The best way to predict the future is to create it. – Peter Drucker
I was not a planner. I recall the day a girlfriend asked me “What’s your two year plan? What’s your five year plan?” I was dumbfounded, frightened and shocked. I had no idea what a life goal was, or how to create one. I had never been exposed the the concept that we could plan our lives and move towards our goals. Over the past 20 years, I have watched my friend become one of the most influential, creative and entrepreneurial individuals I have come across. Knowing what I now know, I would have asked her to help me understand what a two year plan and five year plan looked like and how to create them. However, at the time, I lacked the confidence in myself to ask.
I now believe in the power of goals, exploring possibilities and having the courage to try things and learn from them rather than see them as failures. Goals help me make day to day, minute to minute decisions. Does my choice align with the direction I plan to grow in to achieve my goal? Or is it a diversion, a detour or a distraction form my ultimate plan. My goals support my ability to grow. I believe in growing. Growing as an individual and seeing change as a challenge. For me, growing is about taking risks and getting out of my comfort zone, letting go of old patterns and behaviors. It’s about looking back at my life when I am 90 years old and not having to say “If only I had Said Yes…. Said No…. Jumped at that Opportunity”. It’s learning, growing and continuously improving and putting my best self out into the world daily.
Failing is part of the learning process. We need to foster the strength and courage to get back up and start moving again. If you fall down 7 times, get back up 8.
If you are moving into unchartered territory you are going to be experimenting and making things happen. Mistakes are part of the learning process. Embrace the mistakes as opportunities to learn.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” – Anonymous
“Do I want to move into the future by creating and pursuing a compelling vision of the future that aligns with who and where I want to be? Am I prepared to change my life and behaviors to reach it?” Or “Do I want to move into the future clinging to the familiar systems and behaviors of the past?”
I can change without growing, however, I can’t grow without changing.
Imagine coming to the end of your life and realizing that you have never lived. I want to be able to say: “I took the risk. I discovered who I was. I grew. I learned. I was an adventurer.
Dick Leider, author of “The Power of Purpose” interviewed elderly people asking them, “If you could live life over again, what would you do differently?”
Of the thousands of responses the three most common were: I would take more risks; I would take more time to reflect; I would try to learn more from my experiences.
In other words, experience more and different things, reflect and learn from them. 86 year old Nadine Stair best describes Leider’s findings:
“I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I would limber up I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and ski more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more troubles, but I would have fewer imaginary ones.”
Take a moment and visualize your 90 year old self giving advice to your current self.
What would you do differently?