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News flash…if you live in the US, you live in an anxiety-ridden society.

Our 24 hour news cycle contributes to this in many ways.

Our so-called political leadership contributes to this in many ways.

Our addictions to work, sports, sex, entertainment, drugs, etc all contribute to this in many ways.

Our never-ending fascination with being right certainly contributes to this in many ways.

Being constantly plugged in and on notification contributes to this in many ways.

But…

It doesn’t have to be this way.  It wasn’t always this way.

This isn’t an argument for rolling back the clock or the calendar. That isn’t a realistic solution – it only creates more anxiety because we end up measuring where we are with where we were and we’ll never get back there.

There are plenty of articles that tell us how to life hack this and that.  I don’t think they help either.

I don’t think there is more to do to end the anxiety.  I also don’t think it’s about less.  That’s focusing on the wrong thing – activity.  I think dealing with an anxious society is different.

It’s about attitude.  It’s about leadership.  It’s about focus.  It’s about communication.

All of these things are intangibles.  You can’t really measure them.  They aren’t activities.  They are ways of being and living.  They cause activity to be done in a certain way.  They have an impact on the people around us.

It’s also not about eliminating anxiety.  If that is the focus, then it’s the wrong focus.  Instead, it’s about creating an environment where people can thrive.  When that is the focus, there is no room for anxiety.  It isn’t a possibility and we aren’t fighting against it.  Instead we are moving towards something else – something much better.

You don’t get to a thriving society by battling and fighting anxiety in people and systems.  You get there by creating an environment where people can thrive.

You don’t get to a thriving society by putting anxious people in leadership positions – people who thrive on drama and attention and conflict.  That’s a recipe for disaster.

You get there when those in leadership empower those under their leadership to improve their lives – not alone and by themselves – but with others, together.  It’s not about competing to the top.  It’s about getting more people on board to move in the same direction – towards thriving.

That’s how you change an anxious society into something more life-giving.