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How to think like a futurist

https://ideas.ted.com/three-ways-to-think-about-the-future/

ideas.ted.com

How to think like a futurist
Futurist Ari Wallach presents three approaches to help us reframe our view of what lies ahead -- and to help us tackle our toughest problems

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Transgenerational thinking

Transgenerational thinking

With this kind of thinking, you can develop and grow the way you think about problems, your role in solving them and the consequences.

For parents, for example, this can mean asking themselves, right before resorting to an easy, short-term fix like giving to the kids the phone in order to enjoy a quiet dinner, this question: “Yes I can do that, but what is it teaching them?”

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Futures thinking

Usually when we're imagining the future, we always include in our visions about dealing with problems like poverty, climate change or cancer some techno-utopia solution (with all sorts of new technologies). And there is nothing wrong with that, but we should stop seeing the future in just this one way.

Move from Future to Futures and open yourself up to considering all kinds of possible scenarios and all kinds of solutions.

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Telos thinking

Telos comes from the Greek language, and it means “ultimate aim” or “ultimate purpose.” This call for the process of asking yourself one question: “To what end?”

As we try to solve a particular problem, we also should think about what will come after we solve it.

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Going beyond short-termism

We often feel like we don’t have control over the future, that it’s this thing we’re just waiting to wash over us.

But we do have control, but it requires strategic thinking and action on our part, imagining many possible futures, and thinking beyond our own lifespans.

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The path that crises follow

The path that crises follow
  • Emergency: the team energy rises, teams instinctively pull together and performance goes up.
  • Regression: people get tired lose their sense of purp...

The regression phase is uncomfortable

Regression as a phenomenon comes from developmental psychology and relates to how people go back to a less mature stage when faced with pressure.

It is the most dangerous phase for teams, but it cannot be skipped.

Getting through the regression phrase

  • Identify how deep you and your team are into the regression phase.
  • Disrupt the team and create a new “day one.”
  • Learn how to adjust your team’s emotions. Maintain an environment where it is safe to be honest about their state of mind.
  • Aim beyond business as usual, prepare to face and anticipate the future in order to provide the most value.

Motivation is a muscle that we need to build

Motivation is a muscle that we need to build

Motivation does not happen to us. It is a muscle that we need to build. After an inspirational talk, we might feel motivated for a while but will fall back to our old routines.

Wha...

How to set the motivation flywheel in action

Knowing what keeps you back is as valuable as determining how to get started.

  • What are the bottlenecks to get you started?
  • What can cause you to stop once you start?
  • How do you know what to do once you get started?
  • What if you're not capable of achieving your goals?
  • How would you know if you're making progress?

Don’t wait until you're ready, start today

  • Even if you don't feel like it, take control by starting today.
  • Shift your mental energy from thinking to doing.
  • Believe there's no better day to start than today.
  • Set a micro goal for today without worrying about tomorrow.
  • Commit to taking one small step.
  • Tell yourself that when you gain momentum, the task will become easier.

Think like Sherlock Holmes

“What Sherlock Holmes offers isn’t just a way of solving a crime. It is an entire way of thinking."

"Holmes provides... an education in improving our faculty of mindful thought...

Engagement

As children, we are remarkably aware to the world around us. This attention wanes over time as we allow more pressing responsibilities to attend to and demands on our minds to address. And as the demands on our attention increase so, too, does our actual attention decrease.

 As it does so, we become less and less able to know or notice our own thought habits and more and more allow our minds to dictate our judgments and decisions, instead of the other way around.

Pitfalls of the Untrained Brain

Daniel Kahneman believes there are two systems for organizing and filtering knowledge: 

  • System one is real-time. This system makes judgments and decisions before our mental apparatus can consciously catch up. 
  • System two, on the other hand, is a slow process of thinking based on critical examination of evidence. Konnikova refers to these as System Watson and System Holmes.

To move from a System Watson- to a System Holmes-governed thinking takes mindfulness plus motivation.