Fit Life Essentials for Real Life

Future Shock: How a 1960s Futurist Predicted Our Daily Craziness

IMG_4686Ferris Bueller used it as an excuse for a day off.  Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.  

That was 1986.

I think we’d all agree that the pace of life has quickened in the last few decades.  From where I sit, even the past two or three years feel different. You ask someone about an e-mail or a new development at work, and more often than not, they sigh.  It feels impossible to keep up.    

I’ve been wrestling with the culture of busy-ness for several years now, with some success.  But despite all the thinking I’ve done about the pace of life, I never thought much about the big picture.  Why are we so busy, and as crazy as life feels today, could it be possible that it will move even faster in the years to come?  Why do I feel so unsettled?  More importantly, what can be done to find peace?

I recently picked up some amazing insights in a somewhat unlikely place – Alvin Toffler’s groundbreaking book Future Shock, which predicts the “future” from a 1960’s perspective.  A number of coincidences came together and it felt like the Universe was urging me to read it. So I did.

Toffler writes that the pace of change in today’s world is like nothing we’ve ever seen.  People, places, things, and information flow in and out of our lives faster than commuters on the rush hour train.  The environment is changing so fast that it’s challenging our human abilities to keep up.

Some of the book’s predictions were downright entertaining.  So far as I know, we’re not living in undersea submarine communities or controlling the weather yet.  It was impressive, however, to see just how accurately he nailed our daily experience, and how many of his insights were exactly on trend in the health and wellness space.  

In short: 

  • If you think life is moving at an unreasonable pace, you’re right.  Chances are, it’s going to get even faster.
  • We are challenging the limits of our ability to adapt to change.  Just how much craziness can a human being handle?
  • There’s lots we can do to improve our ability to thrive in a changing environment.   

This is a three-part series.  In Part II, we’ll take a deeper look at Toffler’s predictions about change and the harm it can cause.  Part III will explore the strategies for improving our ability to adapt to change and lead happier, healthier lives.  

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