Why I Disagree With Marshal Goldsmith

I agree with 93% of what Marshal Goldsmith tells us in his “Advice for the young that transcends age” in BusinessWeek.

I agree that in an era of uncertainty, we all need to think like entrepreneurs. Second I agree that it is tough out there, and it’s only going to get tougher. Third I agree that you better forget about security.
And fourth I agree that it is a fairer and better world when millions of people from around the world are and will be getting the chance their parents never had.

Here is what I disagree with:

1. I disagree that you should “strive to survive”. I believe you are better off striving for much more than survival. Unless you strive to make a meaningful impact, to unlock your opportunities and to make the most of them, you begin to die even while you survive. How about striving for greatness, for meaning, for purpose, for a meaningful contribution?

2. I disagree that you should “forget about taking a year off.” If you have an opportunity for a learning adventure, a year off the trodden path and breaking away from the rat race might be the best move you can make to help your career development and opportunities. You can make this not a “year off” but rather a “year on” about life, living and learning.

3. I disagree that you should not be finding yourself during your adult years. You can “find yourself” inside anything you do. The first creativity is in re-creating you. Beyond the great surge of the globalized economy and consumerism, we are about to see a great surge in people’s desire for connection, meaning, true impact, beauty, inspiration and for simply being able to create a peace of mind. The next two decades are about to unleash a new wave in this globalization surge – the resurgence of art and culture and integral development, with new scientific breakthroughs and innovation on all fronts to facilitate these higher human needs. Do not give up on these essentials. The price of giving up is too high. You will be thriving but dead.

Investing in what you are about, in what you believe in, and in your growth and development is the best way to invest your time and money in your future. The future is not a repetition of the past. Subscribing to the mindset that helped our grandparents to survive the Depression is not the best approach. Instead, try to glean what the future is bringing and what mindsets are useful to have now to be able to live and flourish in a global ecology, not just survive it.

© Aviv Shahar

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