One of my great fear motivators is becoming irrelevant in a professional sense. When you can no longer add value, you are replaced. Whether by a machine or a lower cost option, it doesn't matter, you're done. And it's hard to bounce back from that.
To combat that, I spent a lot of time thinking about macro trends and playing around with new technologies.
It's why I bought BitCoin a while ago. It's why my daughters and I play with TinkerCad and print 3D items. It's why I watch documentaries on Netflix (ok, I binge on a lot of other stuff as well). It's why I explored the Dark Web, got solar panels, was one of Vonage's first 20,000 customers, bought a Nest, ordered an Amazon Echo and more.
It's also why I love traveling and why I have a hard and fast business travel philosophy of "always doing something unique to the city" when I visit. Otherwise, it's airport-office-hotel-airport. This way, your eyes are opened in some way.
You get the idea. Sure, some of it is "fun," but a lot of it is…this is how I get my head around what is coming so I can be better prepared.
In fact, in a knowledge/information economy, being able to see things before others do and then prepare for them is a non-negotiable skill and will be the source of competitive advantage.
What I didn't have, however, was a defined PROCESS for doing this.
And that's exactly what my friend, Rohit Bhargava, has done for all of us in his new book (disclosure: I got a free copy) called "Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas, and Predict the Future".
It's only 99 cents on Amazon now, so you can thank me later.
I read the whole book in one sitting while on a plane and like his previous books (all of which I enjoyed), the writing is very consumable, but more importantly, he combines theory with practicality.
You walk away with concrete steps to take so you can be a better, more sophisticated, curated trendspotter.
And that's what you need.
Plus, he made me feel better about my fatherhood strategy (which, I admit, I got from my own dad). One of the key objectives of parenthood is to instill a sense of curiosity in your children. Help them learn how to ask questions and look at the world from a wide perspective.
Rohit confirms this approach and emphasizes that it's important for adults (I would argue that in a world of radical transformation and disruption at lightning speed, that it's more important than ever.
Two thumbs up on this one.