I’ve been all over the world on a speaking tour, delivering keynote addresses on “Life Planning, Mindfulness, and A Golden Civilization” and leading inspired conversations, with stops throughout the US, Europe, and a four-city tour in Asia sponsored by the CFA Institute, including Mumbai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Hong Kong just as the protests for democratic freedom were ramping up.
From keynote addresses in front of hundreds of advisers to living room conversations of just a dozen, I’ve been on the move all year.
Half of the audiences I spoke with were from the finance sector and new to the life planning model. My talks generated interest in how mindfulness is the key listening skill that makes a great adviser. In life planning, we train advisers to deliver their clients into their dreams of freedom through deep listening, empathy, and craftsmanship of a vision of a life full of meaning and purpose.
I’ve broadened my scope for life planning over the past year. Inspired by the process of writing A Golden Civilization and the Map of Mindfulness, I thought to apply the same methodology that delivers clients into their dreams of freedom to the ultimate client—civilization. And I’ve been asking others to join me.
Through the simple Golden Civilization Conversation structure, I and hundreds of conversationalists globally have been crafting new visions. We are “life planning civilisation” and aiming to deliver it within a single generation.
Audiences feel the urgency of this movement with issues of climate change, corruption, distrust, inequality, and lack of democratic freedoms and hope. There is such excitement from groups everywhere when they craft the vision, consider the obstacles, discuss possible actions, and commit to doing their part to deliver change.
I remember stopping in London last fall for the first group visioning exercise and experiencing the excitement that everyone shared for this new way of seeing, being, and acting. The group meets regularly and are creating “a handbook of wisdom for ages 6 to 96.”
The key question I ask everywhere is “with such extraordinary progress as we’ve seen over the 250 years since the Industrial Revolution, how come at this point in our development we don’t always see wisdom and great hearts sustainably emerging at the top of every hierarchy of power that gets created?”
I think it’s time we finished the great work of the past 250 years by guaranteeing that every hierarchy of the future has great heart and profound wisdom extending to all stakeholders, so that we naturally trust all of our institutions, and have confidence in the sustainability of our democratic and economic systems, and of Mother Earth.
In A Golden Civilization and the Map of Mindfulness, I write of the ideals, principles, systems, and structures that might guarantee a Golden Civilization for all; one where war, corruption, and gross inequality are ended, freeing people to be passionate in their pursuit and realisation of freedom across all walks of life.
Using a “Map of Mindfulness,” I provide a new framework to establish civilisation based on the present moment and explore how the incorporation of mindfulness practices can transform economics, democracy, media, and leadership.
I challenge readers to immediately abandon habits, structures, and systems that won’t bring about a Golden Civilization and adopt those that would immediately bring authenticity, exhilaration, peace, and freedom.
This is my vision and what I’ve found this past year is that I’m not alone. When I lead a Golden Civilization Conversation, guiding the conversationalists toward a vision for civilisation and the action steps to make it reality, I am blown away by the common themes uniting seemingly polarised groups. Considering just the groups I’ve met in the UK as an example—from Masons in Leeds to financial advisers in Glasgow to gatherings of friends in Edinburgh, Falmouth, and London to students at Coventry University—we all want kindness, community, and respect.
Where I’ve found that groups differ is in the inner and outer obstacles that they perceive as most immediate. These obstacles are different because each person, each community is wrestling with something different, so it is natural for the approaches to overcoming obstacles, the actions and commitments made, to be unique as well.
I am on a mission to inspire more participative democracy, more action, and to bring about a Golden Civilization within a generation. And thanks to conversationalists all over the globe, particularly in the UK, the torch for civilisation is getting brighter.
George Kinder, CFP®, RLP®, is the founder of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning and designer of trainings for client-adviser relationship skills. His new book, A Golden Civilization and the Map of Mindfulness is available now.