As you may have noticed, I've been very early on some big cultural trends. I was into pickup way before it was mainstream, was one of the first "digital nomads", was living in an RV before the tiny house craze, and was playing poker profitably before it went big, etc.
This isn't because I'm clairvoyant or because I invented any of these things, it's just because I'm very comfortable with risk and am willing to try new things and see what happens.
I thought that it would be fun to talk about some things that I think will happen in the future. Maybe I'll be right and maybe we'll laugh at how far off I am, but maybe some will resonate with you and you'll get into them earlier than you would have otherwise.
1. Shared Assets
I think I'm one of the first on this, and that it's going to be big. I've bought the island, a place in Budapest, and part of a neighborhood in Vegas with my friends. I've actually been doing this for a long time-- in 2000 I organized my friends to buy a school bus together.
I think that the sharing economy has made us very comfortable with the idea of using other people's things, and that as it continues to flourish, it will also happen more privately.
The rise of the internet, travel, and communication also contribute to this. It's much easier to do these things now, and I don't think people have quite realized it yet.
I don't think most people understand how cheap and easy travel can be. Many people are mentally stuck in the age of expensive hotels and travel agents. As people dip their toes and realize how frictionless travel can be, I think it will become much more normal for people to travel a lot.
Right now all airlines are devaluing frequent flyer programs, which is going to make flying even cheaper. People like me are getting 20%-100% back in future flights every time we pay for a flight. As this loophole closes, cash prices for flights will continue to drop.
3. Solar/Electric Will Take Over
The environment is really important to me (when I took a test on which candidate I was most aligned with, Jill Stein was second), but I'm actually pretty optimistic on global warming and our future.
I think that we will hit a tipping point in the next few years where it actually makes financial sense to use alternative energy. We are so close. No one uses oil because they like it, they use it because it it's cheap and powerful. Battery technology and solar are almost at the point where they will be cheaper and more convenient.
Elon Musk has had a lot to do with this (his new Powerwall is actually a good value for stored energy), and I think it's possible that he had a significant permanent impact on our environment.
I think that this will happen even in developing countries, similar to how cell phone technology became widespread even when things like basic hygiene didn't.
4. We will become more compassionate
I wasn't around back then, but it seems like in the past there was much more rivalry and animosity between citizens of different countries. Now there is mostly rivalry between the politicians. I've been through the middle east and Russia and found all of the people to be very friendly and welcoming.
So I think we're already making a lot of progress. The internet has had a huge place in that, as we've gotten used to communicating with people all over the world. As we start to travel more and meet these people face to face, I think barriers will drop further.
5. We Will Eat Better
I've been into healthy eating for a really long time now, and so I'm really attuned to it. We're not where we could be, but it feels to me like we've passed "peak bad food". We're now much more aware of what's actually bad for us (factory farming, sugar, etc), and are starting to respond. It's so much easier now for me to find healthy food anywhere I travel than it was when I first started.
6. Jobs Will Become More Independent
Fifteen years ago there were approximately zero platforms for people to make money of their own initiative. Now you can write books, make audio books, sell music, drive people around, rent out your place, do odd jobs, or just about anything else.
As job security continues to fall and people become more aware of these opportunities, they will take them. This is a big win because it's essentially cutting out the middleman (the employer). I love buying things on Etsy from people who make them just for me.
And as more of the workforce takes these opportunities, more will pop up. This is maybe one of my favorite trends.
Hard to say I'm calling this one early, as it's the most popular beverage in the world, but I personally believe that tea is going to become a more popular beverage in the US in the same way coffee did with Starbucks.
Excess has become much less fashionable, and we've gotten some harsh reminders of what happens when people overextend themselves. Younger generations are using credit less and are interested in things like tiny houses.
I think that financial security will become increasingly "cool" as high spending becomes seen as foolish and try-hard.
