How many times have you heard someone say, or maybe even yourself, “This is not what I had planned”. Today I want to share with you about plans, goals, and thoughts and what they have to do with our future. Most people I have found think about the future in very vague broad strokes. Some people project into the future worry, that could be about what is happening now and if it continues or maybe even worse things to come. Other people look into the future knowing what they don't want and spending a lot of time trying to avoid that. While still others may have a clearer picture of what they want but don't spend too much time on focusing how to get there. For the next few moments, I want to encourage you on how you can live into the future with hope, regardless of outcome.
When we go to school, we are taught by a teacher who gives us information that we are supposed to learn. After what the teacher thinks is enough time to learn the material, we're given a test. If we answer correctly, we have passed if we don't, we have failed. After doing this for twelve consecutive years, sometimes longer if we go to college, we enter out into the world thinking there is a right answer to our problems or a wrong answer to those same problems. This is just not true! This can be one of the reasons it can be difficult for us to see into the future. Not having the right answer there can be much uncertainty as to what is a head. Herein lies my first suggestion. What if we became more curious about learning what is next and move forward by trial and error finding out what is best for us. Not taking on a failure position but a learning curve. I started doing this in my own personal life about five years ago and there is no doubt in my mind I can embrace my future with more certainty and excitement than ever before.
The next challenge I see in living into the future is that of fear. This is a normal response from the brain when it doesn't know what's next. Our brains are made to keep us safe and anytime we do something we've never done before our brain begins to send signals of threat. That threat is sent through our nervous system and usually causes a fear response. Our emotions begin to speak louder that our logic and we can be stopped dead in our tracks. Once we learn that this is a primitive response, we can use our logic brain to make decisions and calm the fears. Life is full of the unknown and the sooner we embrace that and trust ourselves we can take a challenge and grow from it. When those challenges again or looked at as failure or success we’re full of uncertainty and can’t move forward. This is where goals can help us move forward in a way that we are in charge instead of the circumstance. Using our logical brain to help us make decisions can be beneficial when our emotions want to take the driver seat.
Now we can look at goals, which is one of the futures best friends. When we have goals that are created in a way that give us meaning and purpose, we have stepped into what some call our passion. It is healthy for us to want to grow and be part of something that is bigger than where we are now. That could take on so many different arenas, but still holds so much truth. Everything that we see has been made from those who came before us that had a dream, then worked to make that dream a reality. I don’t know about you, but I am grateful for the hard work and determination, and I want to do my part in giving the coming generations something to work with. Did you know that only about 20 people out of 100 have any type of goal? There is only 14 of those 20 people that have measurable goals that could be reached, and then only 3 of those 14 have actually written those goals down! Research has shown us that when we write our goals down, we increase the possibility of reaching them by 85%. Maybe, we don’t write those goals down because again, if we don’t reach them, we will be a failure. I would rather write them down and grow more trying to reach them than just hope that something will happen with luck. Trust yourself to dream and create and then write those goals down, be one of those 3 people. Don’t let the uncertainty of what is next stop you!
In closing I am hopeful that these thoughts will spark something in you enough to wonder more about your future and how you might move forward in live with more intention. What would it look like to be able to say, “I planned this!”?