Newsletter 584 – The Future of Everything

future 4In 1989 the Wall Street Journal reached its 100th anniversary with predictions about what the future would look like twenty-five years later. That’s now. “We got some things right,” the newspaper commented. And got “a lot wrong.”

Last week (July 8, 2014) on its 125th anniversary WSJ tried again with an entire section of the paper labeled “The Future of Everything.” Leading thinkers, innovators and futurists shared their visions on where the world is heading. The editors admitted that this mostly is a form of entertainment but here are samples of their speculations. Before long:

  • Everyone in the world will be online.
  • Privacy will be gone, except for the very wealthy.
  • Cash also will be gone so the economy will be more global.
  • People will live longer and be happier and healthier in old age.
  • Education will be individualized. Students won’t advance from one grade to another. They will advance on what they know.

There are predictions about art, robots, automobiles, medicine, parenting, water and food supplies. There’s the good news that we still will drink coffee like we have since the 1530s. But I did not see anything about changing values, belief systems, terrorism or emerging generations.

Apart from curiosity why should anyone care? Next month I speak a group of doctoral students, leaders and mental health professionals. They all have completed years of rigorous training and skill building but their training is becoming outdated. A bigger question for us all is not what’s coming but how do we keep up?

In part the answer depends on your personality, field of interest, education, aptitudes, areas of expertise and health. Nevertheless, consider this:

  • Never stop learning. Always keep your brain active. Use your own learning style. Do whatever you can to uncover new information.
  • Apply what you learn to yourself and others. Taking in new information like a sponge is only part of the process.
  • Keep connected with others, including those who think differently than you and know what you don’t. I learn from people of different ages, backgrounds, expertise and values.
  • Find someone to help if you need expertise that you don’t have.
  • Take care of yourself. Exercise, rest, and healthy eating keep you sharp, creative, and alert.
  • Keep connected with God. He alone is able to predict and control the future. Trust him to show the way.

What would you add? Please comment

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