9. The Education Bubble Will Pop
For a great many people, I think that school is now a terrible investment. In the same way that houses were being sold to people for whom they made no sense ("It's the American Dream!"), I think people for whom college doesn't make sense are being forced to attend ("It's the American Dream!").
With this inelastic demand, prices have skyrocketed as the value of the product has gone down. At some point, coupled with the rise of independent jobs where performance is the only thing that matters, people will start to realize that school doesn't make sense for a lot of people.
It's now very easy to learn online or through experience. It is possible to learn a ton at school as well, but many people don't. Most go for a credential that has become a rapidly depreciating asset.
I hope that this correction causes schools to become more accessible and more about learning than credentials. That's how they started out and what sparked their success as an institution.
Photo is the Budapest parliament building from the water. I just got back from Budapest and loved it. Now I'm in Vegas, but will be heading to Tokyo next month.
I have been thinking about making videos again and maybe doing Patreon.
My prediction is that Donald Trump and the Republicans are going to attempt to get all the companies that have moved Offshore to bring that money back to the USA. As of now, those companies will pay 35% taxes on the money, and they don't like all the regulations in the USA. I believe Businessman Trump will lower that tax rate to near zero and lower the regulations. This will bring Billions back into our economy for local jobs and manufacturing. Also, I believe Trump will cut overseas military bases and bring our troops home. He wants to renovate the bases in the USA. Therefore, that will bring more money home and spur economic growth around military bases.
I believe that once companies start moving home, then the Economic Development money that state/city governments have had to GIVE to companies to relocate to their area will end. That money will be saved or spent on community projects.
Interesting post, I can agree with most of the points you mention. However, point 3 I don't think is going to happen.
I think the cost of solar in combination with battery storage will never be competitive with regular electricity prices. Look at the cost of the powerwall and household energy usage. I'm from Holland so I'll use Dutch prices and usage statistics.
So, 7000€ for 14kWh of storage with presumably 500 charging cycles, that makes 1€ per kWh, which is a quite high price. Regular electricity costs 0.20€ per kWh.
Further, you'd like to be energy independent with solar and batteries. However, a Dutch household on average uses 3300kWh per year, which is around 10kWh a day. That means that one Powerwall can only provide energy for only a day and a half... So, 2 days or more without sun and you're in trouble..
And then this is not all our energy usage. Here we use an additional 1500m3 of gas for heating and cooking. You can convert is to kWh by multiplying by 10, I found, so that's an additional 15000kWh! And then we haven't even talked about transportation...
I understand the ideal of energy independence, but here is just too much of wishful thinking going on.
I think, in fact, people do like oil just because it's cheap and powerful. It's the best we have, whether you like it or not.
I've been traveling consistently now for over eight years. In that time I've visited around seventy countries, many of them several times. But how I travel has changed considerably over those years.
While I might think that there are some "wrong" ways to travel, I don't think that there is one correct way to do it. Goals and circumstances change, and different travel styles accommodate those changes.
Maybe more than anything, I'm using talking about travel to illustrate something that I like to harp on: the idea that you should constantly reevaluate your habits and patterns to make sure that they suit you. Sometimes we build identities around things we do rather than things we are, and that's unhealthy.
My first serious international trip was nine months long. Todd and I sold everything, packed small bags, and circled the world. Some of our stops were short, but several lasted for a month or two.
Back then my goal was to just see and understand the world. I had a vague idea that my outlook on life was limited by my surroundings, and I wanted to see what life was like in different places. Staying for long times and removing myself from the United States accomplished that.
I can't say now that I've seen and understand the whole world, but that's no longer a weak point. I understand a lot more and have seen a lot. So while I still move closer to those goals when I travel, they're no longer the primary reasons I do it.
Now I travel in much shorter bursts. I'm in San Francisco for three days, was just in Las Vegas for four, Austin for two, and San Francisco for a few before that. I don't think I've been in any one place for more than three weeks consecutively in the past three years.
