Vikings needed skills to navigate and survive in a challenging environment. You will need skills and practices to do the same. Building wealth is about a lot of things, but in my view it is a lot about having certain skills that can be developed and made strong through practice. Clearly you will need technical skills in your chosen field or profession. But here are a few other skills that may be very valuable in the future. Flexibility, Empathy, Creativity and Teamwork are a few important mindset skills of the future. If you are trying to be the best as compared to others, you will fail. Be better than you were yesterday is all that matters with these skills.
Are you trying to be the best in the room? The smartest? The richest? The most attractive? In life, there will always be someone with more or better of something. It will not lead to happiness, true wealth or contentment to see the world this way. I see this stuff start at an early age with pre-schoolers. “Jackie has XYZ toy and I do not have one.” Response, “Yes dear, there will always be someone with something you do not have or have something that is different. But, you may have something Jackie does not have and we are grateful for what we have.” I believe getting out of this mindset is important for us to grow and achieve true wealth.
What do we mean by true wealth? True wealth is living life on your terms in your own unique way. This may take a few hundred thousand dollars to achieve or it may take millions, it is different for each person. As stated above, I believe Flexibility, Creativity, Teamwork, Empathy and Patience will be some of the skills in the future that will help one achieve true wealth:
Flexibility: The pace of change is fast. I enjoy talking with my grandparents about how they have witnessed and been a part of the world changing over the last 90 years. It is mind boggling when you really think about what has developed and changed in one lifetime. I do not see that pace of change slowing over the next 90 years. In fact, that pace of change may even accelerate. This will be exciting and challenging at the same time. We may need to develop our flexibility muscles as we process and adapt to changes to society, the way we work, shop, invest, travel, interact with others, use money and resources, etc.
Creativity: I suggest that creativity will be very important in the future. In my opinion this is something that a machine will not be able to do anytime soon that makes sense to humans. Yes, machines seem to churn out strange artwork and stuff, but creativity also has a human experience element that is lost when a computer makes it. There are ways to exercise creativity like a muscle, but you must also create space for it. You must have some down time for your brain away from the constant barrage of stimuli, cell phones, etc. You could take up games, hobbies, an instrument, other art forms, etc to flex the creative muscles.
Teamwork: More and more we work with teams. I have seen examples of great teams and examples of lousy dysfunctional teams. There is a broad spectrum out there. I think it will be a great skill to learn how to lead, manage and be part of a team at different times depending on your role. Added to this is how we work within our families, which is kind of a team for life.
Empathy: I added empathy because as our society integrates more and more with computers and the internet, etc. we seem to lose a kind of humanity. In some ways we may lose the old neighborhood feeling, a feeling of community, etc. Cultivating that again may be a key ingredient of a fulfilling life and building true wealth.
Patience & Self Control: In order to build wealth, one will have to exercise patience and self control. Notice the word “exercise” which means these are types of mental muscles that can be strengthened over time with practice. Just like with your health and fitness, small adjustments make huge differences in results over time. With patience, try making a rule that before you buy something over a certain amount, say $50, you will take a day to think about it. Perhaps the next day you realize you do not really need the item. Patience is also about having a well diversified portfolio and letting it ride the ups and downs of the market. This leads to self control, self control to not panic and sell everything. Self control in terms of delayed gratification. Perhaps you can wait to save up and buy a certain desired item instead of racking up a bunch of high interest debt.
These are many of the mental “skills” that wealthy people have used to become successful. The good news is that we are not really born with these right away, they are learned and developed over time through practice, mindfulness and exercising them in our day to day lives.