Up for more futuring? Here’s part 2 of a mini-series on Ari Wallach’s TED talk on planning for the future. Part 1 was about developing strategies that reach further than just the moment, that support us in being healthier and having healthier relationships building on being present rather than « sandbagging ».
The second strategy that Ari Wallach – who assists governments, NGOs, foundations, and corporations to find ways to drive sustainable innovation – proposes for being better able to plan for the long term is getting rid of the current limited view when looking into the future.
He finds that at the level of society we are very much driven by looking though a technological lens and we disregard many other futures that are possible and need to be considered, like values, beliefs, …
At the micro-level of planning for our own lives, I discovered similar things for me and with my clients. The measures we apply to know if we progress in our lives, our careers and how we describe the future are often limited to one dimension, to things we can count like money, managerial levels, etc.
Ari’s video is a beautiful reminder of the many other things that we can check for and plan for concerning our lives. How about the values we want to embody? How about the way we want to feel? How about the way we want to be integrated into a community? How about those things that we want to last beyond our lifetime?
As a practice, I love to start with « how do I want to feel in my life? ». Describe the feeling, the emotion. Then, at the end of a day, reflect to what extent you felt like you want to feel in your life. What supports this feeling? What is missing?
The effect it usually does for me (and my clients) is that we discover that we are often chasing things that only marginally contribute to the way we really want to live our lives and how little it takes to change towards more fulfillment.