The closing out of a decade always prompts “best of” and “worst of” listicles— as well as plenty of crystal gazing about what’s to come. And while predictions can be fun, I’ve learned to be careful about the ones I take in. Because when the mind accepts an idea to focus on, it unleashes a torrent of power that leads us to the next things we see and do, and ultimately experience. Cognitive framing is real and we’re smart to stay attentive to how it shapes both our perceptions and our experience. So, instead of relying on what “experts,” pundits, or psychics predict, I’d rather be the one wielding that power, wouldn’t you?
Thinking about how our collective future will unfold can be a tragicomic exercise these days. But I played a game with myself when composing this post. I decided to explore broad topics portrayed in the news as a $%&!show: healthcare; the shrinking middle class; and the state of leadership. I challenged myself to turn conventional thinking on its head, focusing instead on three bold, optimistic predictions for the coming decade.
1. New discoveries will underscore and amplify our ability to heal ourselves from disease.
We are so used to viewing “healthcare” as an expensive, barely-functioning system in desperate need of reform. And that it is — if we only examine it through a familiar lens. But if we pull focus on a different set of evidence, we might see a trend that helps us shift our view away from this broken system, toward our own personal power. Plenty is changing for the better:
Via the internet and mobile apps, people have access to deep information that can help us tune into our bodies and our health. It can feed our curiosity and guide us to shift behavior before serious health issues develop. (This assumes we are discerning when sifting through content, because self-diagnosing can have dangerous side-effects!) The fact that we can access powerful information at our fingertips is part of a growing trend to stop relying solely on doctors and big pharma for answers.
New cutting-edge research is pointing to our own cells and DNA for better treatment and cures. Whether it’s tumor DNA sequencing to determine the best course of treatment, stem cell therapy to treat various diseases and conditions, or new research about our own gut bacteria holding the key to health — we are learning that there is tremendous power in each individual’s own physical body to achieve optimal health.
The mindfulness movement is perhaps the most exciting thing that puts us on a path to more personal power in health, by fueling the known mind-body connection we all have. Our enormous potential to de-stress and reduce inflammation in the body is only just beginning to be understood. And there’s plenty more on the verge of discovery about the power of placebo. I believe this area alone has the potential to shift us into an extraordinary new paradigm around healing.
Bottom line: we are tapping into the power of our own mental and physical “healthcare system,” and the more we do it, the more power we’ll discover. This doesn’t mean doctors or drugs will disappear, nor should they. But the relationship between doctor and patient will continue to morph from the transactional “Doctor, tell me what’s wrong and give me a pill,” to a more balanced one of cooperation. Coupled with new medical and metaphysical discoveries, I can see a future where we source groundbreaking ideas for much-needed reform toward a high-functioning healthcare system in the US.