Postanly Weekly: the Cadence edit

Newsletter Challenge, v. 17

Quick note: I recently wrapped up a writing coach arrangement with Ari Lewis, host of the Mastering the Attention Economy podcast. We enjoyed working together (see Ari’s ROI here), and he proposed I take on a newsletter editing challenge. I’ve built my list from the top paid newsletters at Substack, and I toss in an odd find now and again to keep things fresh — like this one.

The challenge: Twenty edits by 22 September (yes, I’m behind, but my clients — and my family — come first, of course).

My primary goal: add clarity, concision, and cadence to the newsletters, and sharpen up my own editing process. After I wrap up the challenge, I’ll provide reflections on each edit and offer some lessons you can use on your own newsletter.

For details on my process, click here, a Google doc. Leave suggestions as you see fit. Thanks!

“Think Like a Futurist: The Key to Ensuring Your Success in an Uncertain Future,” September 21

https://medium.com/personal-growth/to-survive-and-thrive-in-our-age-of-uncertainty-think-like-a-futurist-392e8bab2beb /
by Thomas Oppong / @AlltopstartupsFollow

–Grey typeface: Oppong.

Normal typeface: me.

Key metrics (original -> edit)
–reading level: 9 -> 7.
–word count: 901 -> 774.
–median sentence length: 17 -> 17 words.
–sentence length, standard deviation (basically, a measure of the variety of sentence lengths): 13 -> 9.
–% of sentences, hard or very hard to read: 41% -> 33%.

~~~~~~

Think Like a Futurist: The Key to Ensuring Your Success in an Uncertain Future

The art futuring is a necessary skill in the new age of uncertainty

Think Like a Futurist for Long-term Success

The necessity of futuring in the age of uncertainty
Image by Ty Dale.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you prepared for what might happen next month or next year?

The future has always been uncertain. Today right now, the future is even more uncertain. We’re dealing with a lot of uncertainty right now.

Many people can’t cope — they are stressed and overwhelmed.

“Deep uncertainty merits deep questions, and the answers aren’t necessarily tied to a fixed date in the future. Where do you want to have impact? What it will take to achieve success?” writes Amy Webb, a quantitative futurist and professor of strategic foresight at the New York University Stern School of Business.

Are you prepared for what might happen next month? How about next year?

The future has always been uncertain — but right now, in the US especially, uncertainty may be at an all-time high.

Many people are stressed and overwhelmed.

“Deep uncertainty merits deep questions, and the answers aren’t necessarily tied to a fixed date in the future. Where do you want to have impact? What it will take to achieve success?”

Amy Webb, quantitative futurist and professor of strategic foresight
at the New York University Stern School of Business

~~~~~~

Futurists plan for the future in a whole new way. They think through multiple scenarios to make sure they are prepared for almost all possible scenarios. They may not know what could happen, but they are proactive about the unknown.

“For any given uncertainty about the future — whether that’s risk, opportunity, or growth — we tend to think in the short- and long-term simultaneously,” says Amy.

Futurists attempt to systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present into a future they’ve prepared for.

“At its best, futures thinking is not about predicting the future; rather, it is about engaging people in thinking deeply about complex issues, imagining new possibilities, connecting signals into larger patterns, connecting the past with the present and the future, and making better choices today,” writes Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Future

Futurists plan for the future by imagining multiple scenarios, and they prepare accordingly. They may not know what could happen, but they are proactive about the unknown.

“For any given uncertainty about the future,” notes Professor Webb, “whether that’s risk, opportunity, or growth — [futurists] tend to think in the short- and long-term simultaneously.”

Futurists systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and ascertain how they can transition from the present into a future in accordance with the Boy Scouts’ motto: be prepared.

“At its best, futures thinking is not about predicting the future,” according to Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Future. “It is about engaging people in thinking deeply about complex issues, imagining new possibilities, connecting signals into larger patterns, connecting the past with the present and the future, and making better choices today.”

~~~~~~~~~~~

We are in the midst of a historical transformation — the art of futuring your life and career is a necessary skill in an extremely uncertain world.

Despite the mass uncertainty we face right now, if you can’t figure out your long-term plan for tomorrow, next month or next year, you will feel stuck, react more to other’s demands, procrastinate more, and give up sooner when challenged.

Make “futures” thinking a way of life

We are facing huge challenges in the world today, but you can’t thrive, grow or make the most of your life if you approach your present difficulties with short-term thinking.

We are in the midst of a historical transformation. The art of futuring your life and career is a valuable skill in an uncertain world.

A good plan keeps you centered. If you can’t figure out your plan for tomorrow, next month or next year, you will feel stuck, react more to other’s demands, procrastinate more, and give up sooner when faced with even modest challenges.

Make “futures” thinking a way of life.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Futures thinking skill is essential right now to better navigate your life and to make better decisions in the face of so many uncertainties. People who excel at managing the uncertainties of tomorrow think like futurists.

John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”

Take a moment and envision your life in, say, 2 or 5 years from now. What you’re imagining? Most people focus on a single future. What their life or career could look like if they take certain steps or actions.

 “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”

John F. Kennedy

Take a moment and envision your life in, say, two, or even five years from now. What do you see? Most people focus on a single future, on what their life or career could look like if they take certain steps or actions.

