I know what you’re thinking…Timbuk 3’s hit song in the 1980’s, The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades. Yes, I did listen to that song recently on a road trip, with my kids laughing at the ridiculousness of the song title, but that is not the purpose behind this article.
When you think about your future, are you excited? Be honest with yourself. How “bright” do you feel your future is? How confident are you that your future will be better than your past?
In our office, and when I am coaching professionals one-on-one, we spend quite a bit of time focused on confidence. I have found that confidence is the key to just about everything, and without it, life can be much more difficult.
One of the fundamental philosophies I have learned from one of my mentors, Dan Sullivan, to live by is:
“Always make your future bigger than your past.”
We all know people who spend countless hours talking about their past. Past accomplishments, how thin they used to be, how much money they used to make, how great of friends they used to be with so-and-so, etc. etc. And yes, as you read this, you might catch yourself thinking…”wait, this is how I talk!”
When conversations focus too much on memory lane, and rarely on the great opportunities that they are working toward, there is a good chance that the person doesn’t feel all that confident that their future is going to be bigger than their past.
Here’s the secret…we have to make the future bigger than our past. It doesn’t happen by itself. With this focus, I can continuously work on building a bigger, better future for myself and my family. A brighter future can mean different things for different people. Some may see more money as the key to a better future. Others are looking for more freedom, perhaps from work or obligations they feel trapped by right now. I label these as Freedom of Money and Freedom of Time.
This slight change of perception can help us focus on the right things. More money, without more freedom of time to enjoy it or be with the ones we love, isn’t usually what people mean when they want more money. I see people constantly struggling to balance on the time versus money “see-saw”.
Take a few minutes for yourself and answer this question:
Three years from now, what must have happened (personally, professionally, and/or financially) for you to be happier than you are right now?
Write everything you can think of. Then review and get as specific as you can. Paint the picture and have it in writing, so that every time you read it, you’ll want to sing the song yourself. The future’s so bright…you’ll need to wear shades!
If there are specific things that make your future bright, please share with us all!