Let your mind wander for a moment on the life you want for yourself. This life exists in the future. It is what you’ve been able to create. Think about where you live, what you do, how you contribute, and what you’ve been able to achieve.

Do you think you were able to create that one morning when you woke up?

No, of course not.

Do you think it was easy and you just sat back as things somehow fell into place?

Again, no, of course not.

Now think about your current life. Think about where you live, what you do, how you contribute, and what you’ve been able to achieve. This is the future you dreamed about in the past. Okay, maybe you didn’t dream of this, but it is from the past that you allowed yourself to get here. You allowed yourself to create this present which in the past was the future.

Combining those two thoughts, if you can imagine a great future for yourself and your actions created this present, do you think you can use your actions now to create the future you desire?

I’m guessing you feel a mixture of excitement and doubt. This is normal. If you didn’t have both of those, I don’t think you’d have the proper perspective to be successful in the future. You need the excitement to have the belief you can create it and you need the doubt to fuel getting to work.

Excitement and doubt are two feelings I’m familiar with. It happens even when I do things as simple as write an article like this. Excitement will not get this article written. Doubt, though, will prevent it from ever seeing the light of day. Yet, there is a lot more outside of me that can also prevent this article and the other things I’m working on from being a reality.

At this point, you have an idea of the future you want. You think it could be possible. You have your own struggle inside of you. You also have external forces that can hinder you. The question now is will you create the future you desire?

Past Performance is Not Indicative of Future Results

Whatever you have done up to this point is a sunk cost. That’s a fancy economic term but the gist is to let go of what has already been done from any current decisions about the present and future as you can’t change the past.

If you don’t have the life you want right now, accept it, and commit to creating what you want as you move forward. Your future results depend on what you do today. Yes, if you have a history of doing things one way, it will take more effort to change to a new way, to create a new you. However, the new you is the you which will create the life you want. It is letting go of the old you that got you to where you are today. If you’re reading this, you have the potential to make it happen. The question, again, is will you?

Vision, Alignment, and Growth

Wandering into the future might get you to where you want to be. Might. You wouldn’t wander through the mountains or the desert. You would have a destination in mind. You would travel in a direction to get you there. If you had an obstacle in your way, you’d navigate around it and get back on course. You would improve your situation as you go to make sure you can get to your destination.

Achieving what you want in life is very much the same as traveling through the mountains or the desert as I just described. Your vision is where you want to go. Alignment makes sure your short-term results move you closer to your vision. Continuous incremental growth is putting together a series of small steps so you can do bigger things in the future.

You don’t need to make a huge leap today. You do need to have a vision and then take a small step towards it. Then another step. Then repeat. Or, you could just stand there and get further away from your vision as you are reinforcing not taking steps when you do that. If you’re reading this, I don’t think you’re that person. However, it does take effort to move forward. The question is will you put in the effort?

The Struggle is Real

Everyone in life has their own struggles. Some have more than others. If you’re going to achieve anything worthwhile, you will have obstacles to overcome. Don’t let that prevent you from achieving what you want in life. It is your life. You are the one in control of what you achieve.

If you encounter an obstacle, a roadblock, or it looks like someone or some institution is preventing you from doing something, flank them. You don’t always have to bust through the wall. You can find another way around it. It might slow you down but don’t let it stop you from getting to where you want to be in life.

If the greats of history stopped every time they encountered an obstacle, where do you think humans would be now. I don’t think I’d be writing this, or you’d be reading it. We’d still be trying to avoid getting eaten by lions or whatever else was creeping along in the night.

Yes, there will be obstacles. People have overcome obstacles before you. Will you overcome your obstacles, or will you give up along the way?

Get After It

I wrote this as my response to an article I saw that got me thinking about something that is a recurring theme. It seems every year there are tokens given out and lip service paid to making certain improvements. I think it’s time to move past that and get people working on improving their own lives. It is by improving your life that you will make your world better for yourself and everyone else you are in contact with. If there’s enough of us doing that, we won’t need the rituals that claim to be for making improvements only to see things get worse.

Think back to that life you imagined at the beginning. You could wait for someone else to hand it out to you. How well do you think that will work out? Has it worked out so far?

Instead of waiting and hoping, get to working on it now and benefit from it. Others can benefit from you. We can, in time, get to a place where everyone who chooses to achieve the life they want does. I believe that can happen even with the obstacles people are facing now. It takes each person working towards improving themselves to live the life they want.

The question, again, will you be one of those people?