If you are searching a way to shape your future don’t waste any more time in difficult soul searching. There is a simple way to achieve your wildest dreams. If you are like me, many people may have doubted you in the past.
Doing lots of different things all together may be considered, by some, as a lack of focus. But maybe you are doing exactly what you should be doing. The secret to all success is looking at everything from a different time-horizon. If you don’t care about what others are thinking and doing and if you don’t care to win from others within a particular timeframe that’s perfect. If you are focusing on what you want and find important, you are bound to succeed. Do your thing today and focus on tomorrow.
Why is it so confusing?
The hard part is trying to make optimal decisions for a future you don’t fully understand yet. When you are making decisions you have to bear in mind that the consequences can ripple for decades. So having a good framework is very important. We are all forced to make decisions today about something that doesn’t exist… yet. Are you 100% sure you will be happy with decisions you make today in 10 years from now? What about college choices or marital choices? Are your sure this will be right for the person you are about to become, living in what might be a totally different reality? Chances are you won’t. Things happen and people change over time.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the future is unpredictable. We are living in a complex world, with lots of variables that interact with each other. This may lead us in a certain direction but we must today, make decisions about our tomorrow. How can we shape our future that way? Different outcomes can occur. We need to have a rough idea where we want to be in 10, 20 or 30 years… because we navigate without a compass.
Mid-term or long-term vision?
I know some of you might say we should only think 5 years ahead at the most. I find it challenging to envision and project something that shapes the direction of my life so dramatically without thinking what I want to do after those 5 years. The normal thing is to pick a medium-term goal and then work backward (reverse engineering) in exact steps. Where do I want to be in 5 years? The problem is there is no room for versatility. Everything is too defined and when dealing with uncertainty that is a problem. You might get impatient which might jeopardize your creativity and ability to surf the wave even if you don’t know where you are heading.
You have to do something. But what?
Focus your vision on the things that won’t change. Imagine you have been painting as a hobby for a very long period of time, or writing, chances are that the next 20 years won’t change that. Maybe you can build a career around that. Start with something that is a constant in your life. Giving you a long term focus gives you more control over your actions. Get a clear view and a stable orientation.
Once you decided what your directional orientation should be you need to think about the steps needed to take your there. And yes sometimes it is impossible to know where to start. But just start. Test, fail or succeed, improve and move on. Your biggest mistake is to take just one path and to stick to it. You have to take many different paths and experiment with them. If something works out, keep doing it. If you fail at something use that knowledge to rule out certain things. This is how you harness both the benefit of strategy and serendipity at the same time.
The future is unpredictable, explore as many different paths as possible to see which one works and which not. The world is constantly changing therefor you must be flexible.
Long horizons stop you from making short sighted choices and it gives you more control over the unpredictability of randomness. If you are obsessed about results on the quarter you lose sight over how well you are doing in the longrun. It’s easy to have luck work against your in a short time frame but it is almost impossible to not succeed if you are willing to put 10, 20 or 30 years of work into it.
We live in a dynamic and changing world and the only way of making good decisions in such a world is to avoid static frameworks. You have to allow a degree of fluidity and allow to change how you make choices. The future is unpredictable but it doesn’t mean you can’t shape it.