“I had ticked all the boxes. I went to university, did my Masters, landed my dream job, had a family, had a house with a white picket fence and travelled whenever I wanted. But the life I had created was in response to society’s definition of success and happiness — not my own. Within seven months, at the age of 39, I turned my life upside down. I left a 16 year career at Shell at the top of my game, I left an 18 year relationship and relocated to Melbourne.
Since then I have been dedicated to understanding how we can shift our mindset and behaviours to experience more joy for ourselves, and for others.
Human connection is at the core of finding more joy in the everyday. Technology and the speed of change are impacting every aspect of how we live and work. Many of us are losing our humanness and the impact on mental health and wellbeing is significant.
As a society we are adapting unconsciously. Mobile phones were meant to give us more time and make our lives easier. But rather than creating more time and space — they’ve filled it. We’ve unconsciously adapted. We need to be more conscious about our decisions and make intentional changes in a complex environment that’s evolving at speed. We need to consider how to focus in a world that distracts us and we need to value thinking rather than being in a constant state of doing.
The busy epidemic is also compromising our state of being. We are so focused on productivity and efficiency and we’re constantly looking for quicker, more convenient ways to do things. We use busyness as an excuse to shut down conversations which is the opposite of what we need as a society.
We need to seek to understand one another more and sadly I think we’re moving in the opposite direction —we seek to fight with one another instead. We should strive to understand and accept each other’s differences. The magic is in our difference. We are a culture made up of difference.
s p a c e attracts the most unbelievably diverse mix of people. And it throws out all of the norms of traditional networking events — you’re sitting on a beanbag, by the ocean, having these deep conversations you wouldn’t have normally because nature and human connection go hand in hand. People share what they’re really thinking and seek to see the world through a different lens.”
*Interview and write-up- s p a c e storyteller, Sian Gooden