Six ways to be future-proof

John Kazer
Mar 5, 2019 · 3 min read
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

How will you know if you are future-proof? What should you do to find out? Here are 6 ways to take action.

If you don’t want to wait until the future actually arrives, read on!

People view the future in different ways and from different perspectives. Each perspective is unique. One thing is certain though: Change. Do you want to be future-proof?

I could just say: “You are on your own, find your own unique way forward”. But that isn’t very friendly.

What is my point, then? People naturally find groups of common interest and perspective, being circles of friends, hobbies, political parties etc. These groups highlight common personality traits or perspectives. Can we use this principle to review your future self?

Yes indeed we can. A common approach is to define sets of opposites, between which you will be able to identify yourself.

An example: How comfortable are you are with different levels of knowledge about the future?

Where are you on the line?

Another example: Are you happiest when settled or being creative?

And on this line?

If you think about answering these together, does it sound familiar? Do you see yourself reflected back, even a little?

Try it out

There are a range of contexts in which the approach can be helpful. For example exploring your attitude to technological or environmental change.

A simple game to review your future attitude (external site)

Let’s try with a quick interactive demo.

Do you think the example helps you reflect on the future? Did the text change in a way you recognise or find helpful? What sort of questions would help you to understand your perspectives on the future better? Add a comment at the end!

There are no right or wrong answers — just you.


Six Future-Proofing Strategies

What can we consider to be effective strategies for thinking about the future? (for the large majority of us who are not already fully embracing the “uncertainty/creative” perspective).

1. Learn to be creative

There is a very good reason for including a “settled ←/→ creative” concept. The process of thinking creatively can be very useful for thinking about the future. This is not to say we should all try to become “creative types”. Sometimes however being able to think this way can be helpful. You don’t need to be ‘born’ creative — as Ravi Shankar Rajan shows in this article.

See part 1 of my series on future-proofing — creativity.

2. Diversify

Don’t remain a hostage to fortune — diversify your investments and personal interests to become more resilient. Try:

3. Take action

A common way to take control of your future is to take action. It doesn’t really matter how big or small; starting is the key. Then use your friends and family to support your progress.

4. The past is done

If you’re regretting past errors or fear repeating them, try to move on. The past is most definitely not a guide to the future but your successes might be!

5. Recognize and avoid cognitive bias

You wouldn’t be you without personal views and opinions. In order to review new possibilities it helps to clear the mind and consider new ideas on their own merits.

6. Imagine your future self

Finally, try visualising what you might look like in the future. Weird but true…

What are you thinking now? Let me know below.

John Kazer

Written by

Using technology and communication for a better more human future. Find out more at www.solarfuture.org.uk

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