A lot of people today find themselves feeling a little listless, a little unchallenged and a little unrewarded. So many of us will spend our days working in offices and not quite being challenged, only to then come home and vegetate in front of the television.
There is little change, little challenge and little creativity involved in our lives and as such, we feel indifferent to it.
This is a problem because in many ways, life has become too easy. The challenge that is present takes the wrong form: it’s dull and stressful.
That’s one of the big problems for modern man – one of the universal challenges we face today. But the future offers some different spins on this age-old challenge.
In particular, we are heading towards a time when much of our work will become automated. So many jobs are being replaced by machines, by computer programs and by assembly lines. As every company becomes more efficient, the role for humans starts to disappear.
One common concern is that typical notions of ‘manhood’ have been eroded by the machinery and tools that have taken over many blue-collar jobs. But what happens when all those jobs are gone?
Some theorists have suggested that the world might actually become more feminine. Traditionally ‘female’ jobs require a different skillset: creativity, emotional intelligence and sensitivity. Things like childcare and nursing. This is a gender stereotype of course, but it statistically holds true.
So, one change we might see is more and more men having to become more feminine in their approach to work.
But more to the point, we’ll all be presented with the challenge – and the opportunity – to create our own meaning in life. In other words, when there is no need for us to work manual labor jobs, we’ll be freer to pursue more intellectual and creative directions of our own choosing.
When you can no longer work in an assembly line, you might be forced to consider philosophy or poetry.
In this future, the government will need to step in in order to provide us with the resources we need to survive and thrive in this way. The money will still be generated by this automation and so a ‘universal salary’ may come into effect (it’s already being trialed in some countries).
The take-home message? We better get better at finding our own meaning in life, because pretty soon our happiness and sanity will be entirely reliant on it!