Zunkunftsinstitut is one of my favourite platforms when it comes to future trends and inspiring contents. Currently I am reading their book called “Your future“, in German “Deine Zukunft”. Unfortunately their contents and books are only available in German.
Somehow, they know how to express the future. I am amazed by the way in which they bring the future to the point in this book. I love the language they use. It is written in a light-hearted and simple way combined with bold visualisations.
“Future lies within us. Future is what does not yet exist. Therefore, future is never real, but an imagination in our heads. A thought construct that we create today, in the here and now. And even the one moment in which we have just imagined a future for ourselves, we cannot fix it: time means change, and therefore future – even the next few hours – is always different than we imagine at this moment. Future is always in motion.”
What is future? In order to shape future, it is necessary to understand fundamentally what future is, what future means and how future arises. Zukunftsinstitut.de summarises 11 principles that help to define future:
1 Present – Live in the future now!
Future only exists in the present, namely in our heads. It is what we think it is in every present moment. So let's not live in the future, but with it. Let's live in the here and now.
2 Change – Be part of the change!
Future is not a goal we will ever achieve, but a process of constant development. As we move towards the future, it is continuously changing.
3 Uncertainty – Embrace uncertainty!
Future will never happen exactly as we imagine it today. Despite our wishes, hopes and plans, it always remains uncertain for us. In the end, it always remains open and unavailable.
4 Possibility – Explore the potential!
Future is not yet written, but a space full of possibilities. It is an exploration space which we make accessible with our creativity. The future can be anything we are able to imagine.
5 Attitude – Believe in the future!
Our attitude towards future determines how we deal with it. Only if we believe in the future and if we believe in a better future, will we feel incentivised to deal with it.
6 Emotion – Perceive what you feel!
Future is emotional. Our perception of future, our view of what is coming and our actions with which we shape our tomorrow are influenced and controlled by our emotions.
7 Observation – Recognise what's important!
Future is created by observation of the present. We look for signals for change, for patterns and contexts that we can interpret as important for the future.
8 Calculation – Analyse what is likely!
We sketch future by calculating the probability of certain directions of development. Today, with the help of these forecasts, we can make visible what is important for the future.
9 Vision – Form your imaginary world!
In our minds we create images of desirable futures. Visions that reflect our hopes and our expectations are the shining stars that give us orientation on our way to the future.
10 Narrative – Develop your stories!
Future comes alive through our stories about it. Only words and stories of a ‘so-could-it- be’ carry our ideas for the future forward and make them imaginable, tangible and effective.
11 Decision Making – Create your future!
Future results from the decisions we make. Decisions set impulses, open up opportunities and spaces. They create momentum towards a future.
In my view these 11 principles accurately cover what is relevant to create and define future and I see all of them in one way or another very much connected with courage. It takes courage to embrace change and uncertainty. It takes courage to explore possibilities and believe in the unknown future. And yes, it takes courage to live our emotions and perceive what we feel, form our imaginary world, develop our stories and decide to make future happen. Therefore I take the liberty to add a 12th principle and say:
Future is courage – Embrace your courage!
With courage we automatically step towards optimism, creating newness, moving forward, expansion and growth. Courage enables us to achieve a bright future by overcoming the desire to stay in our comfort zone, by enabling us to confront our fears and by helping us to embrace uncertainty and risk. It is our courage that fuels our actions and motivates us to keep getting up after falling or failing in order to make future happen. It is our courage that pushes us to go beyond our boundaries and limits so that we can thrive and achieve higher levels of success, fulfilment and happiness.
Now how about your future professional life? Not sure how to move forward and achieve your desired future? Let’s talk: Contact me