Play Chess, or Strengthen Your Muscles of Resilience in Unstable Times
– Are you worried about the future in these uncertain times?
– Recession, collapse of the international financial system, failing economy with high unemployment rates, dysfunctional education system… do they make you anxious?
We are living in a time of the clash of civilizations. With increased risk and uncertainty everywhere, we are transiting from a civilization that is crumbling to a new kind of society .
We are in a gap as a new civilization is emerging. McLuhan pointed out that in this type of rapture with a dominant role of technology and media shaping our lives, we were losing identity, feeling increasingly insecure and vulnerable. Chaos and insecurity will end when a new civilization begins (Durant).
As companies deploy more and more new technologies and robotics, and use outsourcing to reduce costs, they’re still hiring people, but now they are becoming kind of picky. They are looking for people who possess the critical thinking skills to do the value-adding jobs that technology can’t. Every employer is asking, “can this person add value to us – more than a worker in India, a robot or a computer?” (The Start-Up of You, NY Times, July 12, 2011)
Ironically, the deployment of technology is now highlighting a necessity for quite the opposite set of skills: deployment of the old and primitive brain technology.
Do we need more of STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math)? No. We don’t want to become slaves of technology. What we need are an entirely new mind-set and skill set to compete and survive. We need to learn how to think critically and adapt to the environment that is changing at an ever-accelerating rate. We need to learn how to think strategically.
Creativity, imagination, adaptability, good social and emotional skills is what we need. All those functions supported by our “primitive” brain.
Find a way to add value to yourself in a way no one else can. That’s the recipe for success in the world we’re living in. Differentiate or die. Start building yourself now, keep updating, keep adapting. Evolve.
Play chess. You don’t know how? Learn and apply the central principles of strategy in your life. Strengthen the muscles of resilience.
Thrive again instead of being hunkered down in survival mode.