Daily Inspiration: “At what moment in time will you finally realize that your future will be unpredictably unpredictable?”

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“At what moment will you finally realize that your future will be unpredictably unpredictable?” – Futurist Jim Carroll


You never really know what might come next – volatility, surprise, and unforeseen events are your new normal. That’s why your success tomorrow will come from your adaptability, agility, and flexibility – not only your ability to change but also your ability to accept that change.

That’s because everything is going to change, nothing will stay the same, and the volatility and speed of that change will be unpredictably relentless – and in a word, unpredictably unpredictable.

What should you do to deal with this reality?

Many things.

Be prepared to always adapt to change. That can be a challenge – many people can be significantly resistant to change, which is one of the biggest barriers to holding back the success of many initiatives. Make flexibility your middle name.

Develop the ability to embrace the ‘new’ and act on it. Don’t wait to make a decision when confronted by something new – trust your gut and go with it. It’s better to be moving forward than standing still.

Enhance your ability to be able to turn on a dime! Don’t cling to what you were doing before – embrace what you need to be doing next.

Double down on your ability to react quickly. There is no time to wait – there is only time to focus on the ability to be nimble.

Make sure you can change quickly, rather than being slow. Focus on your ability to have the courage to value speed over comfort. This involves enhancing the ability to inhibit one’s perfectionism to unleash one’s sheer desire for speed. Make a few mistakes. It’s good for you.

Be relentless in reminding yourself of the importance of being open-minded and flexible. A closed mind is a dangerous mind in a world of volatile change.

Make sure you are comfortable with the pace of change. Speed is the new normal, acceleration is the new pace.

Make sure you enhance your ability to embrace change with enthusiasm rather than trepidation. Mindset and attitude are everything.

Adopt an attitude of relentless curiosity about the reasons for volatility. One of your most important attributes is curiosity – because curiosity breeds flexibility

Have an open mind. Far too many people, when presented with something new, are too willing to discount it or dismiss it because they cling to old ideas and beliefs.

Look further. The ability to look beyond the moment-to-moment events of shock and surprise, to see new opportunities where others see only problems or nothing at all, is critical when volatility rules everything.

Inspire others with your flexible mindset. The best way to cope with change is to inspire change in others because that will feed back to yourself. Be someone who can rally the troops and lead the charge. The best kinds of leaders inspire their people to action, the worst intimidate them!

Be someone who, in a world of the unexpected, can be seen as someone who ‘gets things done.’ You’ll inspire others with your action in the face of indecision.

What I think you need is what I call ‘predictive flexibility’ – that’s the ability to constantly be re-evaluating your skills, business model, and strategy in the context of a rapidly changing internet environment by understanding what might come next, and what you need to do about it.

Bottom line? The single most important skill you need to enhance is your intellectual and organizational dexterity, flexibility, and agility.

Because tomorrow will be unpredictably unpredictable.


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.