The Soft Life Is the New Buzz

Now, it’s being labeled the soft life, which is actually funny. Why is it that when we say enough to consumerism, materialism and burnout, we call it soft? Why is the most important skill for the future of humanity—communication—also called a soft skill.

Here is the reality articulated in this article on the soft life: “We’re being lectured on not being hardworking enough by people who have no idea what it is like to never switch off.  With Zoom and Slack keeping us connected to our workplaces at every moment, it is no longer plausible to say that you haven’t seen the emails that ping into your smartphone at the weekend.

There is a tendency online to blame all societal ills on our parents’ generations … but baby boomers aren’t stupid for doing what they did for their careers … I’m just saying it doesn’t work in today’s age. The “return on investment” on working all hours for some kind of meritocratic ideal “just isn’t the same any more.”

Maybe because we are starting to understand that we have created, so far, a world that values mechanics over human dynamics that we are choosing to longer need to be productive and efficient. Perhaps enjoying life and what we do has nothing to do with being lazy.

This whole need to accomplish is turning into a reality that is not fulfilling, especially among younger people who are finding courage to choose a different route. Going back to basics is about saying no to leaning in or playing a role in a script written by people who don’t know us.

And by knowing what our enough is, we focus on what is healthy for us and say no to what is causing us burnout.

More of us are realizing that there is no such thing as safety by following the rules we were given. But we rarely hear that what is truly happening on the edges is people saying enough.

And while many think we are redefining or reimagining, what is really happening is that we are creating what we need. Not what someone told us we need to follow. We are not reinventing. Why? Because we don’t want more of the same, different channel.

There is Nothing Soft Here; Just Real

We are simply inventing based on what is valuable to us and contributes to our wellness.

There are also more of us stepping out of unhealthy relationships, codependency and saying enough to the shadows of narcissism. Because we give ourselves permission to see possibilities. And understand that keeping us divided in hate and fear is killing us.

When we truly understand abundance, everything changes. We see a whole world of opportunity. And instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the choices we have, we choose who we want to be.

Maybe there is no such thing as a soft life. Perhaps it’s just life itself where we choose where we invest our energy and what truly lights us up.

The Great Questioning is what this era is about and the ones crazy and brave enough to question are no longer posting endless selfies or seeking the spotlight. Many are simply quietly planting seeds everywhere we go knowing our individual and collective health will flourish over time. No longer dividing our lives, and skills, between soft and hard.

Being human means we never stop learning and we get so many opportunities to practice and show up as creators and inventors.

Margaret Wheatley reminds us that “When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other.”

And yet, not everyone comes with us because we are each at our own intersection. Some no longer seeing a division between anything soft and hard. Because there is real stuff to create right now that is calling us.

Related: Embracing Renewal: Spring's Awakening