At the same time, I return to the same places over and over again. It's impossible for me to count how many times I've been to Tokyo, Vegas, San Francisco, the island, or New York in the past few years. Budapest is new on my radar, but I've been four times in the past year or so.
A big principle in my life is flexibility. I try to build myself into a flexible person. I don't need to be a master of too many skills, but I strive to be proficient at a basic level across as many disciplines as possible. At some level I can program, dance ballet, speak ten languages, rap, lead groups, entertain people, write, do construction, appreciate art, cook, and do many other things. I'm a beginner in many of those areas, but having any proficiency gives me a lot of flexibility in what I can achieve and where I can be useful.
This principle also extends to travel. My goal is to be able to be anywhere at any time if the situation calls for it. If there was a good reason to be in Shanghai tomorrow, it wouldn't be a big deal to get there. I've got frequent flyer miles banked, can counteract jetlag, can work on the plane as well as at my destination, and can get by in Chinese. In the same way that someone's day might be altered but not totally disrupted by a change in weather, my life is altered but not disrupted by changing my location.
While before I used to go to places for the sake of the place itself, now I move around more because of the people. I always come back to San Francisco because it has the highest concentration of good friends. My friend Nick and his family invited me to go on a cruise with them in the Baltic Sea this summer, and my friend Jimmy was planning on being in Europe afterwards, so I'll spend the late summer and fall in Europe.
The hassle of switching locations used to be a big deal, so I would try to minimize it by staying in one place for long periods of time. As I've grown accustomed to it, moving around a lot impacts my productivity and schedule far less than it used to, so I do it more.
I've also found that certain types of travel aren't as valuable to me as they used to be. I used to find solo travel exciting, but now I'm most likely to hole up in my airbnb and work if I'm by myself. So if I'm going to be by myself, I just go back to Vegas where cost of living is low and productivity is high. Traveling to new countries just for the sake of seeing a new place is also less exciting to me. I still enjoy it, but it's less revelatory, so I only do it if there's some other reason to go.
This is how I travel now, but I expect it will change in the upcoming years. If I was traveling this same way ten years from now I'd be concerned that I had stopped evolving as a person. After all, our habits and routines should reflect who we are.
Maybe I'll even stop traveling. It's hard to imagine that now, but you never know. Part of being flexible is having the flexibility to stay in one place if there's some reason to.
Travel is a big part of my life, so it's worthwhile to examine it and make sure that it still reflects my priorities and goals, and isn't just a vestige of an old identity. It may not be travel for you, but it's worth examining those things that take up a lot of your time to make sure that your time is being spent in a way that aligns with your goals.
Photo is a bamboo forest in Noumea, New Caledonia. Probably the most "off the beaten path" place I've visited recently.
My new book sales have been really bad! I still enjoyed writing the book, but you readers have spoken... I will only write self-help books in the future. I'll probably write the next one I have planned in the fall.
It's a chilly Nashville morning as I write this even as soft sunlight pours through my window. As I've mentioned in several of my recent posts, I've been doing a whole bit of de-cluttering in my life. This has mostly applied to various physical spaces like my closet, bedroom, car, and so forth; however, I've also been trying to do so in the way I carry out my day.
For most of my life, I've been the kind of person who has had a gargantuan to-do list. It would be an endless stream of tasks connected to multiple facets of my existence. After one item would be completed, another one would roll right on in. I've been thinking about this a lot over the past few weeks, and I've decided that, in spite of the productiveness, it is still not all that gratifying.
It feels no different than doing the same thing over and over again. The actual tasks might all be different from each other, but the intention is all the same--just to get something done. For me, this has become monotonous especially because, in my own life, there is no end to all of the things I could be doing.
So, I've decided that from now one, excluding (and occasionally including) time-sensitive tasks or ones that affect other people, I am only going to focus on getting two or three important things done each day. I've actually been doing this now over the last two weeks, and I really love it.