It's time to take back control of your life

Robots are eyeing your job. Especially if you are female.

McKinsey research reports that some 160 million women, worldwide, are at risk of losing their jobs within the next decade or so due to automation. This is because it is jobs that are repetitive and process oriented that are key targets for automation. And those jobs are mostly done by women.

Ladies: Time to take the wheel. And take charge of your life by developing self-awareness.

Self-awareness is not an exclusive activity for the well-heeled, seeking to be well-healed. It’s an entry-level activity to a fulfilled life in our modern world. So, it’s non-negotiable.

Stress clouds self-awareness.

Sure, there is a good kind of stress. It’s called eustress. That’s the sort that gets you up and running. 

However, when stress builds up beyond a certain level, it becomes ‘distress’ and can have a very negative effect on performance, relationships and general well-being. 

And, as if we didn’t have enough to contend with on the technology and communication fronts, experts are telling us that we may be dealing with these – and perhaps even additional pressures – for longer!

The latest research reveals that people are living longer, generally…

Apparently, life expectancy has been increasing steadily over the past two hundred years and the advice from Professors Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott of London Business School, in their fascinating book: ‘The 100-Year Life’, is that we must prepare for this longer lifespan so that we are not faced with a situation where we are older for longer with the implicit drawback of being frail and dependent.

Gratton and Scott conclude that the responsible approach to this situation is to take charge of our individual lives and make a flexible plan, as we will go through many more stages of life than the traditional three stages of youth, middle age and retirement/old age.

On the fun side, the authors also observe that this longer life span will offer lots of possibilities for multiple stages, loops and cross-generational relationships.

Clearly, we will have to develop the right attitude and skills to navigate this amazing new world.

Despite the fact that people in general are living longer, the truth is that no-one knows for sure the date of their final day on Earth. That’s why making the most of yourself – right here; right now – is essential.

And if you really think about it, ‘Now’ is all you’ve got. The past is over. The future has not yet arrived and may never come for you.

If you are lucky enough to live in a relatively free environment, the quality of the life you live is your own responsibility.

The best day of your life is when you decide that you alone are responsible for your life. No ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’. No-one to rely on or to blame’ David Gikandi: ‘Images of One’.

So, if you’re wise, you’ll seize the moment and get started on self-awareness to appreciate who you are in terms of your individual personality traits and your talents. These are what make you a unique individual in a world where, according to recent scientific research, not even identical twins have 100% identical DNA. Each one of us is unique.

Once you have come to fully appreciate yourself (no obsessing – just a healthy appreciation and sense of gratitude) you are more likely to take a renewed interest in those around you – your family, friends and co-workers – those people who admire and support you because you are you.

And, with that, you’ll be back at the wheel, in the driver’s seat of your life, with the open road of opportunity ahead of you. Safe travels!

Copyright © Eithne Kennedy