The first weeks of the new year are over, and one wonders what else 2023 will have in store. “Next year should be better again,” we probably all heard or said these or similar statements during the turn of the year. But how will this year be better? What prospects are necessary to look to the future with renewed optimism?
The three possible future perspectives
Let’s look at three options that the current future report of the Zukunftsinstitut provides and which is the starting point of our considerations for this blog post:
The perspective of inner decline
We’ll carry on as if nothing happened…
With this attitude, we perceive the impending loss as a collective loss. Our outlook is consistently negative. We suspect or feel that we cannot continue as before, but instead of reacting by changing our inner perspective, we desperately cling to the known and do whatever is necessary to keep it that way.
We face change with innovation.
We are aware that something must change for things to continue. To stabilize and balance things, we experiment with small increments of change and innovate through trial and error. While we have yet to determine where the adventure will take us, we’re ready to keep going despite the unknown.
We reimagine the world and align our behavior to the future.
We completely reassemble things in our visionary outlook and build the actions of the present on that. We see ourselves as ambassadors and protagonists of a possible future that is radically different from the norm.
At INDEED Innovation, we strive for transition and a visionary outlook. Preserving the linear economy is synonymous with the perspective of internal decline. The circular economy is an elementary part of a transitional or visionary perspective.
Our striving for and innovating for a circular economy is based on our optimistic attitude that what was and is part of the problem can be part of the solution. We have realized that natural resources are finite in a linear economy, so we are committed to keeping recyclable materials in circulation, avoiding waste, and establishing sustainable economic systems that preserve and even replenish natural resources for the future.
Principles for more optimism in 2023
But how can we look to the future with personal optimism once we have chosen our future perspective? These 11 guiding principles for a new optimism can help.
Live the future now. Become part of the change. Welcome the uncertainty. Explore the potential of the future. Believe in the future and accept your emotions. Recognize what is essential and analyze what is likely. Create new narratives in pictures and words that inspire. Actively shape your future (very loosely based on: Deine Zukunft – 11 Leitsätze für einen neuen Optimismus).
For everyone who needs help with these or individual guiding principles of the optimism credo, I have added for each a TED Talk worth watching. Being optimistic about the future is a constant renegotiation with yourself in dealing with adverse reporting and/or setbacks. And I don’t exclude myself from that. I also must crack one or the other guiding principle, although I am a fundamentally positive and intrinsically motivated character.
Watch & Learn
1. Present – Live the future now!
2. Change – Be part of the change!
3. Uncertainty – Embrace uncertainty!
4. Possibility – Explore the potential!
5. Attitude – Belief in the future!
6. Emotion – Notice what you feel!
7. Observation – Recognize what is important!
8. Calculation – Analyze what is probable!
9. Vision – Form your visual worlds!
10. Narration – Develop your stories!
11. Decision – Shape your future!
We are in challenging times, and it would be illusionary to think that we could go through life always in a good mood and full of optimism every day. Our influence is limited. We must be aware of that. There will always be phases in which we are in doubt, and our optimism takes a back seat. This is perfectly normal and part of life. However, it is even more important that we collectively develop and adopt a positive attitude and optimistic future perspective.
We have the opportunity, but also the obligation, to make our future more sustainable and, therefore, better. Active participation and approaching a positive future will lead to more optimism. This is by far the best path we can choose.
The future is not a disaster but the result of our decisions today. Let’s make sure they’re good decisions.