Empowering ourselves is a goal we seek to achieve every day. It can be a simple process or it can be one that is drawn out and complex. Yet the idea is to update, upsurge and upscale our capacity and capabilities into doing things better than before. Empowering ourselves is deliberate and planned and usually cannot
What some of us do not realise is that time is a great leveller – of skills, of capabilities and of offering our services or business acumen in the right manner. Today, time is measured in virtually nanoseconds. What was relevant and fashionable yesterday is not so today, until and unless you understand that implications of that, we might find ourselves irrelevant to the world going forward.
Empowering ourselves continuously allows us to engage with the world on terms that add credibility to our goals. We must be in the know – of trends, fads, developments and mind sets that evolve over time. For an example, data and information that was relevant and current two years ago could easily be obsolete today. Technology is a game changer – it harnesses our capabilities but also makes sure that what was in yesterday is so out of line today.
Empowering isn’t always about training or experiences – it is also about seeking new ways to do things better. Empowerment is what drove Steve Jobs to create the iPod and iTunes – he looked for ways to deliver endless music streams at a very low cost, direct to the customer. With one single sweep, he made so many gadgets obsolete and opened the way for music, movies and books to be transformed forever.
Today, I can stream music on iTunes – just about any kind of music. CDs and storage devices are not needed. Just plug your phone and play. Technology has completely transformed the way we listen to music, watch TV and engage with media. It has taken on a new dimension and continues to innovate ways of enhancing the experience even further. Where would we be in this set up unless we are empowered to be able to make the technology work for us?
We see trends come and go – but the experiences left behind can impact us considerably. Empowering ourselves also means understanding the way we can connect to a changing world. To understand that technology that is evolving is also opening many doors through which we can better ourselves and fine tune our skills. You need to have your ears and eyes open wide to make use of the opportunities that will enable you to empower yourself – either collectively
Empowering oneself calls for time – to be spent spotting trends, listening to people and being mentored the right way. It makes sure that we are able to make sense of the noise around us – and give meaning to what is happening and heightens the experiential part of empowering itself.
Being empowered is also about being challenged – to do things differently or better. It is about constantly upping our levels in competition with what has already been done. It is an ongoing process than as an individual, one can choose to adopt. It can enhance your skills, change your outlook in life and enable you to make the connections between today and tomorrow.
Today, we see services and products that would not even have been thought of in earlier times. Companies like Uber and Airbnb have changed and transformed the business landscape like never before. There are companies that use virtual tools and are considering three dimensional aspects that allow the consumer to experience the product from anywhere. Internet of things (IoT) has brought on the smart home and the smart kitchen appliances that can tell you when eggs need to be restocked and appliances need to be turned on. It’s a game changer, the world as we know it today.
Empowering ourselves is not just limited to identifying with changes – it also means expanding our scope of vision and updating ourselves to meet new encounters and perhaps even acquiring skills we have never thought about. In the end, it is about going along with new insights, new capabilities and new paradigms that may not even have occurred to you earlier.
How many of us are ready to do this – and keep on doing it? We would do it if we truly desired changed outcomes in the way we do things and in the way, we conduct ourselves – even in the way we connect with others whether at a professional or a personal level.
It is all about being in the know.
(Nayomini Weerasooriya, a senior journalist, writer and a PR professional, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)