The good thing about y’our future — unlike y’our past — is that it is always in the making and therefore it is y’ours to create, make and be GREAT.
Who wants to have a GREAT future?
By “GREAT” I mean a good future where you flourish and thrive, where you are resilient and feel that you are evolving, where your actions matter and transcend you so that future generations will be able to have a great future, too.
In all honesty isn’t this what we all want at the end of the day?! I certainly do! But how do you create a GREAT future in this fast-changing and challenging world?
A world where COVID-19, new emerging technologies and other global challenges like climate change are challenging every aspect of our life, including our very survival.
How will we cope? — knowing that, without a doubt, these changes and challenges will further increase stress levels, when stress is already considered one of the biggest health problems worldwide.
The “how” will depend on what we — you and I — do today. On the decisions and choices we make and the actions we take. We can turn a blind eye to our future (“Que Sera, Sera”) — and leave it all to chance, or we can decide to futurize ourselves and envisage the future we want to create and evolve into, and then systematically and deliberately align our decisions, choices and actions to the future we want.
Because the good thing about the future — unlike the past — is that it is always in the making and therefore can still be influenced. For now…
But our time is running out.
As an osteopath and body-centred stress coach, I’m concerned. Concerned about the future and especially the lack of consideration that is being given to how we — and, again, that means you and I — will cope with all the changes and challenges that lie ahead of us and which will, without a doubt, increase the already out-of-control levels of stress.
Stress is a survival response that is experienced when demands outweigh our resources. When left unmanaged, it leads to musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and immune problems. Stress also adds to anxiety and depression, mood changes, memory problems and changes in time perception.
Just imagine trying to think about your next meal, or your next holiday, while you are being chased by a sabre tooth tiger!
When change and challenges increase, so too will our stress levels and therefore also all the biopsychosocial and spiritual health problems that are related to and made worse by stress.
I can already see in my practice how this is playing out — and more change is coming.
It is forecast that the next 10 years will bring more changes than the past 100 years! I hope you understand why I am concerned. How will we cope with all these changes and prevent stress from further becoming a nuisance to our health and wellbeing and our future?
The solution is very simple: we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
What created them and got us here is our focus on the present. For thousands of years, this has helped us to survive and deal with physical threats. But now that our environment is evolving faster than we are and the threats to our existence have changed, fight and flight doesn’t work any more. On the contrary, stress itself has now become a source of stress.
What will get us out of here is a change of perspective — one where the future is not a continuation of the past but where the past is seen as a teacher, while the future guides our decisions, choices and actions in the present.
We need to start exploring the future on purpose, create scenarios for the future, imagine what we want and don’t want, and then change forward to make what we want a reality through our decisions, choices and actions.
In other words, you and I can proactively choose a future before a future is chosen for us. I call that process “Futurizing Yourself”: the conscious act of spending time informing yourself and imagining scenarios for the future, and using these images to “change forward”.
A taxi driver who futurizes themself will see, at the exploration stage, that the likelihood of their job being automated is 100%.
The probable scenario of the future for a taxi driver today is: no more job — no income … Which will — if not addressed in time — cause a lot of distress. A future they want to avoid.
During the “change forward” stage, that informed taxi driver will be able to reskill, and through their decisions, choices and actions prepare for the future they wants and be ready to step into a new job when taxi drivers have become a profession of the past seen only in amusement parks or films.
What is more likely to happen is that, during the “change forward” stage, the taxi driver will not wait to be laid off but will switch jobs sooner.
One-third of all jobs are at risk of automation in the next decade. I repeat: technological advances will influence one in three jobs before the end of 2030! Are you ready?
By Futurizing Yourself — the practice of intentionally incorporating futures thinking into your decision, choices and actions to create a GOOD life and GREAT future for yourself and others — you will evolve proactively to cope with the changes and challenges ahead, be able to flourish in the flow of evolution and thrive in a fast-changing world.
Be good to you, be good to y’our future!