Are you afraid of the future?

The future

“Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment.” – James Allen

Who’s afraid of the future?

This was the question asked by Dylan on Saturday evening during a keynote address at a black tie event. Dylan is a futurist working for Deloitte. When he asked the question the majority of the estimated 150 people put up their hands.

This astounded me. Afraid of the future?? Sitting there, I was thinking about the implications, and could quite honestly say that I’m not afraid of the future at all. This doesn’t come from a positive-thinking place, but a place of confidence that whatever the future holds, I will meet those challenges. And besides, the future is going to happen whether we fear it or not, so logically it doesn’t make sense to spend that kind of energy on it. Especially if we consider that whatever we give energy to will grow and dominate our lives.

Then Dylan spoke about the concept of Ikigai, and asked the audience “Who has found their purpose in life?”  Only 3 people, including myself, put up their hands.  The rest of the people just looked on, mostly quite expressionless, possibly not even sure what that meant.  As you read this you may be feeling that way as well.  Since I actively study the lives of remarkable people, I can tell you that people become remarkable only because they are pursuing their purpose.  Yet only 2% of people had found it in that audience, which was made up of graduates from a leading university.

Another question came up in my mind which Dylan didn’t ask.  I would have liked to have seen the response to the question “How many people are actively trying to find or identify their purpose?”  Given my experience with the challenges in running a business in the personal growth arena, I would generously put it between 5 and 10%.  Maybe that explains the reason why there was so much fear of the future.  As James Allen goes on to say “They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings

So what, you might say.  Here’s my point.  If true greatness, in leadership, sports, philanthropy, science, business, whatever, can only be achieved when one marries talent, skill and purpose, how stunted will our future be if more than 90% of people couldn’t be bothered to work towards it?  That stark realization made me afraid of the future.

How about you?  Are you one of the 10%, or one of the 90%?  Will you be afraid of the future, or choose to be one of the remarkable people who works towards making the future better?

It’s entirely your choice.

Warmly,
Dieter

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