Now is different

From the breakdown of national economies and the global shift of energy dominance, to the realities of climate change and the failure of war to solve our differences, a convergence of extreme conditions unlike anything known in the history of the world is upon us. It’s because now is different that the thinking of the past no longer works to solve our problems.


Fact 2: Life gets better, and resilience is the key

It’s important to remember that the only things breaking down in our lives right now are ways of living and thinking that are no longer sustainable. Personal resilience makes room for big shifts in our lives, and is our greatest ally in our time of extremes.

Fact 3: A turning point of thriving transformation can replace the tipping point of frightening extremes

Nature provides a time when every crisis can be turned into transformation, when simply surviving the extremes in the world can be turned into a thriving way of life. That time is a turning point. A turning point emerges when a new force—a fact, a discovery, an experience— changes the way we address our course of events. What matters is that turning points of life may be spontaneous, or they may be created.

Fact 4: We already have new solutions

We already have the solutions necessary to create turning points of transformation in our lives. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Rather, we need to build the “road” of thinking that gives the “wheel” of solutions something to travel upon.

Fact 5: The biggest crisis is the most difficult to accept

The single factor that lies between crisis and transformation is one that has eluded scientists, politicians, and religious leaders alike. It’s a crisis in thinking. We must embrace the thinking that allows us to accept the existing solutions into our lives.

It’s these five facts that cut to the very heart of what we’re up against and hold the keys to the next step of transformation, both for ourselves and for the world. Our ability to thrive in the midst of such massive change—our personal resilience—is the first step to ensure the success of our journey.

We’re living the emergence of a new “normal,” and the success of our transition hinges upon two things.

(1) our willingness to acknowledge the shift

(2) our ability to embrace it in a healthy way

Our globalized culture of jobs, money, markets, and resources means that it’s now impossible to separate the extremes in the world from what they mean in our everyday lives.

Example: the crisis of climate change

The record-setting droughts caused by shifts in global weather patterns translate directly into scarcity of seasonal crops and the higher prices we pay for food at our local markets. The extreme debt and failing economies on the other side of the planet translate directly into higher costs at the gas pump and higher ticket prices for the buses, trains, and taxis that take us to work each day. Because of these and other extremes, bank loans have become less available, and the interest we’re being paid on our savings, checking, and retirement accounts hovers near an all-time record low zero percent. The global slowdown of industry translates directly into the loss of jobs and job security in our local communities.

These are the kinds of extremes in the world that are creating big changes in our lives. Among the many uncertainties they bring, though, there’s one thing that we can be sure of: our lives are changing in ways that we’re not used to, not prepared for, at a speed that we’ve never known

Change is reflected everywhere, both in the ways in which things in our lives work, as well as in the ways things of the past no longer work.

  • The old era of an oil-based economy, for example, is giving way to a new economy based upon cleaner forms of energy that are more sustainable.
  • The old ideas of centralized production of our food from corporate farms half a world away is giving way to the new, healthy, and sustainable production of food from small farms that invigorate local economies.
  • The old practice of creating wealth from industries that destroy our planet is giving way to new, socially responsible models of investing.
  • And the even greater crisis, arguably the greatest crisis that we face in our time of extremes is a crisis in thinking. We’re being challenged to radically shift the way we think of ourselves and our relationship to one another and the world, and to do so faster than any generation in history has ever done before.

Our willingness to think differently will be the key to the success of our journey. And while it’s definitely a big journey that we’re on, it’s also a very short trip, because the world we’re traveling to is already here. It’s with us right now.

We Have the Solutions

Fortunately for us, the technology to solve the biggest challenges we face has already been discovered. The biggest problems we could ever imagine are already solved. The advanced principles are already understood. They all exist in this moment, right here, right now, and are at our fingertips. All that stands between us and the new world—where energy is abundant and comes from clean sources accessible to every member of our global family; where clean, healthy food is plentiful and accessible to every mouth on the planet; where every human is able to obtain the basic necessities to live a comfortable, meaningful life—is the thinking that makes room in our lives for what already exists in our world.

The question that we must ask of ourselves, is this: are we willing to embrace the thinking that makes such possibilities a priority? Will we allow the deepest truths of our relationship to ourselves, to one another, and the earth, to become the passport for our journey?

For more on this topic please see my revised and updated edition of the Turning Point released this week, it is called Resilience of the Heart.

About Author
Gregg  Braden
A New York Times best-selling author and 2015 Templeton Award nominee, Gregg Braden is internationally renowned as a pioneer in bridging scie Continue reading