Direct Your Future to Create Unprecedented Opportunities

Direct Your Future to Create Unprecedented Opportunities

In my recent New York Times bestseller, Flash Foresight, I share seven principles that can make invisible opportunities visible. Being able to direct your future is essential for success in both business and life.


As I’ve mentioned in past articles, hard trends provide accurate certainties about specific elements of the future—but combined with soft trends and your ability to influence them, how those elements play out is highly plastic. In other words, how your future unfolds is determined to a great degree by the choices you make, and those choices are determined largely by what you see in front of you.

Therefore, flash foresight starts with seeing the certainty of hard trends, and based on that, learning how to anticipate accurately. It also lets you see soft trends, as factors you can influence to shape a better future. But it’s not enough to see hard trends and soft trends, anticipate, transform, go opposite, skip your biggest problems, and reinvent yourself. These are all valuable and vital steps, but there is something larger and more embracing: you need to actively shape your own future.

I coined the term futureview several decades ago to refer to the mental picture we each hold of our future existence. This is not the same thing as a goal, plan, ambition, or aspiration. Futureview is not what you hope for or are trying to create—it is the picture you actually hold, for better or for worse, of what you expect and believe about your future.

Most people are not fully aware of what their futureview is. You have one—everyone has a futureview—but often without realizing it or examining what it looks like. But not being aware of it does not mean it doesn’t control you, because it most certainly does.

Becoming aware of your own futureview puts a tremendously powerful strategic tool in your hands. It gives you the controls of your own future. Your futureview determines which actions you’ll take, and which you’ll avoid taking. Different futureviews create different realities.

Therefore, as an executive, are you managing the futureview of your employees, regardless of current economic conditions? There are people working in your company right now who are already online or on the phone looking for another job. Why? Because of their futureview of working for your company. There are also people who are planning on staying. Why? Because of their futureview of working for your company.

Are you managing the futureview of your business partners, your suppliers, your investors? What about the futureview of your customers?

As a parent, are you managing the futureview of your kids? There are kids who are planning to go to college, and kids who are planning to go into drugs. What’s the difference? Their futureview.

Most companies put zero effort or energy into directing their people’s futureview, which means for all practical purposes, they put zero effort into directing their future. All the “strategic planning,” “scenario planning,” and other systematic approaches to designing an intended (read: hoped-for) future often fall short of the goal. In a world gone vertical, they typically come to nothing. Not without a clear focus on managing people’s futureviews.

Your futureview determines the future you. The vision you have of your future determines your behaviors, which determine your outcomes. In a very real sense, your futureview is everything. And yet it is something people seldom think about.

Therefore, always remember: Where you look is where you go. Where are you looking?  

****

DANIEL BURRUS is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and innovation experts, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients understand how technological, social and business forces are converging to create enormous untapped opportunities. He is the author of six books including The New York Times best seller Flash Foresight.

Massive 'Darth Vader' isopod found lurking in the Indian Ocean

The father of all giant sea bugs was recently discovered off the coast of Java.

A close up of Bathynomus raksasa

SJADE 2018
Surprising Science
  • A new species of isopod with a resemblance to a certain Sith lord was just discovered.
  • It is the first known giant isopod from the Indian Ocean.
  • The finding extends the list of giant isopods even further.
Keep reading Show less

Volcanoes to power bitcoin mining in El Salvador

The first nation to make bitcoin legal tender will use geothermal energy to mine it.

Credit: Aaron Thomas via Unsplash
Technology & Innovation

This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink.

In June 2021, El Salvador became the first nation in the world to make bitcoin legal tender. Soon after, President Nayib Bukele instructed a state-owned power company to provide bitcoin mining facilities with cheap, clean energy — harnessed from the country's volcanoes.

The challenge: Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a digital form of money and a payment system. Crypto has several advantages over physical dollars and cents — it's incredibly difficult to counterfeit, and transactions are more secure — but it also has a major downside.

Crypto transactions are recorded and new coins are added into circulation through a process called mining.

Crypto mining involves computers solving incredibly difficult mathematical puzzles. It is also incredibly energy-intensive — Cambridge University researchers estimate that bitcoin mining alone consumes more electricity every year than Argentina.

Most of that electricity is generated by carbon-emitting fossil fuels. As it stands, bitcoin mining produces an estimated 36.95 megatons of CO2 annually.

A world first: On June 9, El Salvador became the first nation to make bitcoin legal tender, meaning businesses have to accept it as payment and citizens can use it to pay taxes.

Less than a day later, Bukele tweeted that he'd instructed a state-owned geothermal electric company to put together a plan to provide bitcoin mining facilities with "very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy."

Geothermal electricity is produced by capturing heat from the Earth itself. In El Salvador, that heat comes from volcanoes, and an estimated two-thirds of their energy potential is currently untapped.

Why it matters: El Salvador's decision to make bitcoin legal tender could be a win for both the crypto and the nation itself.

"(W)hat it does for bitcoin is further legitimizes its status as a potential reserve asset for sovereign and super sovereign entities," Greg King, CEO of crypto asset management firm Osprey Funds, told CBS News of the legislation.

Meanwhile, El Salvador is one of the poorest nations in North America, and bitcoin miners — the people who own and operate the computers doing the mining — receive bitcoins as a reward for their efforts.

"This is going to evolve fast!"
NAYIB BUKELE

If El Salvador begins operating bitcoin mining facilities powered by clean, cheap geothermal energy, it could become a global hub for mining — and receive a much-needed economic boost in the process.

The next steps: It remains to be seen whether Salvadorans will fully embrace bitcoin — which is notoriously volatile — or continue business-as-usual with the nation's other legal tender, the U.S. dollar.

Only time will tell if Bukele's plan for volcano-powered bitcoin mining facilities comes to fruition, too — but based on the speed of things so far, we won't have to wait long to find out.

Less than three hours after tweeting about the idea, Bukele followed up with another tweet claiming that the nation's geothermal energy company had already dug a new well and was designing a "mining hub" around it.

"This is going to evolve fast!" the president promised.

How Pfizer and BioNTech made history with their vaccine

How were mRNA vaccines developed? Pfizer's Dr Bill Gruber explains the science behind this record-breaking achievement and how it was developed without compromising safety.

How Pfizer and BioNTech made history with their vaccine
Sponsored by Pfizer
  • Wondering how Pfizer and partner BioNTech developed a COVID-19 vaccine in record time without compromising safety? Dr Bill Gruber, SVP of Pfizer Vaccine Clinical Research and Development, explains the process from start to finish.
  • "I told my team, at first we were inspired by hope and now we're inspired by reality," Dr Gruber said. "If you bring critical science together, talented team members together, government, academia, industry, public health officials—you can achieve what was previously the unachievable."
  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent COVID-19 for use in individuals 12 years of age and older. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the emergency declaration unless ended sooner. See Fact Sheet: cvdvaccine-us.com/recipients.

Keep reading Show less
Quantcast