The biggest transformation of our time: how we see ourselves

The biggest transformation of our time: how we see ourselves

I like challenges. I’m in for the big ones, because “I believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast”. This may get you puzzled; don’t worry, you’re not the first. So let me help you: nothing = impossible. It all starts with believing. ‘I have a dream’, and thank god, we all can dream.

Seeing how we are stuck today, in our never-ending focus on performance and perfection, I have a dream that one day we will find ourselves and live life to the fullest, making way for our potential. Not because we have to be our best, but because we are becoming who we are. Which, according to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, is our purpose in life. And with all I know and feel, I tend to agree.

Stuck huh? Yeah, stuck. Our mental health is on an all-time low. There are different issues. For one it’s our idea of how we are supposed to be. Our idea of normal. Normal has become a very slim concept. Strangely, it’s not so normal to fit the normal brief anymore. We seem to have a diagnose for everyone (OCD, ASS, ADHD to name a few). There even is a mental illness that we call ‘snapchat dysmorphia’, for people who want to look like their perfect snapchat picture – with filters – and who go to a doctor to make this happen. 

In schools we train our children to perform well. You could even argue that we are ‘programming’ our children. Just have a look at this video and you can see what I mean. And we measure the performance to ensure that our kids improve.

The benchmark is the holy grail and tells us what performance we should be looking for. So what happens to our special talents if we all need do ‘the same dance’? The only dance we’ll be able of dancing will be a dance that robots – at some point – will be doing better than us. Did you know that artificial intelligence is going to exceed our human intelligence?

So we could ask ourselves this question: Are we – humans – the failing prototype of what we will improve with artificial intelligence?

I dare say no! Maybe in our current view, being homo sapiens. Literally this means wise man. But being wise – on the long run – is no longer what makes us stand out.

It’s time to rethink our own position. Time for a transformation to become who we are born to be: connected. You, me, us, we are Homo Conexus. We distinguish ourselves by our ability, but also our need, for being connected.

So this is my big project. A lifetime of transformation. To see ourselves in a different light. A light that shines bright and sparkles with our great potential. A light that shines so bright it can embrace us all. If only we can learn to see. Seeing is believing. And we can start seeing in our dreams.

Notes:
1. On 16 April my TED talk at TEDxWassenaar will be about this topic.
2. Dutch readers can read my book ‘De mens van morgen; van homo sapiens naar homo conexus
3. On my website you can find a brief English summary of the book.