Look around you…
Take a good look. Have you ever stopped to really think about just how weird and wonderful life really is?
Not a day goes by that I don’t find myself fascinated or frustrated in one way or another.
But that’s the best part of you.
We just never know what will happen next.
Just twenty short years ago had anyone told me we’d all be walking around with tiny portable computers with access to information from all over the world for next to nothing, I’d have thought you had a screw lose.
Smartphones have changed everything; from how we communicate with one another (remember when we used to call one another?!) to how we gather information and even shop.
Each year ushers in thousands of new products with incredible new technology and being somewhat of a geek myself, I find myself in awe at just what is possible today.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
What is interesting and something most of us don’t take the time to really consider is just how technology is changing us. Obviously our world is speeding ahead into the great unknown, but what about us?
The other day I sat down to ponder the world in which we live in and noticed something quite ironic.
In spite of all the incredible changes that have taken place, it seems that Newton’s Third Law of Motion seems to be in play in the sense that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Take a look:
- The more technology, the stupidier we seem to become (Test scores are dropping, and students less ready for the business world.)
- The more medicine, the sicker we are (Sharing is now banned at many schools because of allergy concerns. Yet, as children it was one of the joys of life and I never heard of anyone getting sick.)
- The more we try to protect kids, the weaker they become (Unable to handle the natural pain of life, don’t understand pain and failure.)
- The more “dangerous” activities we take away from kids, the more dangerous things they end up doing (Don’t you remember doing dangerous stuff simply because there wasn’t anything to do?)
- The smarter we become, the more danger we put ourselves in (In 1999 Internet stocks were hot and we supposedly had ushered in a new type of investment – one that doesn’t fail…shows how little we knew. Then just 8 years later we believed the notion that houses never went down in price which resulted in a $691 billion dollar company vanishing)
- The wealthier we become, the more problems we have (People like to think that money solves all your problems. Believe me, it doesn’t. Your problems simply change. Personally, I’d prefer the problems that come with being rich, but don’t make the mistake of thinking life is always easy if you have money.)
- The more choices we have, the harder it is to choose (One mistake many companies make is offering too many services, as a result customers are unsure of what to buy. Keep things simple when selling any product.)
- The more power we have, the greater the temptation to abuse it (I think of the many leaders the world over that have risen to power claiming they would help the people and in the end simply help themselves.)
- The more we learn, the more we realize how little we know (Amazing how when we are young we think we have all the answers.)
- The more we exercise, the less sleep we need (A good one to remember.)
- The more freedom we have, the less equality there is (Which is why utopias of equality are doomed.)
- The more we become, the less we need to say (“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.” ~Leonardo Da Vinci~)
- The easier it is, the less we learn (Which is why we must always push ourselves to go where the competition is great.)
- The more time we have, the slower things get done (When we have more time, the less pressure there is for us to achieve.)
- The cheapest advice often times ends up being the most expensive (How many times have you followed free advice that cost you dearly? I’ve learned that it pays to pay well for advice and mentors.)
- The more things change, the more they stay the same (A quick study of history will reveal just how little we have changed in spite of all the technological advances that have been made.)
The point is that there are two sides to every tale.
While things seem pretty clear cut growing up (ie. study hard get good grades), in business as in life, things aren’t always that simple and we must be aware of both sides. The good and the bad.
Who would have ever thought that the Internet and all the opportunity, it brings would also bring so much competition at the same time.
Looking forward it is easy to see that the world will both advance rapidly, but experience some setbacks along the way.
The opportunities excite me, but the setbacks worry me. As we have seen time and time again, booms and busts are just part of the cycle and since 2008 we’ve had an incredible run up in nearly every sector, will it continue? That I can’t be sure of but what I can say with certainty is that somewhere in the future we will hit a rough patch which is precisely we need to educate ourselves — and see that which is unseen by most.
I have no doubt that during my lifetime great change will occur, faster than many of us might realize.
It’s up to us to be ready to take advantage of those opportunities and to protect ourselves from the dangers that are coming.