When I travel to a huge city, I ask myself, “How long has it taken for all this to be built?” I also ask myself, “How long will all this still remain as it is?” While my mind moves into the past and explores that which has come before us, my mind also moves into the future to explore that which is still to come.
Before I started with a systematic way of exploring the future through the Masters of Strategic Foresight at Regent University, my thoughts about the future just drifted off and disappeared again without becoming useful. I just felt overwhelmed by thinking about the future.
When my son started learning to ride a unicycle, he realized how difficult it is and how long it takes to be able to balance and ride with only the one wheel. But it did not take too long, and then riding along a flat stretch became almost second nature to him. To learn more, my son started trying to jump with the unicycle, which is even more difficult. One day, he came to me and joyfully said, “Dad, now I can jump with my unicycle. Even riding on uneven mountain paths now is easy. The rocks that previously were obstacles on the cycling path have become fun challenges: I actually want to overcome them, because I now know I can do it!”
Using strategic foresight to explore the future was a similar experience to me. Initially I felt overwhelmed by questions about the future, but then the obstacles of the future became fun challenges. The foresight methodologies now bring joy when intimidating questions can be explored and addressed.
What questions about the future are intimidating you now? By learning skills of dealing with the future, you may begin enjoying the challenge of overcoming obstacles–or maybe, like the unicyclist, just jumping right over them!