The Future is Bright
Recently I had the pleasure of working with high school students, in a one day workshop about the future. I was asked to talk to the students about my thoughts on the future, and how they could be best prepared as they entered this next stage in their lives. Not only did this send me back 20 years, when I was trying to figure out what life after high school looked like, but it also made me re-examine my future as it looks today.
It’s hard for me to imagine what the world will look like 50 or 100 years from now, this AI future we see portrayed in the movies. I hope that human connection remains a priority amidst the technology advances. Whatever the future may bring I know that humans need to be flexible and open to change. Computers changed the future for my parent’s generation, and some people were put out of jobs as the new generation came on, having a thorough understanding of the tools then required to get the job done.
I told the students the 3 most important things to me as I step into the future, whether it is tomorrow or 10 years from now, are -
1. Connections – There are the connections that you choose to surround yourself with – the family and friends that inspire and motivate you. There are also the connections that you make daily, the people you meet while waiting in a line, or riding the bus. You never know what connections will help to form the future that you want. Always be respectful and open to new people.
2. Mindfulness – take time for yourself. Unplug from technology and sit with your thoughts. Meditation is a great option. If you are feeling overwhelmed take 3 big breaths, through the nose and out the mouth. Listen to your body and stay in tune with how you are feeling about your life. Try setting 5 goals for the year and don’t let the noise of other tasks come in. If you make these the most important goals for your future, you will find yourself being able to focus more clearly and accomplishing things that bring you joy.
3. Creative Thinking – there is so much competition we all run into through our lives that it is important to think outside the box. Coco Chanel said “In order to be irreplaceable one must be different.” Push yourself to look at things differently, and come up with creative solutions. Brainstorming with others can help, and don’t be afraid to throw out ideas even if they seem outrageous. The more your talk through ideas the more focused they will become, and most likely you will feel more satisfied with the outcome. Mindfulness will enhance your creative thinking. If you spend time alone, taking a walk or sitting and watching the sun rise, pay attention to your thoughts and allow yourself to daydream. The best ideas may come from listening to yourself and developing your thoughts.
No matter what the future brings you will be prepared to shine your light and find what works best for you.