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3 Ways Humans Can Stay Ahead of the AI Curve

3 Ways Humans Can Stay Ahead of the AI Curve

In an age where AI is rapidly transforming every aspect of our lives, staying ahead of the curve requires more than just technical prowess. It demands an understanding of what makes us uniquely human and how we can leverage our innate abilities and needs to thrive in a world increasingly shaped by technology. Here are 3 essential strategies for navigating and excelling in an AI-driven landscape.

1. Develop Power Skills  

  • Adaptive Agility. With the unprecedented rate of change, disruption, and integration of AI into various areas of life and work, we must get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Taking a page from the Stoics, we can avoid suffering by simply embracing and focusing attention on adapting to what is, instead of trying to negotiate reality. This means cultivating the ability to move with ambiguity instead of against it. Dennis Merritt Jones’ book The Art of Uncertainty provides a great lesson in this. Other tools include getting curious, nurturing a growth mindset, and participating in your ongoing evolution and even reinvention. If you’re a leader, once you’ve cultivated these skills in yourself, leverage them to lead others through uncertainty.  

  • Creativity. Unlocking creativity and imagination is vital for driving innovation and producing your unique offering to the world. Cultivate your creative genius by embracing curiosity and actively seeking diverse experiences that expose you to different people, environments, cultures, and activities. Anyone can be creative. As prolific music producer and renowned tastemaker, Rick Rubin highlights in his new book, creativity is simply a way of being that allows the art (your highest offering) to come through you. This could be the work you do, the products you create, or even the way you relate to others. A great way to start is simply noticing what’s going on in the world around you. I’ve been experimenting with this lately by taking long walks around the city, with no agenda, no headphones, and just getting hyper-present, observant, and curious about everyone and everything I encounter. Besides cultivating unique moments of serendipity, it gives my left brain time to rest, allowing things to simmer in my subconscious. I find that doing this drops in lots of new ideas and breakthroughs.

  • Relational  Prowess. The human touch becomes paramount as technology becomes more pervasive. It's key to develop and practice self-awareness, empathy, and relational intelligence to foster trust and connection. Sharing authentic, even vulnerable stories, releases oxytocin (the “bonding hormone") in the brain of the audience, which promotes feelings of connection, empathy, and trustworthiness. Practicing active listening is another great technique. In this, swap judgment for curiosity in your conversations, and try to understand how other people got to their perspective instead of anticipating what they’re going to say so that you can respond. David Brooks’ work on building empathy and connection skills is compelling here.

  • Radical Collaboration. AI success hinges on increased collaboration across diverse teams and stakeholders. Open communication, knowledge-sharing, and behaving in ways that create psychological safety are necessary to foster effective problem-solving. Breaking down silos, leveraging collaboration tools, and highlighting interdependence amongst team members are great ways to do this. 

  • Super Communication. Proficiency in prompting and delegating to AI mirrors those skills vital for human communication. If you're not getting great results from Chat GPT, it’s because you need to better communicate what you want. Charles Duhigg’s work on supercommunicators is a great read to improve this.

2. Cultivate an Authentic Identity and a Purpose-Driven GPS 

To navigate the challenges of this era and avoid falling into existential turmoil, we need to do the inner work to truly know ourselves, our highest values, and how we operate so that we can navigate a technological and AI-centric world from a place of clarity, authenticity, and purpose. This involves cultivating self-awareness, mindfulness, and honing your personal GPS. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Practice Mindfulness. meditation is great if you can do it, but even journaling, walking in nature, and being 100% present help quiet all the distractions and random thoughts, allowing you to tune into your inner voice and become more aware of your feelings, experiences, and intuitive nudges throughout the day. 

  • Build Trust in Your Intuition. Take time to reflect on past situations where your intuition guided you correctly. Recall moments when you had a gut feeling about something and it turned out to be accurate. I actually keep a note for this in my iPhone, that I review regularly. Start making small decisions based on your intuition, such as choosing what to eat for dinner or which route to take home. Pay attention to how these decisions turn out and whether they align with your instincts. Listen to Your Body. Your body often provides subtle clues about how you truly feel about a situation. Pay attention to physical sensations such as muscle tension, a sinking feeling in your stomach, or a sense of lightness and ease. These sensations can offer valuable insights into what your intuition is trying to communicate.

  • Unearth and Operate From Your True Values. Understanding and operating from your true values is a journey of self-discovery and conscious decision-making. Here are some steps to help you along the way. Take time to reflect on your beliefs, principles, and what matters most to you. Think about moments when you felt fulfilled, proud, or deeply satisfied. What values were present in those moments? Take the time to examine whether your values truly reflect your authentic self or if they've been shaped by outside influences and societal norms. There are a ton of assessments you can take to discern your core values, but I really like John Demartini’s Values exercise. Once you've identified your core values, consider which values are non-negotiable for you and which ones are more flexible. As you go through your day, evaluate your actions and decisions in light of your values. Ask yourself if your choices are in alignment with what you believe to be important. If not, consider how you can adjust your behavior to better reflect your values. Be true to who you are, even if it means going against the grain at times. It's essential to honor your values, even in the face of challenges or opposition. When you live your values authentically and lead by example, it inspires others to reflect on their own values and strive for alignment in their lives as well.

3. Build a Portfolio of Ways to Meet Your Human Needs. As society has progressed, particularly in the West, our careers have become the primary avenue for meeting various needs such as financial stability, meaning, significance, status, social connection, growth, impact, self-esteem, and self-transcendence. However, with the rise of AI and automation, the landscape is changing. While work will continue to fulfill some of these needs, it's essential to explore additional streams of fulfillment. This may involve: 

  • Pursuing passions and leisure activities that previously felt frivolous. I’m currently working on this one myself. 

  • Nurturing relationships and communities to foster social connections and a sense of belonging.

  • Building the muscle of continuously learning to stimulate personal growth and development.

  • Diversifying sources of income through side projects, entrepreneurship, and investing.

  • Exploring mechanisms for maximizing personal potential beyond traditional career paths.

  • Volunteering time and skills to contribute to causes that align with personal values and passions to cultivate purpose and meaning

  • Transcend day-to-day mundane existence by connecting with something greater than yourself, whether it's a higher power, the universe, or a collective consciousness. This can be done through meditation, creating art, altruism, spending time in nature, plant medicine, or other consciousness-expanding activities.

In essence, staying ahead of the AI curve requires a multifaceted approach that blends nurturing human-centric skills, agility, and living with a clear sense of purpose. This approach not only positions us to navigate the evolving landscape of technology but also empowers us to shape the future of expanded human potential. 


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