Monday, December 8, 2014

Don't Fear the Future

"Futurephobia takes its power from vague and undefined threats — some non-specific apocalypse looming somewhere out there. It can limit creative thinking and prevent companies from seeing sustainability for what it is — the biggest driver of future value. The antidote is to be as tangible about the future as possible, and to focus on positive solutions." 
                  -- James Goodman, "Keep dystopias fictional: A cure for futurephobia"

The quote above comes from an article in one of my favorite (usually very positive) sites: GreenBiz.  While it is referring to the issue of sustainability, it could just as easily be referring to life in general.  It seems we as people are wired to always be thinking "What could go wrong?" rather than "What could go right!?"

I found it very inspiring that this story not only outlined the problem of negative framing that often happens in movies and media - but also went on to give a number of great examples of how the seeds of our sustainability salvation are within our grasp -- if we choose to focus there instead of on the problems.

More and more I find that while it may be harder and less intuitive to step back from the negative, the rewards are great when you do it.  Assuming others who disagree with your perspective are either "mad/insane" or "bad" to quote my fantastic rhetoric professors at K-State, takes a toll and eventually, makes you want to go live in a cabin away from other people.  Yet, we are designed to need each other - and to thrive as a species, only when we have good community with others.  So, while it takes more effort, the investment in looking for the positive is ultimately an investment in our long-term happiness. 

The other really important thing about this article is that it points out a great truth I have seen over and over in my life.  Where you put your focus, that is where you go.  When we are always looking and talking about the great problems of society, we can't help but find more of them.  When we look for solutions, well, then -- we find them!

1 comment:

  1. Today was a "wanna go live in a cabin away from other people day." Thanks for the reminder that we all really do need each other.


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