Happy Back To The Future Day!
If you’ve never seen the movie Back To The Future Part II, today is the day the characters in the movie go into the future – by entering the date 10/21/2015 into their time machine.
What better day to have a conversation about the future than today?
Because today is the future.
The Future Is Now
I don’t believe the future is this big unknown mystery where none of us know what will be or what awaits us.
The future and all that awaits us is what we decide it will be.
Sure there’s plenty that’s out of our control, like the whether, financial markets, and illness.
There’s also plenty that’s in our control, such as where we decide to live, where and how we decide to invest our money, and what we do to keep ourselves healthy.
We all have the choice to focus on either what we can control or what we can’t control.
I choose to focus on what I can control.
I’m focused on doing what I can do, where I am, with what I have.
Because I know when I do that and focus on the things that I can control, I’m creating my future.
Tomorrow Is Created By What We Choose To Do Today
The future should come as no surprise to any one of us.
We can simply look at what we’re doing, what we’re focused on, where we’re investing our time and effort and have a pretty good idea of what the future will look like.
I know that if I don’t make health and exercise a priority today by exercising and eating right, I can expect to feel (and most likely look) like shit in the future.
If I don’t have a financial plan or budget in place today, it’s safe to assume my financial future won’t be a secure and stable one.
If I don’t make time and the effort today to nurture relationships with my family and friends, I can expect a future of mediocre to average relationships at best.
We Don’t Get The Future We Wish For, We Get The One We Work For
Reverse engineering is a term I hear thrown around a bunch these days.
It’s just a fancy way of saying “work backwards” from what it is we want, the type of future we want – so that we’re able to break down the steps necessary to get there.
For example, when I was creating The Wellness Bucket, I thought about (still do) what I want it to become, the difference I want it to make in the lives of others and in the world long after I’m gone.
It’s a big vision for the future that’ll probably take a lifetime, and then some, to achieve.
Overwhelming? Yes – if I let it be.
Where and how do I even get started?
That’s where reverse engineering comes in.
Regardless of how big we dream and the kind of future we envision, there’s always a starting point.
In order to figure out what that starting point is, we need to know what the end goal is and the kind of future we want for ourselves.
We don’t even need to know what step two looks like before taking step one.
What matters most is taking that first step.
It’s that first step that’ll give you confidence, clarity, and the momentum necessary to figure out step two, step three, four, and so on.
From there we’re off and running and well on our way towards a future we know and are familiar with, because we’re creating it.
We Can Expect Of Tomorrow What We Work For Today
My mentor, the late Jim Rohn, put it best… “we can’t expect to reap in the fall what we don’t sow in the spring“.
Our future is predictable since it’s what we make it.
Here’s three ways that’ll help you today, create the future you want tomorrow.
1) Know What You Want
You don’t need to know the exact details of all it is you want, in fact, many of us don’t, and that’s OK.
Having a general idea of what we want is a great start because it gets us going, moving, thinking, and aligning ourselves with what we do want.
It also helps to identify what we don’t want.. for example, you may not know exactly what type of work you want to be doing, but you do know that whatever it is, you want to be self-employed and working for yourself.
Does this offer a clear vision of what you want the future to be or look like?
Does it get you thinking and acting differently, making decisions such as reading entrepreneurship books that slowly but surely begins to align you with the future you want, instead of just sending out more resumes?
Identifying what you don’t want is just as helpful as knowing what you do want.
2) Write Down Your Future
I know, I know… so simple right?
What’s easy to do is just as easy not to do.
Not writing down our goals and the type of future we want for ourselves is a big mistake.
Goals, ideas, and aspirations for the type of future we want aren’t real until we write them down.
When we write it down, it becomes real.
They’re no longer thoughts, ideas, dreams, or aspirations… they’re now written down, they’re real and looking back at you.
Let’s not underestimate the power of written goals.
3) Align With Your Future
Once you’ve written down what your future looks like, you can then begin to plan for it, create it, and make decisions that are aligned with what you’ve written down.
If the future I want is one of entrepreneurship, going forward I will read books on entrepreneurship and not on corporate structure.
If the future I want is one of health and wellness, I will exercise regularly and have a salad instead of a burger 9 times out of 10.
If the future I want is one filled with meaningful relationships, I will invest my time, energy and effort everyday to help and serve others.
What We Do And The Decisions We Make Today, Creates Our Future Tomorrow
Want to be healthy in the future? Exercise today.
Want to be financially secure in the future? Start saving and investing money today.
Want better relationships in the future? Help and serve others today.
Decide today what your future will look like tomorrow.
I know it’s not always easy deciding what needs to be done today to have the future we want tomorrow.
It’s not like a college degree where if you take a set of scheduled classes over a course of several years, you come out with a degree.
Or if you follow a marathon training plan, you know you’ll be prepared to run a marathon.
Life, the future, our goals… unfortunately they’re not always that clear and defined.
Many of us don’t really know what we want today or in the future for that matter.
Where the heck do we go from there if that’s the case?
We don’t have to know exactly what we want or where we’re headed to take action.
I don’t know exactly what The Wellness Bucket will become or the direction it will go in as the days, months, and years pass.
I have an idea and vision for its future but it’s not 100% clear and specific.
What I do know is that right now, it’s designed to help and serve others to be the best they can be… healthy, happy, supported, motivated, encouraged, and loved.
Clear and defined? Not really.
But I am moving in a direction that I’m happy and comfortable with.
When In Doubt, Move In A Direction That’s Makes You Happy And You Feel Good About
Even if you don’t know what you want, move away from what you don’t want and as Steve Jobs so perfectly put it, “trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future“.
So, if you’re curious what your future will look like on October 21, 2045… you don’t need Doc, Marty, or a time machine to figure it out.
Take a look at how and what you’re doing today… it’ll provide you with a relatively accurate look at what your tomorrow (your future) will look like.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Start today, start now – because the future is now.