The changes we are exposed to every day are no longer incremental or gradual. We are exposed to massive social and economic changes almost every day. If we are to survive and thrive in these turbulent times, we must get a handle on the magnitude and scope of the changes, which are happening all around us. In the past, where change was gradual and predictable, we could get by without a set of personal strategies and clear vision for the future. The rate of change in the new knowledge based world, has now made having a personal strategic plan and vision for the future imperative, if you want to survive, let alone thrive.

The days of being able to operate on autopilot every day, confident in the knowledge that the organisation where you work or the state will provide for you, are over. The only person, who will take care of you and secure your future, stares straight back at you every morning, from the bathroom mirror. It is therefore your responsibility to equip that person with as many skills and appropriate knowledge as possible. The best and possibly the only way to secure your future, is to continually invest as much time and energy as you can spare, into growing and becoming the type of person you need to be, to attract the success you desire.

Becoming a lifelong learner is no longer a luxury; it has become a necessity, if you want to prosper in the future. If you do not invest into your growth and development and you continue to do nothing about improving your knowledge and skills. You will not remain where you are, you will be going backwards. The rapid rate of knowledge growth and technological development has made it imperative to constantly grow and stay abreast of all the changes. If you are not learning, growing and expanding, you will be falling hopelessly behind the pace of progress and will be left behind.

If you want to become a power broker in the new age, where globalisation is the norm, you can either choose to become a slave to your ignorance or you can soar to great heights of achievement, buoyed by your commitment to on-going learning and growth. As you look in the mirror, every day, you are looking at the most important person in your life. See the twenty first century stretching out in front of you and realise that your competition is not only the people in your own community any longer. The world has opened up and jobs are being moved all around the globe. Your competition is in many new forms, even that hungry immigrant, with a wireless hand held device, can compete in the marketplace. The competition all around the world has made it imperative that everyone be willing to give more service than they receive in payment. If you want to survive and thrive, you need to always under promise and over deliver.

The old rules and ways of doing things no longer apply. The new rules of the game require you to go the extra mile and always look for ways to improve and innovate. You must become a leader in your market and be perceived as the subject or market expert. To thrive and survive in the new world, you must become a change master and position yourself as the go to expert. Start to become proactive and try to see trends in the market. If it appears that your skill set may become redundant in a few months or years. Invest time now, to try acquire new skills or knowledge. It is too late to wait until you are retrenched, because your skills are no longer required, to wake up and begin acquiring new skills.

Start to ask a better quality question every day. Assess any changes you may need to be aware of in your environment, by asking the questions listed below:

•What is changing in the market?
•How vulnerable am due to these changes?
•What are the trends in the market showing me?
•What information should I track to stay abreast of trends and changes?
•What new skill or knowledge do I need to acquire?

You are the CEO of your future; you must have the vision and foresight to set appropriate goals and to allocate your limited resources, so that you can get the most from your life. You are the only person, who is responsible for your future. Remember that your competition is coming from every corner of the globe; every starving person around the world with a laptop is a possible competitor, for your position.
Now is the time to break free from your self-indulgent value system. Stop expecting instant gratification and invest time and resources into growing and becoming more.

If you think you can have privilege without any responsibility to bring that privilege into your experience, you will be left licking your wounds, as you get left behind. Be flexible in the face of any daily changes or surprises, which will inevitably cross your path and keep growing and expanding. These are most certainly very exciting times; you can and will thrive, if you commit to a continual and never ending improvement.

Author's Bio: 

Andrew is an expert and master teacher that speaks and teaches self-leadership, expanded awareness, effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. He guides individuals and business professionals, to identify, prioritise and carry out the right activities, consistently, so that they can maximise their personal effectiveness and deliver their best; on time, every time. All the tools and techniques Andrew teaches; have been tested in the laboratory of his own life and the many successful businesses he has owned and led, over the past 20 years. These strategies have seen Andrew achieve financial independence and reach a point of harmonious balance in all areas of his life. His purpose is to help as many people as possible, achieve similar or better results and to show them how they can realise their full potential, both personal and professionally and to help them live a meaningful life, where they are fulfilled in all areas.