"Software is eating the world!"
"Yesterday's advantage is today's table-stakes!"
"AI is going to wipe out humans!"
My social feeds are full of these refrains. The sentiment is ubiquitous; the world is ending, and if you don't 'hire me' or 'buy my solution' you won't survive!"
You'll be done with.
This is especially true for those of us who are designers, strategists, and innovation consultants. The majority of 'innovation thought leadership' out there is merely presenting a vision of the future cast under a cloud of anxiety, pregnant with the rain of irrelevance. And the umbrella just happens to be whatever the author is selling, namely their creativity model/framework/tool/best practice.
But I want you to know, the world is not ending.
It. will. be. ok.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not denying the world is crazy. And I'm not denying that your job is really hard. I'm not denying the competition is stiff. I'm not denying that we all operate under immense pressure everyday.
What I am proposing is that there is more. There is more to living and working than the constant fear of survival. The world is not happening to you, it's happening throughyou. The pursuit of relevance driven by the impulse to survive is characteristic of people who feel the world is happening to them. But for for those who believe the world is happening through them, the richness of work, relationships, and play is driven by opportunity, not survival. This is the more – the belief that beyond survival there is the opportunity to thrive.
Creativity. Innovation. These notions aren't merely an answer to the threat of irrelevance, they are the means to realizing opportunity. An opportunity to elevate the joy of human experience. An opportunity to participate in the becoming-ness of our world. An opportunity to be moved by beauty and imagination. An opportunity to discover fulfillment and meaning. An opportunity to envision the 'oughtness' of our reality – how things ought to be.
So stop peddling fear.
Instead, make imagination, optimism, and hope contagious. As a creative, that's your imperative.