Being Human in Our Time™
An 8-week virtual course on creating
the difference-making life you desire
Are you tired of feeling exhausted by everything you have on your plate, by never-ending bad news cycles, or by the fact that we’re ever more distracted and find it hard to connect with other people? Have you had enough of cynicism, hand-wringing, or lack of imagination in your head, in your home, or at work? Do you wonder if your job makes much difference beyond a paycheck, or if the stresses of modern life are hampering your ability to be the partner, parent, friend, colleague, or neighbor you’d hope to be? Have you lost trust in our institutions, whether it’s the government, or business, or schools, or even religion? Are you worried about the world we’re leaving to our children and grandchildren, or so concerned about making it with your own life, it’s hard to even think about the future?
If you said yes even once, you’re not alone.
IT’S HARD TO BE HUMAN RIGHT NOW. BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY.
Nearly a decade in the making and now available to a world-wide audience, Being Human in Our Time™ presents a unique, timely, and practical approach to creating a life of joy, purpose, and impact through all you do. Adapted from a course created and taught by HumanWealth Partners’ CEO Chad Smith, while at the prestigious Deerfield Academy, it sifts through the complexity of being human in our time, integrating diverse sources like psychology, philosophy, management, sociology, and spirituality, but without being complicated or simplistic. You’ll conclude the course feeling grounded in a pragmatic wisdom, empowered by the possibilities for your life and work to be the source of deep fulfillment and joy, and ready and unafraid to embark on what’s next for you!
Whether you’re a seasoned leader or embarking on your first job; whether you’re struggling or successful; wherever you’re from, whatever your story, you belong here, and you belong in this course.
In just eight weeks, you’ll be:
Connected with your life as you live it in a time of considerable change
Inspired to believe and know that your work and life can make a difference in the world
Shown how you make a difference and given ways to measure and evaluate your impact
Guided in discovering the spaces and systems where your presence matters most
Offered tested practices to assist you in becoming more human in all your roles
Connected with a community committed to ways of living and working that you also value
Cost & Refund Policy:
$99; full refunds available up to 24 hours before the course starts. Limited scholarships for those in financial need, as well as bulk discounts for groups, are available; please contact us if interested.
When (four eight-week sessions offered in 2019):
Wednesday evenings, 8:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. EST, May 29 - Jul 24
Tuesday evenings, 8:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. EST, Jun 18 – Aug 6
Thursday evenings, 8:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. EST, Sep 5 – Oct 24
Monday evenings, 8:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. EST, Oct 28 – Dec 16
How It Works:
Teleseminar format, dial-in from wherever you are, on your preferred device
Each session consists of 45 minutes of content, plus 20-30 minutes of Q&A, facilitated by Chad Smith
Sessions are recorded and posted online; access anytime, even if you can’t make the live call
Presentations uploaded in advance of each session, plus supplemental materials and reflection questions
Schedule and Topics:
Week 1. The Spaces Where You Matter: Me, We, & All – Each of us moves through the world in a way that impacts others and our environment. But how aware are we of that impact, and what kind of difference do we actually make? When you consider how often we focus on our own little “bubbles”—what matters to me and mine—we can often miss opportunities for greater influence, if we understand how we as people relate both to our particular groups and to a wider view of humanity. This session will make that fundamental relation clear as the starting point for understanding your growth as a person, and the kind of lasting impact you can have through your life.
Week 2. Personal Impact: The Value of One Life – Think of all the individuals who have mattered to you—some in big, life-changing ways, others in smaller but still important ways. Your one life matters a lot, to yourself and to those immediately around you, in every space you have contact with and connect to others. And it may matter in ways you can’t yet see! This session will show you how powerful and valuable one life can be, and why exercising your power through what you value, as only you can, makes a huge difference in the world.
