Where does the future come from?

Chapter 1 - Decision making
Image by Trieu P Nguyen via Flickr

Do the decisions you make today influence how your future unfolds?  What if the future you look forward to is different from the one that occurs? How might you prepare?

I am reading The Lights in the Tunnel by Martin Ford, and  having some challenges sleeping at night thinking through the points he makes about what lies ahead due to the continuously increasing use of technology and its integration into everything we do.  What confuses me is that many people everyday are unaware of the potentials that await realization.

Here’s a thought experiment for you

Imagine that you are comfortable with yourself, your life, your work, your family. Imagine that you’ve learned ways to deal with the challenges life presents, have travelled a rocky road or two and made it through okay; you are wiser, and experienced and impart your life education to others with certainty.

Imagine then, that you are wrong, that what you know suddenly changes. The strategies and practices you’ve used in the past no longer work.

  • The tools you use are out of date
  • The patterns you are accustomed to are disrupted
  • The future you thought you’d have is no longer possible
  • The relationships you’ve had are no longer affirming or sustaining
  • The beliefs that have guided your decision-making are proven false
  • The structures and institutions you relied upon no longer exist, or are found wanting
  • The understanding you have about how the world works is turned upside down
  • The possibilities that excite you now scare you instead

What happens with you when your bedrock no longer exists – when  you want or need to take a next step and are unsure of where to place your foot?

That’s where creativity comes in.  New ideas and new decisions create the new future. More and more people are using it everyday – either by choice or to survive.

What would be great is for people to

  • be open to new ideas, theirs and others
  • consider making new decisions
  • play well with others (meaning the new decisions positively impact people, planet and profits)

Being open to new ideas means that people are familiar with change, know it is going to happen, and can release the hold of the present and the past long enough to take account of new credible information in their deliberations.

Consider making new decisions integrates new criteria that typically isn’t used when coming to conclusions.

Play well with others respects the needs of everyone participating.  Emotions play a role.  Disappointment, frustration, anxiety, relief, excitement, optimism, determination all factor into the creating experience.  Not everyone feels the same way at the same time, or at the same part of the creative process.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if everyone knew and could expect to deliberately tap into the creative process?  I wonder how that would influence the future, your future, and that of your children, and your organization.

Wouldn’t it be interesting too, if creativity professionals had a shared code of ethics, principles and values that guided their work? It would be a tremendous gift for professionals who facilitate, research, write about, speak and design products for creativity to align. It would make it easier and less confusing for those who use their services to know what they are getting and who they can trust.

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If the future depends on what you decide today, how might you make a new decision that would make world a better place and/or make your place in the world better, without causing harm?