By 2020 You Better Be Able To Problem Solve, Act Creatively, And Think Critically


You are in rare company. You have taken the time to stop by and read my thoughts. The key word is time.

Many are wasting away their time. We have become so busy in our lives and at work that we have completely forgotten how important it is to protect our time, to use it wisely. The consequences are beginning to pile up.

We try to cram more into our calendars than is humanly possible. We think multitasking will fix any situation in which we need to get two deadlines accomplished. Distracted driving injuries, accidents, and deaths now outpace those that occur via impaired driving.

When was the last time you saw strangers talking to one another—saying hello even—in an elevator, subway or bus stop? When was the last time you did it? Not when there are distractions to distract our distractedness via mobile phones.

Technology is merely the catalyst. What I have seen over the last few years is an adverse behavior change of epic proportions. It has invaded our entire society.

Time has become a four-letter swear word.

Our once normal behavior has become erratic, frenetic, stressed and frantic. In the 21st century era of “do more with less” we have displaced a time-conscious and patient behavior for one of nonsensical, always-on, hypertensive busyness.

This disdain for patience and addiction to busyness is beginning to catch up with us.

In 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released a report titled The Future of Jobs. To craft the research and get to its findings, WEF worked with leading experts from academia, international organizations, and professional service firms as well as with the heads of human resources of major organizations. One of their significant discoveries is frightening.

WEF outlined a list of Top 10 skills that society needs to embrace (and improve upon) by 2020 if we are to combat what is coined the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the mega-trend family of innovation consisting of artificial intelligence, machine-learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, genetics, and biotechnology.

It’s the top 3 skills from the WEF list that we should be paying attention to:

  • Complex Problem Solving;
  • Critical Thinking; and
  • Creativity.

At the rate we are heading with our nonsensical, always-on, hypertensive busyness, we will never hit a critical mass of people who possess these skills to achieve the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

However, it’s not solely the Fourth Industrial Revolution that I’m worried about. In fact, that’s way down the list.

Civilization is stressed out. Parents cannot keep up, employees have too much on their plate, leaders are working more hours than ever, obesity is through the roof, mental health issues are rapidly on the rise, and most importantly bi-partisan echo-chamber thinking has a vice grip on society.


In part, it comes down to time. We have lost the importance of protecting our time, of balancing our time, of adequately and effectively using our time.

We have become time bankrupt.

This epoch of consideration insolvency is fast becoming the end of what it means to be human, or at least humane.

On September 11, 2018, my next book, OPEN TO THINK: Slow Down, Think Creatively and Make Better Decisions, publishes. It explores the vanishing act of time, among other maladies to affect our thinking.

Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, and Applied Thinking are the vital pieces of the “Open Thinking” mindset that I have formulated in the book. You cannot be an Open Thinker unless you can return to the place where problem-solving, creative thinking, critical thinking, and decision making are balanced and thoroughly understood.

We need to get things done. That goes without saying. Action has to occur. However, the critically important tactic of reflection—of balancing the need to dream, to make decisions, and to do—in concert with our management of time may be the biggest challenge of 2018 and beyond.

Indeed, dream, decide, do, and repeat.

The manner in which to get back to such a place is to, in part, remember how valuable our time is to our thinking.

Lao Tzu once wrote, “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.”

Do you want to win back your time? Do you want to become an Open Thinker?

You can pre-order OPEN TO THINK now. Click on the links below. Tell your friends, colleagues, and family members, too.


Click Below

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While you’re here, why not watch the TED Talk?

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Hey! I'd love to read what you think. Surely you have an opinion. Love, Dan.