Want to get excited about the future? Watch this awesome talk by X Prize’s Peter Diamandis showing how rapidly we’re solving many of our world’s greatest problems.
Here at the University of Life, we have a parallel vision. We’re working to build a wealth of information resources to help visitors learn many of life’s most important lessons. And while innovators and researchers reveal new technologies that will transform our external lives, our vision primarily centers around the inner world of human beings and optimizing hearts and minds for happy, successful, teamwork-based coexistence. We call this focus “human technology.” A world of optimized human beings can solve any problem with incredible grace.
Many of the most important lessons every human needs are not new or revolutionary, but a staggering portion of the world’s population does not yet know or understand them. They’re not easily learned from the School of Hard Knocks.
Consider the world’s many conflicts, for example, between countries, races, and even rival sports fans. Two simple concepts, if understood by those involved, would eradicate the unhealthy aspects of competition instantly.
The first is abundance. Fear of scarcity can raises the stakes to deadly levels, when the reality is that earth’s resources are adequate for all. All we need is cooperation and distribution, especially considering solutions offered by emerging technologies. If everyone practiced gratitude long enough to develop an abundance mentality, more such cooperation would become reality.
The second concept is unity. The “us/them” mentality pits groups against one another when we really have far more in common than differences. We’re all in the same boat; and in the end, we sink or swim together.
I’m not naive enough to believe that everyone will ever understand such “lofty” perspectives. Many people never really grow up. They never really learn to think. Without effort or massive cultural change around them, they will never relinquish old ideas and trade them in for better ones. Leaving familiar ground and traveling beyond any conceptual horizon feels like madness until the distant shore of a new land comes into view.
But many people will. Youth especially are open to new ideas. They are looking for answers. They are willing to be inspired. That’s why they are our future, and we must equip them for a better future today. They can accomplish what most adults were never programmed for.
This morning I spoke to a local youth group about leadership. I made the distinction between great leaders – who inspire action – and mere managers, who organize and tell people what to do.
I told them that to be great leaders, they need a vision, and they need to be that vision. I listed a dozen traits worth developing – boldness, humility, knowledge, talent, optimism, determination, self worth, goodness, faith, love and others.
The moments that left the biggest impression on me came while I told them how beautiful or handsome, how smart and talented, how good and competent, fun and pleasant to be around they are. I saw eyes glowing in the audience. I could tell it was just what they needed to hear.
Confidence is exactly what they need to navigate their confusing teenage years successfully – to keep moving forward, trying and rising again when they fail. A sense of worth will keep them from turning to unhealthy sources for reassurance and acceptance. It could spare them years of confusion and misery and a lifetime of struggle. If they don’t learn it now, such ideas may never fit into their heads in the future.
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