“The very existence of your fear shows that you are ill prepared for the reality of the future that you face!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
A few years back, I was the luncheon keynote speaker for the annual conference of the Utah League of Cities and Towns. I had a few hundred mayors, elected officials, state and federal Senators, economic development officers & others in the room.
The pre-event keynote description was kind of interesting though:
“Jim Carroll’s job is to make people feel uncomfortable. Maybe even a bit confused. Just when you think you’ve got things figured out, Jim probably sees it differently. He has a knack for predicting trends and change, and helping business and government leaders see where things are going, and how they can not only adapt to change, but lead it.”
When I first read it, it seemed kind of off-putting, essentially saying, “Jim will scare the heck out of you!”
In most cases, the client runs brochure copy past me before it goes to print, but in this case, for various logistics reasons, I didn’t see it in advance. Yet the more I thought about it, I realized it was a great description!
I know that when I get up on stage to paint a picture of the future, there are three types of people in the audience:
those who are aware of the trends – my talk is an affirmation of what they know
those with an open mind, willing to listen, ready to think about opportunity
-and those who will hear what I say, and react with fear, apprehension, concern, worry!
Which audience member are you? And why does this happen? In my view, they don’t spend enough time thinking about what comes next.
If you are too comfortable right now with your future, then you probably aren’t thinking hard enough about the trends that are going to impact you. You need to be scared; nervous; prepared to accept that things are going to change, and ready for action.
Always remember the comments of Andy Grove of Intel: “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”
So maybe being a little uncomfortable and confused is a good state of mind to be in!