Change and Opportunity – A Theme for 2019

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As we approach the end of 2018 and prepare ourselves to move into 2019, I wanted to offer my perspective on how I believe our minds will be occupied for much of the upcoming year. To me, it overwhelmingly feels like a period of change is upon us. To be honest, it has felt like that for the last few years. It has been a sense of transition, a sense of change in our perspectives, amending the way we interact on a global scale and the way we look at the world. This time around, it just seems more urgent.

For quite a few years there has been a big redefinition in how we view success. More people are taking the opportunity to design their life how they want it. Options and opportunities seem to be increasing and they seem to be increasingly available throughout the world. More and more, technology is changing the game and offering greater access to many who before could not even contemplate the field of play, much less be a part of it. The ways that we work and play are constantly evolving. For those who want it, it is possible to do almost anything that you want in order to achieve the success that you envision.

In my country Barbados, we are likely to be facing economic challenges throughout 2019 as we all work collectively to redefine and refocus what it means to work or have a job in our island. It is generally expected that it is going to be a rough year but one that is also filled with opportunities. We are already experiencing challenges to the traditional ways that people earned their income.  We have had a relatively significant number of layoffs from our public sector organizations. This impacts the ability of a large number of people to make a living in the short term.

To address this, a great emphasis is being placed on encouraging people to retool, develop new skills so that they can look for new jobs or jobs in new fields.  There is also a great push to encourage people to pursue any dreams of entrepreneurship that they may have.   Fortunately, our country is one that has always had a highly entrepreneurial population. Granted that much of those efforts have been dedicated toward endeavours in the retail industry or towards endeavours that limit the business to the expertise and capacity of the owner.  However, with the different mindset of a whole new generation of potential entrepreneurs, that does not have to remain the case. Therefore the expectation over the next year is that there will be a surge of creativity which will enable individuals, and ultimately the country, to move forward into new and different areas of production, income generation and foreign exchange earning.

When we turn our attention to the rest of the world, you will notice that everywhere people are restless. There is a general dissatisfaction with the way things currently are operating. People are complaining about the environment, about the way that we treat each other, the way that we treat the planet, the way that we eat, the way organizations are doing business, the way we are educating ourselves and future generations, and on and on.

On an individual basis, people are striving to do better, to make better choices for themselves and their families. People are struggling to find their place in the world and in their community and many are also struggling to figure out how they can make their own corner of the world a better place.  On the whole, individuals are striving to become more, to do more and to achieve more. I consistently hear from people who are working on or dreaming about changing their lives.  Everywhere seems to be in flux. We all seem to want change.

Now it is true that we don’t all want the same things for the world. We don’t all have the same vision for our lives and we do not all define success in the same way.  In fact, what some people want may be at complete odds with what others are seeking to achieve.  However, on the whole, the world is full of decent, hardworking human beings who want the best that they can achieve for themselves, their families and their communities. Most people generally want the world to be a better place. A place where we can all work on becoming the best version of ourselves.

In spite of the differences that exist, the overwhelming similarity seems to be that change is in the air and in a fairly big way. So as you contemplate this, you should ask yourself, how are you going to be changing over the next twelve months? What goals have you been putting off that you can look at again and start working on to make them happen?

Once you have answers to your questions, start moving.  There is a reason that we all hear the old adage so often, ‘there is no time like the present’. That’s because it is true. Any time we want to do anything new or different, we usually have to start right away before we have the time to really look at all the possible ways it might not work. We have to short circuit the mechanism we have within ourselves to talk us out of our good ideas.  Once we start taking action, no matter how small at first, we have a better chance of going all the way.

Sometimes, the only reason that we succeed at anything is because we did not know how likely it was that we would fail. We took the decision to start and then we decided to keep putting one foot in from of the other. That’s how you keep moving forward. That’s how progress is made. That’s how dreams are achieved.

So with all the prospective change that is likely to be coming our way, it seems to be a golden opportunity for anyone who has ideas about how to solve some of the problems of the world, or address the issues that arise in your country or help your colleagues and leaders in your organizations. Maybe you feel that you only have one idea that could help one person you know. Take a step forward. Try a little, no matter how small. It’s a start.


Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance.  She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  For more of her writing visit


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