Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you. Frank Tyger
All of us, me included have a hundred different reasons and excuses to justify why we haven’t realized our full potential. The reality though is that nothing absolutely nothing is going to chance the past. Yet irrespective of one’s age, social status, financial status, academic background, past history and the like, there is a wonderful future that each of us can embrace whole heartedly if we are prepared to boldly accept the challenge and work purposefully towards it. There are 4 conditions that one has to fulfill in order to make the future you want for yourself.
The first is to remember the lessons of the past without holding on to the past. We fail to progress beyond our past performance simply because we live with ghost of past failures, keep brooding over the wasted opportunities that we never took advantage of and often meander into some of those rare moments of triumphs and successes we did relish occasionally. While we certainly cannot erase the past completely, we must learn to identify the key learning and keep that uppermost in mind as we proceed further so as to avoid the same pitfalls of the past. We must never let the bad past ruin a perfect present or take away from us the immense possibilities that lay ahead of us.
The second is to believe in yourself and yet be pragmatic about your strengths and weakness. Each one of us has it within us the ability to stretch ourselves to excel. Excellence is ensuring that we use our abilities to the fullest extend and must not be mistaken to mean always out performing others. It is obvious then that we need to asses ourselves dispassionately and leverage our strengths without letting our weaknesses become a stumbling block. It would also entail us having the courage of conviction to take calculated risks, the daring to fail and yet not give up and to pursue our dreams with steely resolve and self confidence. As rightly said it is our attitude that determines our altitude.
The third is to always have a goal to focus on. What really lets us down is an indisciplined approach to the future. The prime reason for this is lack of clarity as to where we want to go and what we want to achieve. Perhaps we would be a lot happier if we could simply identify our personal, professional, financial and spiritual goals. Perhaps we have a hazy idea of our goals, but then we are tempted to change the goal posts in the hope of scoring at will. Goals helps us concentrate, enable us to channelize the resources required and helps us chart our progress and if need be take the corrective measures to ensure that we make the best of our future. It is sarcastically observed that if we do not know our destination any road will lead us there.
The fourth is to adapt, change, improve, transform yourself to ensure that you are progressing towards your goal. Simply put this means that one has to make umpteen sacrifices if one were to make the best of the future ahead. Look what happened to the dinosaurs of old who became extinct simply because they could not adapt, change, improve or transform themselves to meet the onslaught of change. While we make not suffer such an ignominy, it is very possible that the future we face by being rigid and uncompromising can be painful, frustrating and very regrettable. Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. It is imperative that we change else the chances are that we will fall in the second category.
Remember: “Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.” Denis Waitley
- Jot down 3 lessons you learnt from any failures/ regrets that you have from your past.
- Ask a few close friends to name 3 of your strengths and one weakness they perceive in you. Reflect on these particularly on the weakness and work out how you can use the new knowledge about yourself to shape your future.
- Take a pencil and paper and do the following
- Make a sketch of your dream house. Now put a realistic price tag to it.
- Make a realistic assessment of what your monthly savings should be and what you think should be your monthly income after you attain the age of 60.
- Make a plan for an overseas holiday with your spouse and the roadmap to make it happen in the next 2 years.
- Outline your definition of a successful person. Now write down your own success statement.
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