On one end of the spectrum, it feels like the external world became extremely chaotic in 2020 so that we could see that our internal world and old ways can be changed with a reality check. Most of the mass consciousness went from not wanting to wear a mask to accepting it as a necessary garment. Mass consciousness went from feeling plant-based living was such a foreign concept to understanding eating more fruits and vegetables is essential. At this point in 2020, developing empathy as a new baseline can be considered essential to prosper in our seemingly chaotic world.
The Age of Information and Anatomy of Longtail
In the age of information, where we can access anything related to our chosen focal area, we have to make the choice to focus on creating more good. The current times are known as the Age of Aquarius. Santokh Singh Khalsa, D.C. defines it as “The Aquarian Age will be dominated by networks and information. The key phrase for this age is “Be to be.” The key to the astrological sign Aquarius is “I know.” This is the age of information. Nothing is secret anymore. All information is available at your fingertips.” This also presents the anatomy of the longtail, where we will enter a place of infinite information, infinite inventory, and infinite everything. As more and more information is produced, where people can have access to information that is super niche to the person’s liking, or trendy and super popular, we will have to be able to find the signal in the noise. This can make the age of information seem chaotic as well as highly personal, like those recommended videos on Youtube.
With information at our fingertips, the ability to empathize, not absorb all the energy around you but be in tune with a sense of compassion is a superpower. Keeping a positive lens on life will help you take in signals in the noise from the rapid influx of information to adjust your behavior for your goals respectively. Your goal could be to just be happy. A goal like this would mean taking in the daily news, new insights on the state of the world, setbacks as you do your work each day, and still choosing to use the new information to stay positive, be on the offense, and find the joy in temporary discomfort that is a catalyst for change.
We form an attitude, defined as, “a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something that is reflected in a person’s behavior” that allows us to take more meaningful action, build better habits and better behaviors to improve daily quality of life. The amount of information available for us will only increase as the access to the internet becomes simplified and more people have the ability and courage to use their voice and tell their story.
I was watching the show Away, on Netflix, which is about an astronaut going onboard on a mission to Mars without her family and I could not stop crying. While this show didn’t perform well enough to warrant a second season, it did strike a nerve for some of us who want to be astronauts in the future. I feel it helped us develop empathy for her situation and spark a deeper conversation around the psychological effects of being an astronaut.
Solving For Happy
The people who tend to be the most resilient, and positive are generally people who learned to overcome a lot of traumatic situations and now have developed a pattern, mentally, emotionally, physically, and most definitely spiritually, to stay optimistic in the face of adversity. Having the ability to understand and share the feelings of another is key to navigating this world and being able to learn the boundaries you have in place and why. This is the key to unlimited happiness.
Acknowledging the fundamental truths of your current reality and still choosing to say, how can I use this new information to understand the world as it is and still be a light within perceived chaos? What do I want to focus on, what do I consciously choose to give energy to? This is how you become empathetic and still have the ability to find the signal in the noise.
As Mo Gawdat says in his book Solve For Happy, happiness is greater than or equal to your reality minus your expectations.
Happiness ≥ Reality — Expectations
Sometimes you have to consider that some people have been through so many traumatic experiences early in life that pushed them to their limit, broke them down repeatedly, and had so many existential crises that they will continually choose to have faith and be positive. When we have faith in something bigger and remain aware that nothing lasts forever, it is all a matter of perspective as time goes on. We can find a way to stay happy, become adaptable, and still reach for our goals in a seemingly chaotic world. Having empathy and being happy doesn’t mean we won’t cry, feel pain, or get angry from time to time. It means we can feel the energies created within us and around us and still choose to take action and exhibit behaviors that positively contribute to our wellbeing, to society, and in turn, make the world a better place.
To develop empathy in our chaotic world, I broke it down into these three areas:
- Live your truth. Living your truth and sharing your story is a major contribution that helps you confront your reality and helps others learn from shared experiences faster. Living in truth also allows you to use your feelings as a tool to build compassion rather than taking on problems and consuming the negative energies around you.
- Make it a point to maintain a positive perspective because in the end things always turn out better than we can imagine.
- Solve for Happy. Don’t turn a blind eye to reality and stay in your bubble to be protected by a false narrative. Have the hard conversations, acknowledge the world for what it is, and still choose to be a light amongst the darkness.