Lately when I talk to my friends around the world, I get the distinct sense that there’s a dark cloud hanging in the air.
I feel it particularly from those in North America and Europe.
Terrorism is on everyone’s mind. All the headlines have to do with ISIS, who’s been killed in police raids, new threats to cities like Washington D.C. and New York, etc.
It goes without saying that this has led to a pretty serious level anxiety. And with good reason.
There’s a laundry list of major problems in the world.
Terrorism is an unfortunate reality.
So are bankrupt governments, insolvent financial systems, underfunded pension programs, and giant police and surveillance states.
But it’s become easy to forget that there’s actually a lot of great news in the world, and plenty of reasons to be excited.
Here in Chile they have a program called Startup Chile, where entrepreneurs from all over the world receive funding for their businesses and a community of other entrepreneurs to learn from.
There have been some very successful companies to come out of it.
Candidly I’m not wild about any government taxing the income and property of its citizens for any reason.
However, since I don’t get to live in my fantasy world where there’s no tax anywhere, I will happily acknowledge that funding game-changing businesses adds more value to the world than dropping bombs and going to war.
We attended a “demo day” a few days ago where several of the Startup Chile participants presented their businesses.
Much of what we saw was incredibly inspiring.
One project addressed the issue of Styrofoam waste, which can’t easily be recycled and just builds up in landfills, by coming up with an innovative way to turn it into something commercially useful.
Meanwhile, a group from Bulgaria is tackling a dangerous epidemic that is wiping out the bee population worldwide by introducing smart beehives that can be tracked, managed, and controlled through the cloud.
Then there was one that really hit home for a number of my team members—one that uses predictive text and machine learning software to enable stroke victims and others with speech disorders to communicate effectively and with dignity.
This sort of thing is happening on a daily basis, and entrepreneurs worldwide are coming up with game-changing ideas, many of which can revolutionize staid industries.
Through our private investment service, we funded one company last year that is already making a dent in the financial system.
The company has launched a new digital currency system that is now being used officially across an entire nation.
My sense of optimism extends far beyond entrepreneurship and startups.
Colombia is a great example. It used to be synonymous with violence, civil war, and chaos.
Now Colombia is peaceful, blossoming, and prospering. There’s so much opportunity, I find it one of the most exciting places in the world.
There are so many other bright spots, and so many amazing things that are being created on a daily basis.
Yes, there are some serious risks out there, and the system is absolutely rigged against you.
But there are solutions.
If your banking system is in poor condition, move some funds outside of it.
If your government is completely bankrupt, don’t keep 100% of your assets under their control.
And if terrorism is that much of a scare, consider making some adjustments in your personal life, including even moving to a place that makes you feel safer and more free.
Don’t be dominated by fear and anxiety. Have a rational view of the risks, and take sensible steps to reduce them– freeing you up to concentrate on all the amazing opportunities in the world.