This is Not the Blog You Expect
I think a lot about the future. I do this for work, since it’s what my clients need and expect of me. But equally, I do it because I am a parent, so my days of giving no cares about what happens to the planet, to our democracy, to the human race are long gone. On my best days I am awestruck by the beauty that is in our world. The sheer human potential that exists truly takes my breath away. On my worst days I can’t sleep, hoping that I am not the only one that cares. Thankfully, I have read and met enough like-minded thinkers to know I am not alone.
Because I work in the AI space, a trending topic of conversation is “the skills of tomorrow.” In other words, what do people need to learn and become skilled in to ensure their place in the work of the future? How does one stay in demand and on top of the market shifts?
Unlike any time before us, the answer is less and less about hard skills, and more and more about emphasizing our humanity. This is not easy for us. We have been in a pattern of focusing on anything but our emotions, especially in business, and we are under the illusion that technology can provide us anything we need. But in order to make AI work, we are being forced more than ever to articulate and identify what humans are good at, what it means to create human connection and how to create and nurture human relationships, all in the context of technology and data capabilities far beyond anything we’ve seen to date.
Human understanding, unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your orientation, means starting with yourself. Only in understanding yourself — how you operate, your triggers, your gifts — can you then begin to comparatively understand how you are connected with everyone else, and how you are beautifully different.
So, the below is a listicle of self-discovery. I challenge you to it. Some parts may already be part of your natural tendencies, while others may prove frustrating. The most interesting question about wherever you land is “why?”
1. Self-love — The ability to understand and celebrate the unique things that only you bring to the world.
2. Gratitude — The ability to, no matter what, recognize the things you have going for you.
3. The realization that the world is as you choose to see it — Your focus and your mindset become your reality.
4. How to do nothing — Learning the art of sitting still and just being. It’s amazing what you learn.
5. Presence — How to sit still and truly be with others.
6. The power of connection — The value of being with others, and the recognition that we all have something shared.
7. How to have fun — Your ability to connect with your joy, unabashedly, like you did when you were a kid.
8. Empathy — The ability to feel a reality different from yours, whether or not you choose to accept it.
9. Entertaining curiosity — Allowing yourself to discover new things with no agenda.
10. How to accept and appreciate difference — Diversity (of any variety) can generate creativity and innovation. There is enough for all of us to exist in one reality.
The more humans can achieve the above attributes, the less we have to worry about our future. We will be able to see our place within the world and how it is interconnected with everything else. Human connection is behind EVERYTHING great that has been achieved in this world. The opposite is also true: disconnection from humans has a place in every disaster that has ever happened, as well. AI is just the latest context in which we can decide to be great. I believe in us.