Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Curse of the Visionary

Clock via Pixabay
I have written often in this blog about the value of being able to predict the future and provided several suggestions on ways to develop predictive skills. Understanding nascent technologies and societal trends can boost your creativity, your career and your investments. But that vision comes with a price.

Any careful consideration of our current situation and possible paths forward can generate frustration and fear in several ways. I call these the curses of the visionary.

The Ability to See What Could Be

There is much wrong with the world that could be different if better decisions were made about the deployment of resources and technology.  Few voices in the media and even fewer in government seem to have a clear understanding of economics or psychology. When bad policy is destined to produce poor results, there is little joy in knowing that a little earlier than most people.

The Ability to See What Will Be

If you assemble a series of possible scenarios and try to assess the probability of each actually happening, many of those scenarios will be unpleasant. Our economy thrives on creative destruction and it is never totally clear which side of that destruction any one of us will land. Survival requires preparation for the most probable obstacles but obsessing on the risks leads to fear and doubt.

The Inevitability of Generating Anger

Those who are heavily invested in the status quo don't want to admit the necessity of a course change. Visionaries are far more likely to be greeted with laughter or rage than appreciation.

The cure for the curses of the visionary is action. Choose the path that appears to be the most probable route to success and get started. Action can change the future. Action is the perfect distraction from fear and frustration. And action leads us around the curve or over the hill where the path ahead is easier to see.

You might also like:
Looking Forward
Your Creativity is Scary
Do Your Own Annual Review