The Future is Coming and There Is No Going Back to the Past

Future of Man and Robot

The past is gone. It is only an illusion that we can get it back. Good men must make the future great instead.

Have you ever had one of those experiences with other people where the moment was spontaneous, fun, and memorable? Then you try to make it happen the next year again, but it doesn’t seem to be quite as good? There is only one first time. The older you get, the more you are likely to want to hold onto the past.

If you spend time listening to the leaders and the leadership hopefuls around the world, it sounds like they have things figured out. If they have the answers I do not hear any convincing details. We aren’t going to solve today’s or tomorrow’s problems by going back to the past.

The people who understand where the world is going via technology and innovation are out there creating it, not vying for political office. Most politicians and business leaders are living in a time warp.

These are a few of the trends I am watching.

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Education

People are going to change careers many times in their lives. Choosing your life career out of high school is a crap shoot. Once they start working, a lot of people realized they made a choice they don’t like. Going into debt to pay for a college or university education, that may or may not get you employed or may only last a few years, is starting to look less like an investment. As well, colleges and universities are struggling to stay relevant as training moves online and the education system becomes detached from the realities of today’s employment scene.

As things change faster out in the real world, people are going to need options to learn new skills quickly and retool for changing occupations and job descriptions.

Once you know how to learn, you will be able to learn what is required online, just as you need it.

Disruption

Uber and Lyft have disrupted the taxi industry. The drivers are competing across the various models and consumers are choosing based on service and price. Then there are the Car2Go models where you can drive yourself and then leave the car at your destination. Eventually, self-driving cars will replace both models.

With over 1.5 million listings, accommodation sharing services like AirBnB taking off. Traditional hotels and resorts are already starting to be impacted.

Downward Prices

You either compete on price, or you compete on value. Most of the disruption is happening because the services are perceived as better and the costs are lower or not significantly higher. Independent drivers and renters don’t have the overhead of the bigger companies.

As consumers, we expect a lot of free services on the Internet. If we pay, we don’t expect to pay much for the premium version.

Much of the manufacturing has moved offshore because people are obsessed about consuming more and more for less. If one company does it, they all do it to stay competitive. We talk about leaving the cubical world behind and taking advantage of those disruptive technologies so we can have lifestyle businesses. If you hated the cubicle, you would probably dislike the assembly line even more. Not sure why anyone would want to work in a coal mine.

But those jobs probably won’t be coming back. The robots and 3D printing will take them too.

Micro-Entrepreneurs

More and more people I run into are running multiple businesses or supplementing their income with a side business or two. Companies are bringing on talent in contract roles so they can grow and shrink quickly.

Some people may even choose to sleep in a park for a few days to make some extra cash on their home rental.

Network marketing or multi-level marketing is making a big comeback. Some people are doing extremely well at it, and that is feeding the surge. The reality is that just like any free market enterprise; some do well, some do okay and some struggle and eventually quit.

The trend is towards several micro-businesses. I think of these as the ventures where you are making anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand per month. They never really take off, so you do a few more to make ends meet. When you split your focus, you ensure none will ever take off. But since you are busy scraping together a living, you see it differently.

Of course, a few people and businesses will rise out of the crowd.

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Creating Our Utopia

Looking further out at technology and innovation, we are facing a lot more change and disruption. We may reach a point where the workweek may shrink to almost nothing.

If we do things right, we have the opportunity to craft our own personal Utopias.

But with global change and disruption also comes fear and greed. That is what we must face long before we get to that ideal state.

What Does Future “Good” Look Like?

So in addition to all the social changes and changing roles of men in the past few decades, we have the effects of global economic trends, workplace, technology, and innovation. Add in the negative challenges of global unrest, pollution, and conflict. Is it any wonder people are a little wired and polarized right now?

Enough micro-goodness done by a lot of individuals can result in the big change we need to see.

What could you do on a regular basis in your business and your life to:

  • Be a better man while embracing what it is that makes us men?
  • Retain our humanity and respect for others?
  • Reduce the cumulative fear feeding our lizard brains?
  • Do something to make someone else’s life a little better?

This post originally appeared on The Good Men Project.

Image credit (modified): Pixabay

By | 2017-04-12T11:28:33+00:00 May 26th, 2016|Categories: Current Events, Leadership, Manifast, Mindset and Motivation, The Good Men Project|

About the Author:

Doug Wagner is an entrepreneur, President and Co-founder of Sunwapta Solutions. Sunwapta's mission is to help businesses transform from surviving to thriving, sustainable growth. From strategy to implementation, this means marketing, sales, managing your brand and delivering consistent value. Get more clients and keep them.