Title: Future-proof yourself
Author: Nikki Bush
Publisher: Penguin Books
This reader impression was written and sent to LitNet on the writer's own initiative.
When disruption turns our lives upside down and uncertainty clouds our way, we can easily feel lost and question our ability to deal with our circumstances. We cannot possibly know what the future holds, as life does not unfold in a neat, straight line. “We have to learn how to prepare ourselves for the unexpected – emotionally and practically” (2).
Nikki, a sought-after speaker, author and media personality who has co-authored a number of books, including Future-proof your child for the 2020s and beyond, looks at disruption through the eyes of a human being, not those of an academic futurist. She is fascinated by the human condition and raising human potential through good and bad times. As someone who has had to deal with loss and grief personally – her husband was murdered – she believes that with any kind of change, there is a need to let go of what was and accept what is.
It is only through acceptance of the many paradoxes and ambiguities of life that we can truly live in the present, and not remain stuck in our past or frozen in fear about a future we cannot see. Self-leadership is the key. (3)
Future-proof yourself is divided into five main sections. The first section, “Dancing with disruption”, must preferably be read in its entirety for context. The other sections are: “Working remotely”, “Building your resilience muscle”, “Leading yourself” and “Leading your team at work and home”. The chapters within the sections stand alone and can be dipped into as and when one wishes. There is a handy self-reflection chapter in the front of the book that goes hand in hand with the “Self-reflection revisited” chapter at the back.
Redi Tlhabi, an award-winning international journalist, author and moderator, writes:
The world has been turned upside down by the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic. Every single area of our lives has been irrevocably affected. All of humanity has been touched and disrupted, and Nikki immediately understood this impact. Her ability to go deep into the subconscious mind and expertly extract thoughts and words is impressive. With empathy and adeptness, she helps readers on their journeys to find profound meaning and make sense of their state of mind. (5)
Nikki writes on page 92:
Allowing oneself to be broken open by a situation or circumstances is not a show of weakness but of strength. When you stop dwelling on “it shouldn’t be happening to me” and accept that it is, you are opening up to growth and rebirth. While you don’t know what might lie beyond the mists, and the burden of what you carry may be heavy, you can also believe that it is full of potential. Our hope lies in accepting life as it is and not as we wish it could be. Nothing good or bad lasts forever.
She shares numerous practical tips, takeaways, lessons, frameworks and solutions with readers to equip them to deal with disruptions and prepare themselves for the future in their personal and/or work lives. I agree with the back cover blurb stating that this book is a must-read for anyone looking to harness their courage and curiosity to build a rewarding, fulfilling future for themselves – no matter what life throws at them. The blurb also emphasises that with awareness, determination and practice, we can improve our competence, build our resilience and confidence, and gain a sense of control, even when everything feels out of control.
Also on the back cover:
Whether your life has been disrupted by death, divorce, disease, COVID-19 lockdown, working from home, moving town, starting a new job, or any of a host of other disruptive events that can either make or break you, this book will guide you to the best possible outcome. Disruption is never comfortable, but regardless of whether it is positive or negative, it is a catalyst for change.
Nikki Bush’s Future-proof yourself delivers what it promises by teaching readers how to win at work and life.