We are all travelling, collectively into 'the future'. Right?
'The future' is a destination 'out there' - somewhere?
As a professional futurist - the construct of 'the future' or rather, multiple possible 'futures', is something that I work with and explore all of the time - it's the canvas on which I work.
But if 'the future' is someplace in time, that lies ahead of us; a destination at which we have not as yet arrived - what exactly is time?
We might know how to measure the size of a blackhole millions and millions of light years away, but physicists tempestuously still debate something as basic as 'what time actually is'.
Some learned scholars argue that time is an illusion - a figment of our imaginations. If time is just an illusion then how can we clearly think about the past, or the future?
If we consider time a little differently in this equation; we can think of the past as everything that has been done already.
The past relates to concluded experiences that we now have knowledge and facts of, but no power over to change; whereas the future is that part of human experience that is as yet unexplored and uncertain, but is still open to our efforts of design.
We have facts based on our experiences in the past, but those facts are only useful when applied to the future, which is uncertain.
This is exactly why skills in foresight, futures studies and developing a future-orientated mindset is so vitally important.
The future then is murky, unknowable landscape that we get to navigate with a partial map.
When thinking about the future, and projecting our past knowledge into this uncertain landscape, it is vital to combine a logical approach with imagination and creativity to create multiple, carefully-constructed, well-rounded images of the future - rather than a single, linear prediction, which is rigid and fraught with the distinct possibility of surprise.
The future is a creation of an imaginative projection of our minds and a manifestation of our actions. Time is a critical factor in how wide we cast that projection of the present moment in our minds.
Time is a multiplier
When thinking about the future, time is then a multiplier of the level of uncertainty that we face.
The further we think into the future - the more uncertainty we need to contend with when determining the increasing number of future scenarios that could be possible.
The future is a construct of your mind - it's where you get to spend the rest of your life and the only thing you have control over.
Logically then, it'll only be as good as the quality of the thinking that you assign to it.
Is there any real reason then to think about anything else?