This conversation is with Jared Nichols of The New Futurist. First, let me dispel all of the myths I was guilty of when I first heard the name of his company. Jared is not going to predict the future. This point will relieve some of you and disappoint others. Also, Jared is not, himself “The New Futurist” the name is part of a much bigger idea, which we’ll talk about.
I was 40 before I finally figured out I was entitled to or maybe felt empowered with agency over the outcome of my life. I’d mostly let life happen to me up until that point. In episode one, I talk a lot about just checking the boxes off of an inane list. I made decisions based on whether or not everyone around me seemed to approve or if I perceived that they would approve. And I thought that was all I needed to do to lead me to a life…a future…I wanted and quite honestly, I equated “wanted” with approval. Do you ever wonder who you would be or what kind of future you would have if you stopped checking the boxes off of a list you built (or worse yet, a list someone built for you) before you knew life was so magical and daunting and weird? Or do you wonder what would happen if you upended how you thought about and perceived the future?
“Most of us are living our lives by somebody else’s idea, somebody else’s prediction, somebody else’s expectation.”
When I heard Jared speak about actively constructing your future and the idea behind changing how you think about the future versus what you think about it I wanted to know more. And when he said he was trained in Strategic Foresight I was kind of in awe that there was a practical, functional approach to this idea I’d been struggling with. I wanted to understand it and…let’s face it, I’m a total rule follower. If you have tools or rules that can help me create my future – bring ‘em on. I want them all.
As I started easing myself into the idea of more agency over my life and my future, as I started dropping the stories I told myself – which is a topic Jared and I discuss – I started realizing…most people are not happy or are at the very least, they are dissatisfied to a large extent with where they are at. And I wanted to get Jared’s perspective on this — Why do we seem to lean into the discomfort and dissatisfaction with our lives rather than work to try to change it on a micro or macro level? That’s the other piece of this right – the larger scale – What is happening in our world and if we don’t like it, what steps can we take now to effect how things present themselves and are created in the future. I love his answer and I love the direction he gives on how to break out of this cycle.
We recorded this episode well before the outbreak of COVID-19 and the shelter in place mandates. But, I can think of few things more relevant right now than getting more comfortable with thinking differently about the future, figuring out how we move forward, how to plan with so much uncertainty, how to focus on controlling the elements we are able to while there is so much of this that is out of our hands. And really, this is how the future always is…it always carries these elements, COVID-19 just kind of blew them way up for us.
Some of Jared’s recent content on Linked in features conversations around laying the foundation for a new kind of future. And one of his recent quotes was “uncertainty gives you the opportunity to reimagine your life’s work” or another one, “If you want to change the game, you have to get comfortable with uncertainty.” That’s where we are at. It’s absolutely worth following Jared on linkedIn. You can also find on facebook and twitter or just go to his website thenewfuturist.com all are great resources.
Having conversations with people who are ultra passionate about what they do and describe it as just – an extension of themselves – or maybe they don’t even have to describe it you just…know by the way they talk about it. In any case, I’m always immediately fascinated because this is so foreign to how my own path has played out – which I’m sure is shocking given my super solid checklist strategy. I find that people, like Jared, who are able to do this, to weave their career and their life so seamlessly with their person, bring and incredible kind of energy and drive behind what they do and even more so, who they are.
Enjoy the episode.