Future focus


How much have you changed over the past 10 years?  How much do you expect to change in the next 10?  According to Harvard Psychologist Dan Gilbert’s new six minute talk on TED the Psychology of Your Future Self, we all vastly underestimate how different we will be in the future, but readily recognise the transformations we have already experienced.  This, he explains, has to do with our ease of remembering, versus our difficulty in imagining.  We mistakenly think that because it’s hard to imagine, it’s not likely to happen and this has significant implications for the decisions we make.

So what would we do differently if we had a greater expectation of change to our careers, our working environments, and our ways of working?  We know from experience that precise long term predictions of “the way things will be” are likely to be wide of the mark.  What we can predicted with confidence, however, is that change will happen; that we will need to be at our best to deal with the unknown obstacles as and when they appear and that the more we develop our skills today, the better our best will be.

Any candidate who presents themselves at an interview with a long track record of proactive personal development is always likely to impress.  The interview panel will be drawn to any doctor who can demonstrate that a positive learning attitude is an imbedded part of their personality.  Such a candidate is far more likely to be able to give compelling examples of situations where they have put their learning into action, dealing effectively with the hurdles which got in the way of progress.

Whatever the future holds, our medical leadership, management and communication skills will need to be at their best.  Taking Dan Gilbert’s thinking on board, the time to take action to drive our development is always now.  How much change do you expect to undergo over the next 10 years?  What will you do about that today?