We’re divided, for the most part, in two main groups.:
1. The Old-Schoolers
These are the people brought up in a different world. They’re afraid or disinterested in radical changes.
They think the next generation is way too obsessed with social media, technology, and pleasure.
They think we are uncommitted to picking one occupation and mastering it.
They think we are lazy, with a short attention span.
The old-schoolers are the ones in power. They are our leaders of government and massive corporations.
2. The New-Schoolers
They embrace new technology and do love social media.
They like to mix business and pleasure, personal and professional.
They like to write about their opinions on the public net, unafraid of who sees it.
Due to social media, and innovations such as Google Search and Wikipedia, don’t like traditional education.
They may not get the depth of knowledge from reading an expert’s book or scholarly articles, but have a breadth of knowledge about many different topics.
They become curious about a topic, google it, and learn about it on their own.
They are a generation of polymaths, with diverse sets of skills and knowledge.
They don’t want their entire life or career mapped out ahead of time, don’t mind flexibility, and believe in collaboration.
They are frustrated with the way the world, business, and society runs.
They despise the old-school way of thinking, but feel powerless to change it, since the old-schoolers have all the power and control.
Partial Truth and Not Seeing the Big Picture
Both sides have valid points. It’s simply the way society has evolved. At the same time, both sides are blind to something the world constantly forgets: Even though big changes are difficult and seem impossible, they always happen.
People look at the current state of affairs and base their personal view of the world on this alone. Best case scenario, they notice the most recent changes from the last 5 years. This is an inaccurate way to see things.
A New Perspective
Go back 20 years into the past, and compare that world to the world of today:
Now, take that same measurement of change and apply it to 20 years in the future:
If you really do this, you’ll realize how dramatically things do change in every aspect of life. This cycle has happened a countless number of times throughout history.
It’s just like if you see a person everyday, they seem to be the exact same; unchanging.
Run into someone from back in school from many years ago that you haven’t seen. You hardly believe it’s the same person.
Taking Advantage of This New Perspective
The key to making big changes is to stop looking at things in such a day-to-day, year-to-year manner.
Force yourself to actually look back 20 years ago.
Look at today, and see what has changed.
Force yourself to imagine how much will inevitably be different 20 years from now.
Take into account the right-around-the-corner changes we already know about.
Use these vantage points to form an educated prediction of the future.
Use this prediction of the future to dream up all the problems and opportunities that will occur.
Determine the best way that you as a person, group, or company can make an impact to this predicted future.
Invest at least a portion of your current profits into begin developing the innovation.
Look past next quarter’s earnings, and devote a portion of your operations to these ideas, even though there won’t be a return on investment for quite a while.
Your company will profit a bit less right now, because of this.
Keep calm and stay committed to the long-term vision.
Even before the “future” arrives, you will, out-of-nowhere, pop up with an innovation that blows everyone away.
It will appear as magic to the mass population, because they’ve still been living in the present / immediate future this whole time.
This “magic” will create a massive following. It will inspire future generations, and restore faith to those who had given up hope. It will disrupt everything.
The best part is that you weren’t any more talented than your competitors. You may have even been a smaller player in the industry. You may have had less resources, cash flow, and reputation than everyone else.
Suddenly, and without warning, you are now the big player — you hold the power. Consequently, you can use your new prestige to keep the mindset going.
All of your success is derived from forcing yourselves to see ahead and then staying committed to the big vision.
One Individual vs The World
It’s easy to see how an already successful business can do this, simply by changing their perspective a little bit.
It’s harder to see how a single person can innovate on such a massive scale.
That’s where some of the “right now” technology at our disposal changes everything: Tools that allow easier collaboration and sharing of knowledge.
These tools are available right now, but do we use them? A perfect example is Google+.
It’s 100% possible for like-minded individuals to come together and form companies of their own, combining their strengths and shared vision.
At first, it may mean forming small companies / collaboration teams, and then presenting this information to larger companies (better yet, people that will invest directly in you and allow you the resources to actually create the innovation on your own, i.e. Facebook).
The key here is collaborating and getting things started. Create the products, concepts, and ideas that you truly believe can make a big impact.
If you start to make it happen, it may actually happen. If you sit on your ass bitching about the way things are, it won’t.
The Future is Inevitable. Still Open to Suggestions
The future is going to change dramatically, like it or not. However, it may not be the one we wanted or needed.
If you don’t jump in soon, you won’t be a part of what made it happen. Plus, that one crazy idea you had could have potentially had the biggest impact.
Missing out on one person’s insight or dream, could mean the difference between SkyNet and a utopian global awakening.
It’s easy to point out flaws in the system. Actually having a solution planned out is what makes you an innovator instead of a critic.