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20 Grim Assumptions You Can Make

I’m in a happy mood lately, but I found this bit when I was clearing out my archive. It’s inspired by Seth Godin’s “Five Years From Now…” bit – but much grimmer.
When I read this through, I saw that none of it lost validity – and that it’s important that I keep asking the two questions (inspired, in turn, by Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s great TED talk).


In 10 years’ time, assume the following happens:  

  1. 3650 days go by, hour after hour.
  2. One part of your body breaks down and ceases to function.
  3. One of your nearest and dearest dies.
  4. One or more within your family requires constant care and attention.
  5. One or more big financial crises happens.
  6. Food, energy, attention and work are twice as hard to come by.
  7. Climate change messes with major cities.
  8. Social unrest makes you more vulnerable in ways you can’t imagine today.
  9. The jobs that pay good money now become outsourced, mechanised or redundant.
  10. The skills you have now become outdated and too common.
  11. The technology of promise today goes bust, becomes a disappointment or fails to catch on globally.
  12. The solutions that keep you safe and stable become too strained, sluggish or ill-founded to give you any security.
  13. Wars are being fought in new ways on new grounds and they threaten you in new ways, all of which is beyond anyone’s grasp today.
  14. Politics and governments fail and disappoint everyone, so the angriest and loudest shouters get elected.
  15. The things that worry and scare you now fail to go away, turning chronic and toxic.
  16. The things that comfort and relax you now fade, wear off or stop working.
  17. There’s ten years’ worth of brightest, hungriest, angriest and most privileged people of this world, graduating behind your back, or not even waiting to graduate before they join the chase.
  18. Some of your most treasured possessions get broken, stolen, destroyed or lost.
  19. Some of your ideals and heroes turn into empty slogans and little people.
  20. Some of the decent people in your life betray you behind your back, show their true colours or just stop showing up.
So what? Now what?

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