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April 17, 2012 / Brent Sears

What World Are You Living In?

That Used to Be Us is the latest book by Thomas Friedman.  In it he talks about the current state of the USA and where we stand it the world.  He makes a convincing argument for the fact that we seem to have lost our way as a nation – at a time when we should have been gearing up for the Internet revolution, fueled by globalization and enormous advancement in IT.

Ironically, he argues, because of our success in winning the Cold War we have now created the world we are living in.  We succeeding in  spreading capitalism to every corner of the globe – and now we  compete every single day in that world.  There is always someone out there willing to do the job better, faster, and cheaper.  Many jobs, once thought safe, are on the chopping block and being replaced by automation.

So what is left in a world where “average is officially over.”?  Everyone is going to have to do extra.  And it is that extra that will be the difference.  In the world we are currently living in, if it can be outsourced or automated it will be.

The jobs of the future most likely haven’t been invented yet.  In this state of flux knowledge workers will have to constantly update their skills – learning things at a faster pace than ever.  And that is now going to be the minimum.

I have decided I like this kind of world.  It’s one where nothing is owed me.  I have to constantly learning new things and add value.  I have access to more tools, ideas, people, and opportunities than ever before.  I don’t get to stand around and then collect a check at the end of the week.  I have to add value to the world around me.

It all comes down to embracing the world as it is and doing what is necessary.  It is a lot easier, but more dangerous, to sit around and complain about the way things are or the way they should be.  But that is just a waste of time.

 

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