How Are You Modelling Your Future?

Photo by Alex Jones

The array of objects that we surround ourselves with every day is likely higher than the number of people we’ve met throughout our entire life. As extreme as it might sound, each of us will meet on average 80,000 people throughout our entire life and as it goes for the items that we own, an average American household has around 300,000 items.

It’s easy to get anchored into the material reality and care more about the immediate dopamine spike given by a new purchase than the long term rewards, but scrolling through shopping websites leaves less time for introspection and reflection to identify those long-term goals. Shopping, replacing items and redecorating are all activities that give the illusion of achievement. The results that we see now have been seeded months or years ago. Same goes for a lack of success. A lack of success can either indicate that we are on our way to create it or that we are walking on infertile soil. How do you fertilize your life to let yourself bloom?

Building a Sense of Self

Photo by Drew Coffman

Our identity morphs throughout our existence. At first, we change with every interaction and later we start to find a sense of self and align ourselves instinctively with people who share our values. By the time that sense of self kicks in, we might have consumed quite a few unfiltered beliefs. The challenge is building the sense of self while building a better you.

If you are like me and you had an interest at any point in life and you were swayed away from it without even realizing it, you’ll understand the power that other people’s believes hold on us. The paradox is that growing takes selective learning based on self-founded values. But to build these values, we need to explore and learn. Both processes happen in parallel. By being aware of this happening as much as we can, we can make a conscious decision on what the renewed foundation, the renewed self will be and how to build on it.

What Can I Do to Make It Count?

Photo by Kevin Ku

Excitement and motivation have an expiry date on them. They are products of our thinking and our environment and can only be consumed within a certain time frame. We then move on to pure willpower and once that fades away, there are two options: a feeling of worthlessness and/or a built up desire to push through the process.

Regardless of the stage of the cycle we are at in life, to make every moment count means to stay present while being aware of the future implications of our decisions. We can only act now, but we have an understanding of the law of action and consequence that we must bare in mind. And although we cannot predict the future, we can ensure the highest success rate through decisions that might be uncomfortable in the now, to say the least.

Decluttering Our Mind

Photo by Tobias van Schneider

There are many thoughts that don’t serve us, from persistent memories that we seek to understand, to possibilities of what the future might unveil. How can we turn the past and future into positive? Through learning from past experiences and visualizing the future. This allows us to hold on to the strands of thinking that play a greater role in shaping our future.

Similarly to a clean, white floor, a clear mind gives us a sense of calm. Being in the now helps us get a sense of direction – where we are coming from and where we are going to. By choose these two coordinates we are reframing our memories and wants and needs of the future. It’s time to strip down our mind of clutter and keep only the essentials.

Empowering Beliefs

Photo by Benn McGuinness

We may think that being positive won’t do much for us or that we are chasing butterflies in doing so. It’s true that it’s easier easier to live with negative self-talk than building-up the positive inner voice, and although the positive self-talk will take time to prove its efficiency, this will help us in all areas of life.

Imagine a blue canvas that you want to cover in yellow acrylic. It takes multiple layers of paint to no longer see the blue, multiple strokes of the brush and time in between for the paint to settle. But seeing the picture, we still get a feel of what it used to be. So the process of change isn’t just a physical process, but how we frame the new reality.

Take a look at your own canvas. There might be strokes and colors of all sorts, but if you take a step back, as the light helps blend all colors in our field of vision, what do you see? Is it time to start painting?

Is Giving Up Ever an Option?

Photo by Christopher Campbell

Most of us have given up on something at some point in our lives. Giving up is not memorable to the outer world because no one gets to see our work or hear about our initiatives. Ideas that materialize can bring value to the world around us, but ideas can also have a negative value. They can instill a feeling of self-defeat and guilt if we give up without taking a chance.

Re-framing our reality can help us pick up an initiative where we left it, follow through with it and succeed. Reviewing an old initiative through a fresh lens is enough to add to the story of creation.

‘I started this project two years ago, took a break and now I am back on it with a clearer view or a more mature mind’ or ‘I started this project two years ago and when I revisited it I realized that it wouldn’t have worked in that format. I now have a better understanding of how to improve it’.

There is the other side of the coin though, which allows self-doubt to make the call and await for perfection. Perfection is in the process. Allowing time to pass will not attract results unless we do work on ourselves and on what we are trying to accomplish. Giving up? What does that even mean?