Future-proofing

Gypsy fortune-tellers are fascinating. I saw one hard at work when I was about 8 years old. Beautiful to watch. The theatrics, the swirling clothing, the crystal ball, all created a sense of wonder in me.

I’m just as fascinated today with those who again claim they can predict the future. Only this time, some of them are dressed up in a charlatan outfit, they’re plastered all over the social media, and they’re peddling fear and unease about our collective lives up ahead.

And why?

To sell some deceitful program that will allay our fears, or require us to trust their fool-proof system for storing our hard-earned cash. Or perhaps to encourage us to live in a bomb-proof shelter somewhere in the middle of the Nevada desert.

Aztecs

Here’s a reality check for you. No-one can accurately predict the future. Oh, we can generalise with a series of trends, and we can determine some probable futures by analysing present patterns of behaviour. We can calculate how many 10-year olds there will be in 5 years from now. Just count how many 5 year-olds we have right now.

But can we accurately predict the share market movements through this year, or whether a major accident will occur in 3 months from now, or whether you will win lots of money in a lottery? No we can’t.

Naturally, most of us would prefer to have some degree of certainty about our future, which is why we keep hoping that the fortune-tellers will be accurate. But they basically won’t be. So here’s the next best option: Future-proof yourself.

And what does that mean? Well…. It means that you adopt a series of strategies and mindsets that will give you the best possible chance of thriving through whatever happens up ahead.

For now, here are some suggestions on future-proofing your life, your family, your work, your school, your workplace:

  1. Focus on what you CAN control, rather than on what you can’t. If you keep thinking about things that you can’t influence, you’re wasting your energy. Do some in-control things like saving some money, or establishing some consistent everyday patterns (such as exercising), or doing some charity work. Then you’re in control of your world.
  2. Fight back on the fear factor. There are some in the media who consistently resort to doomsday scenarios (note the Dec 21 2012 end-of-world scenarios being portrayed right now). Watch how a highly negative news report makes you feel. Then read a positive article about what lies up ahead, and again note your response. Become aware of your responses. It’s the 1st stage in turning your emotions around.
  3. Do some in-depth study. Having strong knowledge gives you greater confidence about what lies up ahead. If you want to know what’s going on, then make the effort to study up on the topic. Go and listen to some respected experts in the field. Find some valid online information. Remember that ignorance is rarely bliss.
  4. Watch the trends. While they’re not foolproof, trends can give some indications on what lies up ahead. If you’re in business today, you may be struggling. Yet, there are some obvious trends taking place. Examples? People want to save, not spend. And technology is having a strong impact on how customers purchase goods.
  5. Let go on certainty. Accept that, to live an inspiring life, you may need to embrace uncertainty. Not Knowing can end up being a welcome part of your life, rather than something to be avoided. So, be an ongoing adventurer who relishes the opportunity to be challenged by unforeseen circumstances.

    And lastly, if you’re involved with kids in any way (as a parent, a teacher, a relative), I beg of you to not scare the heck out of them about the future. I’m not sure why some adults do it. Maybe it’s a power thing, like: “It’s all gonna be awful, but I’ll save you.”

    Oh please. Get over it. If you push too hard with that negative line, they’re hardly going to feel positive about their world up ahead. And even worse, they might not even bother to help create that better world up ahead.

    Look at the last 50 years of world history. There have been so many pending calamities (world starvation; millennium bugs), and yet somehow we get through them intact.

    Inspire kids about the possibilities with their lives, and of the planet in general. And then we’re more likely to see a future that is beneficial for us all, because they’ll help to create it.

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