The last couple of decades have seen a profound shift in western ideas and values of work, life and play. The rules have changed to the point where there are no longer any rules. In fact, we all have the opportunity to create our own rules if we so chose. There are no templates or life paths to follow. The world has become untemplated.
A great group of people have joined forces to blog about the opportunities to create any lifestyle we imagine.
They have just launched a new site, Untemplater.com and have a free PDF manifesto on offer. I am really excited about this new online community because I really think we are on the cusp of a major revolution in all facets of our lives. Old templates and career paths just don’t work anymore. Untemplater promises to help us chart our way through entrepreneurship, lifestyle design, vagabond travels, personal finance, motivation and the future of the anywhere, anything lifestyle.
The world is changing fast but it is always helpful to reflect on the history that brought us here.
A Century of Change: ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’
With constant technological and societal change it is sometimes easy to forget how much the world has changed in one very short century. Your great grandparents probably didn’t have electricity, running water, motorized vehicles and all the derivative goods and services that flow from those basic luxuries. Think about that as you go through your day. Could you exist without electricity, technology, automobiles and running water?
One hundred years ago times were much more difficult. Traveling a dozen or so miles to a nearby city was a chore. There was a constant struggle just to provide enough food to survive. Endless back-breaking physical work was required just to exist with little left over for entertainment.
The Golden Ages: Individuality was a Small Price to Pay for Wealth
The rise of mass corporations in the 1950’s offered security and upward mobility. People were happy to forgo their own individuality and dreams for the sake of rapidly rising standards of living. Being a faceless corporate drone was far superior to the depravity of World War II and earlier experiences with the great depression. Risk taking was foolish when high paying salaries were so easy to come by. A single income was ample to buy a comfortable house with all modern appliciances and furniture. It truly was the Golden Age and people had lots of children to prove it.
Those children were the baby boom. Families with children spend more money so the economy was great and everyone prospered. Women were housewives and men were salaried workers. Work may not have been intrinsically rewarding, but no one cared because life was so good.
The Baby Boomers
Then all those babies started growing up. When the working age population is small, job opportunities and salaries are great. When the boomers flooded the workforce there was a lot of competition for limited jobs and decent opportunities were scarce. Unemployment was high and times were tough.
However, those boomers had their own children causing a second baby boom. More children meant families spent more money and times became good again. That lasted about two decades, then those second baby boomers started entering the work force and times started getting tight again. Those workers are now commonly referred to as generation X. I am of that generation.
When I graduated university job opportunities were limited. I missed the boom oil years my parents enjoyed and probably graduated at one of the worst times. There were no executive and V.P. positions offered to limited experience graduates. Everyone started at the bottom of the corporate ladder and expected a long climb to the top. Entrepreneurship was still somewhat of a strange word often met with derision. Looking back it really is amazing how much demographics influence the economy.
The Age of Opportunity
Now in the Internet age, the rules have completely changed again. The Internet, technology and resultant flattening of the world have completely reshaped the playing field again. The costs to start companies and reach a global market are essentially free. Start up incubators like Ycombinator and TechStars, are proving that talented and motivated teams can build multi-million dollar businesses in a few months with 15 to 20 thousand dollars of start up capital. This is the age of ideas and opportunity. Age and experience are meaningless. Only creativity, talent and hard work can bring success.
Costs of travel, electronics, clothing, food and most goods are cheaper than ever. We know longer need to keep on increasing our consumption. Things do not bring lasting happiness, only experiences and human connections do. This is the first time in history when it makes sense to stop increasing our material possessions and focus on finding meaning and purpose in our lives.
The time has come to break free of old limiting patterns and templates and create our own paths the world. Untemplater.com is the community to follow for this new untemplated lifestyle.