Foresight is one of the more achievable superpowers that humans can possess. Obviously not to the point of determining next week’s winning lottery numbers. But a milder version.
Not to toot my own horn, but it’s a skill I’ve been honing for the past 12 years. On the frequent occasions I make a prediction that materializes months or years later, friends and family always ask me how. And I tell them that foresight is a muscle that can be strengthened.
What is foresight? Let me tell you (in the video below):
Foresight isn’t exclusive to predicting future technology or business opportunities. That just happens to be the route to getting on a Forbes List.
Other popular brands of foresight include: Cultural Foresight, Athletic Foresight, and Interpersonal Foresight.
Cultural Foresight is the ability to observe current style, art, and dialects, and judge where culture will meander next.
Generally speaking, you may have friends that look at lists of hot new trends and adopt that style, just like there are technology futurists that just say AI is the Future without ever digging deeper. Those are foresight imitators.
Those with true cultural foresight can take a lot of cultural input from different sources, locations, time periods and determine the next direction (before the magazines do). Those with impeccable cultural foresight take this one step further and use the inspiration to create the next wave.
Do you think that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have been lucky for the past two decades?
No way. They have impeccable Athletic Foresight. They have the ability to read another athlete’s body and determine how to beat them.
Athletic Foresight can be done prior to a game – watching game film, finding weaknesses in the other team, and then exploiting them. Or it can take place during a game – reading the other team real-time and making adjustments.
Every great coach, but not every great player has Athletic Foresight.
Interpersonal Foresight consists of a combination of flawless listening (with the eyes and ears), an exquisite memory, and persuasive communication.
There are people who have an absolute knack for reading people, the current environment, and the emotions of a situation.
They see an argument precipitating and leave a room before it happens. They spot newcomers who are destined for greatness. And they navigate the social politics of work and life, somehow coming out of the turmoil untouched.
In my humble opinion, Interpersonal Foresight is the most valuable and attainable form of foresight. Everyone has the opportunity to build this skill because there’s no barrier to practicing.
You can decide right now that you’re going to have 100 conversations today and you can go out and have them. There’s nothing stopping you. You have hundreds of contacts on your phone. You interact with dozens of people every day. These are all training grounds for Interpersonal Foresight.
What is Foresight?
Foresight comes in a variety of forms. These were just a few.
In the end, the common denominator amongst all classes of foresight is the ability to read inputs, make mental connections, and forecast what’s next.
Fortune may favor the bold.
But the bold backed by foresight always outlast the bold backed by chance.