In the Cockpit

We always talk, prepare, dream and even create some type of strategy for the future. This can be in business, sports, money, a career or even in your own life. Responsible people know that tomorrow will get here sooner or later, and that we need to prepare for it. Hey! I consider myself a planner, a strategic person and maybe a futurist. I know how excited someone can get about the future, but we sometimes get lost in tomorrow and forget about today. We forget to be mindful.

A few months ago, I was in a training flight from JAX to SJU. I wasn’t doing flight training, I was observing the environment in the cockpit and how pilots reacted to weather systems, air traffic control clearances, climb and descent rates, pilot workload (crew resource management), and emergencies among other things. As an Air Traffic Controller, I was there to see how pilots operated on the other side of the microphone, and how the Air Traffic Control clearances affected them, either positively or negatively. That experience will give you another perspective within the Air Traffic Control world.

One of the things that I experienced, which I already knew, was watching the autopilot in action. I don’t want to scare you, but I’m going to be transparent. The airplane (autopilot) did everything by itself, except on takeoff and landing. I’m not here to disregard the pilot’s job; at the contrary it is an important job and role. However, what I’m trying to communicate is that sometimes we get blind by all the noise that is out there and we need to remember that we are living in a interesting and exciting time. These are some of the technologies that we are using today:

  • Internet of Things
  • Self-Driving Cars
  • Robots
  • Wearable Technology
  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmentation
  • Biotechnology
  • Genomics
  • Artificial Intelligence

We don’t have to wait to the future to use these technologies to our advantage. If an airplane can fly by itself today, I just wonder how the future is going to be 10 or 20 years from now. You maybe wondering, all that is true but what is going to happened with the economy and the jobs in the future, well that is another topic and I’m not going to get into that in this article. What I want to bring home is that you need to keep your eyes open and pay attention on how all this is going to play out in your life. You need to pay attention to your money, career and more specifically to your skills. Skills can be learned, but if you have a fixed mindset people will run all over your. Make sure you have a growth mindset.

Computer and technology can’t do it all. There are a few things that human have that computers can’t imitate. Peter Diamandis summarize it in this way:

What Else Won’t Change?

My friend Tony Robbins often speaks about the six fundamental human needs. My guess is that these too will remain constant as long as we humans retain our current neurochemistry.

The six basic human needs include:

  1. Certainty: We need assurance that we can avoid pain and gain pleasure
  2. Uncertainty/Variety: We have a need for variety, continuous change, and stimulus
  3. Significance: We have a need to feel unique, important, and special
  4. Connection/Love: We need a strong feeling of connection with people and we need to feel loved
  5. Growth: We need to expand each of our own capabilities and capacities
  6. Contribution: We need to contribute, and we need a sense of service and focus on giving back.

I’d also add a 7th to this list:

  • The individual’s desire for more freedom: We will constantly be looking for ways to achieve more freedom in our lives. One great example of this is the shift that’s happening in freelance work. From designers on 99Designs to Uber drivers to independent consultants, more and more people are choosing “freelance” career paths because doing so affords them freedom of time, location and association.

While these needs will remain constant, the way we fulfill them will change. For entrepreneurs, to the extent that you can make achieving these basic needs easier or more fulfilling, people will preferentially adopt your approach, Diamandis said. These are a few things that computers can’t do. Be bold and take care of your future.