Week 3. Organizational Impact: The Value of Working Together – Understanding your own value is important, of course, so think about what’s possible when your energies are combined with those of others! Many of our most significant contributions happen as part of a group, team, or bigger organization. At the same time, those group experiences can be the source of our most frustrating, soul-sucking efforts to get something accomplished with our time. This session will help you both better connect to, and differentiate yourself from, the multiple groups in which we participate, through proven strategies to increase your effectiveness within those groups, and keep your sanity and integrity.
Week 4. Social Impact: The Value of the Whole – Our actions have impact beyond simply what they immediately mean for you and me. But thinking about how we affect “society” can feel very abstract and remote. Just as small molecules of water can combine to create a crashing ocean wave, the impact of individuals and groups aggregates slowly into a larger social impact. That larger whole acts upon us all, for better or worse—creating some possibilities, limiting others. This session will detail the common patterns of social impact, to help you identify when they are operative in the spaces, systems, and people you encounter every day.
Week 5. The Systems Where You Matter: Business, Education, Faith, & the Public Sphere – In recent years, many people have tackled our collective social problems from a "systems approach” perspective, which dissects those problems into their “component parts.” The aim is to see how each part behaves and how multiple parts interact with each other, from a holistic view. While there is considerable value in this kind of analysis, it often treats the people—and their very human systems—as parts of a machine. In our time, these four systems—business, education, faith, and the public sphere—hold priority for their overall impact on society, and for how frequently we interact with them. Using our prior discussions of the three levels of impact, this session will “humanize” your participation in these “pillar” systems, guiding you to a more intentional engagement with each.
Week 6. Growing Your Life: Twelve Practices for a Difference-Making Life – With the knowledge of how and where you make an impact on the world through your work and life, you can then move to target those areas where you’d like to improve or increase your impact. To aid in this effort, you’ll be introduced to twelve distinct but related practices, all of which rise out of the depth of human experience over centuries. You likely have even practiced or have knowledge of some of them already! They are: awareness; gratitude; solitude; reconciliation; integration; visioning; simplicity; responsibility; nonviolence; celebration; contemplation; and, reverence. This session will present these practices as a unified whole, and as the means by which any person can effectively increase their life's impact.
Week 7. Progress in Being Human is Not Robotic: How to Measure What Matters – We live in an era of “big data,” where “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This, of course, presents a dilemma: we often measure things simply because they are easy to measure, not because they are what we need to measure. To make things worse, many of the things we most need to know seem to resist easy measurement. This whole dilemma can lead to what’s been named a “tyranny of metrics,” where we are driven to pursue and measure things that have little to do with our real impact on the world. This session will propose a set of “life metrics” for each level of impact, which you can then implement confidently in alignment with practices from the previous session, and begin to set goals for yourself and with the groups you hope to better impact.
Week 8. The Future of You in the World: Where Your Life Goes From Here – Given what you’ve learned over the past weeks, where do you want your work and life to go? What direction will you set? Thankfully, you aren’t left to your own ingenuity or creatively to come up with a unique or original answer. Over our collective history, human cultures—in all their wondrous and strange diversity—have been surprisingly simple in their overall “purpose,” the why of existence and the goal of life and work. Humans have collectively aimed toward four purposes: harmony, possibility, security, and abundance. When individuals and groups align themselves with one or more of these purposes, they often find that they are moving toward something greater than themselves, toward a deeper, richer, “art of life.” This concluding session will inspire you to make a choice about the future of your life and which human purpose(s) you desire to pursue.
Testimonials from the original course:
“I found a new way of seeing and dealing with things…I definitely would recommend this to my friends and family.” – Adrianna
“I feel that I received guidance as I move into the next part of my life.” – David
“This course put things into perspective. It was helpful in guiding you towards living a fulfilling life…everyone could benefit from this course.” – Jay
“I thought that the course was great – it works because everything in it we can/could relate to without having had any background.” – Caroline
“This is the best class I’ve ever taken. I think it can help people…the strength of the course is that it’s easy to apply to all people.” – Joe
“I found the practices and exercises really on point. They were so relevant to my life…I found the discussions to be the type of discussion that I had imagined having in my ideal class…I believe everyone should learn this.” – John