“Confidence: It’s that thing that never allows your fear of the future to diminish your hope!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Here’s an alternative version, with the sun rising in splendour, for a bunch of my friends with an alternate quote: “Don’t let yesterday’s challenges define the steps you can take tomorrow!”
The fun thing here is that both photos were taken during my early morning walks through the forest out back – moving to a new home a year ago in a different city to be closer to my sons has proven to be a wonderful elixir of joy! When I’m not travelling or golfing, I start my day by chasing the sunrise!
Back to my story: way back in 1995, I published a book called “Surviving the Information Age.” [ link ] The book was a voyage through the early years of technological disruption took a look at why so many people were struggling with the future, and how our world might evolve. Though somewhat out of date, I’m still tremendously proud of this work!
The book also told the story, through a variety of chapters, of my own struggles with the future. I was just thumbing through it for some odd reason, and re-read the last chapter. Given the fact that so many people today are struggling with the issues of quiet-quitting and The Great Resignation, I thought it was on point — since it outlined my own dramatic career transition through 1989, and the loss of confidence and courage I faced in leaping into a new future.
In that final chapter, I wrote this sentence, which is now quite fascinating for me to see
“…I was terrified of the future. And when you don’t know what the future will bring you, you lose hope.”
Learn why – maybe you’ll find your own inspiration and confidence!
“Achieving Hope”, from Chapter 25 – Surviving the Information Age, 1995
Everyone hits a low point at which they lose hope for the future. I remember when it hit me — dramatically and with full force, shortly after the company merger in 1989 which had such a dramatic impact on my career. This event, at the time, seemed to effectively destroy everything that I had been working on for some five years.
Life was certain — I knew exactly what was coming, and where I was going. Until, of course, events beyond my control ripped those plans away from me. Suddenly, the future that I thought I had all mapped out — didn’t exist anymore. I didn’t know what was coming and didn’t know what I would do.
As the negative impact of the change in my job took hold, a sense of gloom descended upon me. I knew I no longer wanted to stay with the firm for which I worked — but I didn’t have a clue what I would do next! Within weeks, I had decided to quit — but couldn’t bring myself to do it. And through the next nine months, I actually decided two or three times to quit, and then always backed off at the last minute — because I was terrified of the future.
When you don’t know what the future will bring you, you lose hope. That’s what happened to me. I lost my confidence — the worst possible thing that could happen at the time. I lost sight of my abilities. I no longer had a good idea of what I could do. I was unsure of my skills and didn’t know what type of company might be interested in hiring me.
Uncertainty is built upon uncertainty. Many painful days and sleepless nights were spent trying to figure out what I should do with my career. Should I quit? Should I look for another job? Should I try to start my own consulting business? What should I do?
Losing confidence in yourself — because you’ve lost hope — is a terrible thing! Particularly when you are trying to carve out a new career — when you are trying to be a survivor. “I don’t know what my skills are,” I would cry out to my wife in moments of frustration. “I don’t know what it is I can do! Who would want to hire me?” I pleaded. And in anger and frustration, I damned the forces that caused such an upheaval in my career.
My loss of hope was such that over time, I convinced myself that I had little to offer the corporate world — and that I was staring at a dead-end future.
What a miserable state of mind to be in!
I remember one day in which the enormity of what I had accomplished hit home. It was about a year after I had quit. It was 6:45 AM in the morning on a spring day — the sun was coming up, the birds were singing, a warm breeze was blowing in the window, and a steaming cup was on the desk. I had just gone through my voicemail and had heard very positive news from three potential clients. Although my business was still very new and the risk was high — the signs were that I would succeed.
* * *
All of us have been in situations in which events in our lives and our careers have overtaken us to a point that we lose that most important of all human characteristics — hope.
To survive in the information age, you must have hope — it’s the most basic of human necessities. Give yourself hope, and you can have everything — confidence, ability, skill, enthusiasm, and determination.
Hope is the fuel that drives us to the future. But hope is a funny thing — you often have to work hard to find it.
* * * *
The future isn’t bleak — in fact, it is truly wonderful, but only if you decide to make it so.
The thing that you need to be a survivor in the information age, beyond everything else — your attitude, skills, and capabilities — is to give yourself some hope.
By doing what is necessary to survive in the information age, you can prosper from the riches that it offers. The information age is out there, all around you, encompassing everything you do. The true secret is that it is up to you to go and find it
How can I close this book and offer you the hope that you need to find your own success and survival in the information age?
By offering one simple comment of encouragement — you can do it! You can master the technology, and develop the skills necessary to survive this new era.
May some hope be with you.