Many times, when I am introduced as a futurist, it is the first time that people have met one. So I am often asked: "What does that mean?" Or, "What do you do?" Well, I define what I do as being a catalyst to get people to think about the future and, hopefully, to facilitate a conversation about the future.
I have asked hundreds of people what they
think about the future, and the answers can predictably fall within three general groupings:
- The answer is totally personal. They talk all about their plans for work, family and personal interests: "Oh, you mean my plans, well…"
- The answer is totally negative. Everything is bad and getting worse. "The future looks dark and uncomfortable. Recession. Climate change. We are leaving the world a worse place than our parents left us…"
- There is no answer. "Uh, I guess I really don't think about the future. I am so caught up with my work, my family, my friends and relationships and all that I have to do I just don't think much about the future."
You most likely fit into one of these categories.
If you fit into group number one, I want to show you that the future is about much more than your personal plans. In fact, the rapidly approaching future will most likely affect your life in a dramatic fashion. I find it exhilarating to lift people up from the context of day-to-day life and provide a glimpse of the dynamic forces that will reshape their lives. People usually start to look at various aspects of their lives quite differently.
If you fit into group number two, I want to show you that though times are tough for many of us, we might be facing a future that is incredibly bright and exciting with unimaginable opportunity.
If you are in group number three and don't think much or at all about the future, I hope to show you that taking a look into the future might actually be helpful.
Remember, the future is the only place you will live the rest of your life. Why not think about it and have a dialogue about it? I look forward to—and ask you to join me in—this conversation. David Houle is an award-winning futurist and strategist who has launched successful brands and is an in-demand speaker about the future. He writes the popular futurist blog Evolution Shift and lives his life slightly ahead of the curve. What is your general outlook on the future? Share your comments below.