~~~~~~~~

Futurists think about multiple futures instead — they open themselves to all kinds of possible scenarios and solutions. Multiple perspectives are at the heart of futures studies — they actively consider alternatives.

“The best way to predict your future is to create it, ” says Abraham Lincoln

When you make a smart long-term decision about your future, you are effectively thinking backwards, and getting ready to live the future you want.

If your first and best case scenario about your life or career doesn’t work out next year, do you have another perspective you can explore?

Futurists, meanwhile, think about multiple futures. They open themselves to a host of scenarios and solutions. Multiple perspectives are at the heart of futures studies.

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

Abraham Lincoln

To make a well-founded, long-term decision about your future, take that five-year vision of you and think backwards. That’s how you can get ready to live the future you want.

If your first and best-case scenario about your life or career doesn’t work out next year, do you persist, or do you have a back-up plan?

~~~~~~~~~~~

Futurists have a long term perspective.

Thinking like a futurist involves paying attention to what’s changing, what doesn’t change and how to better prepare yourself for what’s next.

It means maintaining an open mind and running through various possibilities to find potential outcomes or imagining many possible futures.

A good futurist is always learning — for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. Learning new career skills and how to manage your emotions in difficult times can give you an upper hand — it puts you in control of what can disturb your peace of mind.

Futurists commit to long-term perspectives.

Thinking like a futurist involves paying attention to what’s changing, what remains steady, and how to better prepare yourself for what’s next.

It means maintaining an open mind and running through various possibilities to imagine potential outcomes of multiple futures.

A good futurist is always learning — for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. Learning new career skills and how to manage your emotions in difficult times can give you an upper hand — it puts you in control of what can disturb your peace of mind.

~~~~~~~~~

Robert Anton Wilson argues that “The future is up for grabs. It belongs to any and all who will take the risk and accept the responsibility of consciously creating the future they want.”

Whether you foresee an unknown and difficult future or a bright future because opportunities abound, it’s your responsibility to prepare for both.

“If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely,” says Seth Godin.

“The future is up for grabs. It belongs to any and all who will take the risk and accept the responsibility of consciously creating the future they want.”

Robert Anton Wilson, author

Whether you foresee an unknown and difficult future or a bright future because opportunities abound, it’s your responsibility to prepare for both.

“If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.”

Seth Godin, educator, author, and marketing guru

~~~~~~~~~~

When you think like a futurist, you can know what’s coming faster — that makes it easy to prepare better for disruptions in life and career.

Preparation puts you in control of what might be coming. You can’t predict the future, but you can be better prepared for possible scenarios.

With long-term thinking, proactive action, and an open mind, you can still thrive tomorrow and create better experiences for your life and career.

When you think like a futurist, you can know what’s coming faster — which makes it easy to prepare more effectively for disruptions in life and career.

With long-term thinking, proactive action, and an open mind, you can still thrive tomorrow and create better experiences for your life and career.

~~~~~~~~~~

Today, right now, think about every possible scenario that could happen in your life in the next year or two and figure out how to best plan for every possible scenario.

If you are able to take these steps each day, you will be thinking like a futurist. You will be able to better anticipate and prepare for all possible future scenarios. With a sense of what your farther future might look like, you will be ready to take the best action for your life.

Today, right now, think about a variety of life scenarios, which might play out next year and the year after, and figure out how to best plan for each of them.

Take these steps every day to think like a futurist. Start to anticipate how future scenarios will affect your choices. With a sense of what your future might look like, you will be ready to take the best action for your life.

# # #

And that’s a wrap.

If you like what you see, drop me a line over here.

Thanks!

Happy writing!

Published by Randal Doane

Living the good life in NE Ohio. I dig science and the written word. Let's build something amazing together.

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