How do you take a "long view" perspective in the midst of immediate challenges?
Intentions don't create outcomes, but intentional action will. The problem is, too often, today's actions are motivated by today's demands, rather than tomorrow's desires. Here are five steps to shift your daily focus and actions to create the future you desire. Watch. Share. And apply!
When I ask you, “What do you desire to have in your life five years from right now,” where do your thoughts go? The answer is different, and specific for each of us, but one thing is likely consistent. We gravitate to positive expectations. Who desires a future that is less than or marginally different than what we have now. With the gift of "distance" we give ourselves permission to project into what our hearts and minds truly desire. And THAT is compelling.
By contrast, if I ask you, “What's on your list to ‘deal with’ right now,” chances are those thoughts are less positive, less exciting, and less compelling - not always, but usually. However, if we are effective in maintaining a long term view, the choices we make right now will be more clear. The challenges become more purposeful, or reveal themselves to be a lot less important than advertised.
Here are Five Steps to Think Long Term Right Now
1. Create your vision. This isn't a plan, yet, but a your bold prediction of who you could become, five years from now. Give yourself space, time and permission, without distractions, to create a compelling view of "future you."
2. Turn it up! How bad do you want it? Amplify your purpose by answering these questions. If you were to achieve this vision, how would your life be better? What would you be capable of? How could you better serve and inspire those you care about?
3. Break it down. What actions, if consistently practiced, would get you there? Regarding the specific goals contained in your future view, what is necessary for you to learn, practice, and do between now and then to realize this goal? What is within your control and not subject to others’ decisions. What can YOU do to increase that odds that this will happen?
4. Place your vision in your path. Start your day by reviewing your goals and purpose. In a journal. As reminders on your bathroom mirror. In your car. On your desktop. All of the above. If you don’t keep your vision in front of you, your vision will be pulled from you, replaced by others’ visions for your life. Fight for your future!
5. Move form “urgency” to “vision action.” Prioritize the path to your goals as more important than the noise of now.
The future will be here before you know it. The question is… will it be the future you receive by default or create by design? Will you continue to hit the snooze button on what you could become, or will you, in this moment, choose an inspired vision and congruent action? Until next week, look up, take the long view, and stay OBOP.