“‘Never in my wildest imagination.’ That’s a phrase we can definitely drop right about now!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Even in your most vivid imagination, in your wildest dreams, you might still never imagine where your future might actually end up!
We’re all in vastly different circumstances, and most of us don’t know the eventual pathway for our new and different future. And yet, with that being the case, its’ up to each of us to figure that out.
Lots of people ask me if I predicted the pandemic, and where our world might end up. Most definitely not – it was a complete and absolute miss! I’d been aware of the prognostications and warnings of unpreparedness; I’d often see them during my research for a healthcare talk, for example. I guess it one was on those trends that just never really registered.
The implications? Never once did I imagine a world in which I would have to build a future that didn’t have me speaking on a great big, beautiful stage somewhere in the world – to a sophisticated virtual studio in a small space in my basement. Not even in my craziest moments of thinking…
Every waking day in which the world does not come up with a cohesive strategy to control the virus is yet another day in which I realized that my previous career path is pretty unlikely. I’m 61, and so I need to be realistic about taking the uneducated risk that many in society seem to be prepared to take. Although I’m in very good health, my priority at this point forward is my family – not my career.
But every day, I have to remind myself I can’t give up on reinventing; it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of ‘wishing that things would just go back to normal.’ They won’t.
My retirement strategy was pretty simple – over time, I was going to start taking only the most fascinating gigs in the most exotic or interesting places, travelling with my wife while hitting the stage, turning events into a one or two week adventure! One of my last real keynotes was for an event for the World Bank in Marrakech, Morocco – that type of thing seemed like a plan! I’ve got the same agents as Barack and Michelle Obama, Richard Branson and George Bush – I’d fought my way to the pinnacle of the global speaking industry, and so it seemed like a fantastic strategy.
The strategy was a dream come true – and we know what can happen to dreams.
But every day, and every week, I wake myself up with the thought that it is what it is; there’s not a lot I can do about it; and the best I can do is to do the best I can do given what I’ve got.
And so today, I’ll hit the studio, do some filming, explore some trends, work on content, and build for my new and different future.