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By WALE AKINYEMI
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The 21st century is beyond any reasonable doubt, the best time to be alive.

We are living in a world of possibilities and opportunities our forefathers could only have dreamed of — we are living in the future.

Our world today, however, wouldn’t be the technological utopia we have got so used to without the efforts of the 20th century.

The 20th century created the foundation for everything we use today: The personal computer, radio, television, cellphone, the instant camera, pop-up toasters, microwave ovens, automobiles, aeroplanes and the Internet were all fruits of this era.

Today, the evolution of these inventions has made them integral elements of 21th century experience.

This 20th century is where Hanna-Barbera created an accurate depiction of the future through their animated sitcom The Jetsons in the 1960’s.

They imagined what our world could be — others followed their template and the rest is history. We are literally living in the products of their imagination.

No matter how active our imagination is, nothing about our world will change until we actually do something about it. Until we turn the future in our mind into reality, we will never truly see the power our mind is capable of.

So let’s take a journey to the early 1900s — to the beginning of the 20th century where it all began. Let’s look at a few disruptive minds that created the foundation for the future we live in today.

Take an aeroplane for example. I believe this is one of the greatest inventions of all time.

Every destination has become a possibility because we can jump through time zones in just a few hours, explore our world, and surf the clouds thousands of feet above the ground in a gravity defying metal container created out of the mind of a human being.

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We can all trace this disruption to the minds of the Wright brothers. While they are credited with flying the first heavier than aeroplane, they were not the first team on the journey to make man fly.

They found the missing link others before them couldn’t, and as a result changed humanity forever.

Hanna-Barbera imagined and created a template for the future, the Wright brothers on the other hand created it themselves. So how do we then create the future for ourselves?

We first of all need to let our imagination run wild! No one had ever flown an aircraft before.

There was no template for the Wright brothers to follow. They had nothing to benchmark but their imagination.

If we don’t let our imagination run wild enough to think of things others have not done before, we will continue creating alternate realities of our present.

If your mind can only create ideas that resemble the things in our world today well, they will have an expiry date. When you create what hasn’t been done before, you set the rules.

To set the rules and as a result capture the future, you must also be ready and willing to unlearn everything you know about the past.

If we only see our world from the vantage point of the past, our creations we will be irrelevant antiques. A digital typewriter would have seemed like the most logical step to follow as the 20th century began.

The personal computer, however, didn’t just come to enhance the typing experience — it provided a world of possibilities.

The personal computer was the prerequisite for the Internet to exist. The Internet was the prerequisite for companies like Google, Facebook, Amazons and Netflix to be built.

This means some of the biggest companies in the world wouldn’t exist if the first creators of the early PC decided to just make incremental changes to the Typewriter.

Everyone can dream of some sort of future. Very few act on those dreams.

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