Stalling: Why We Lose Lift
Collectively we are stalling in greater numbers than ever before. To quote some rather alarming statistics:
- In the United States, depression and anxiety are on an eighty-year upswing among young people and a twenty-year upswing among the adult population.
- Not only are people experiencing depression in greater numbers, but they’re experiencing it at earlier ages with each generation.
- Across the U.S., feelings of loneliness and social isolation are up. Nearly half of all Americans now report feeling isolated, left out, or alone.
- Social trust is also not only down across the developed world but plummeting, meaning fewer people than ever trust their government, the media, or one another.
- In the 1980s, when researchers asked survey participants how many people they had discussed important personal matters with over the previous six months, the most common answer was “three.” By 2006, the most common response was “zero.”
Clearly, then, something is up. It certainly ain’t the sky!
If we take the premise that the underlying reason we stall stems from a loss of meaning, and if we also take the premise that the main reason we lose meaning stems from an inability to let go of something, that begs several questions.
- Why have we lost meaning on such a colossal scale, especially in the modern developed world?
- What is it we’re unable to let go of?
- What can we do to save ourselves before it’s too late?
Undeniably these are complex and difficult questions to answer, but since I’m writing a book, I best have a crack.
Let’s start with the obvious before taking a rapid nose dive off a cliff!
On the surface, it seems we stall because we want something we can’t have. It’s like being grounded as a pilot. The desire to fly leaves us wishing for a different reality.
Of course, we want to be out and about, exploring the world and playing with our mates. We want to get…