“When you do the things in the present that you can see, you are shaping the future that you are yet to see.”
― Idowu Koyenikan, Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability
Time is a funny thing. We can only travel one direction – forward – but can only see in the opposite direction, looking back.
To plan for the future, you need to understand how the past has affected the present.
The Different “Yous”
If you have ever woken up with a hangover, you know what it is to be unhappy with the choices your past self made.
Let us introduce you to three versions of yourself: Past-You, Present-You and Future-You.
Take a look at where you are, where your business is, today, and think about the choices that have brought you here.
Now is a product of then, and the choices Past-You made have created the place Present-You stands.
You may be grateful and proud when you consider this reality, or you may have a moment of self-disappointment. If you had only taken that risk, invested that money, NOT taken that other risk…
Truly, hindsight is 20/20.
Speaking of which…
As we enter 2020, it’s as good a time as any to remind ourselves that at the end of this decade we will be looking back at today’s decisions with the perfect clarity of hindsight.
While we don’t have that clear vision as we move forward, Time being the one-way mirror that it is, we can learn from the past and make decisions that are more likely to make our Future-Yous thankful for our foresight.
Today’s Choices Shape Tomorrow
None of us can predict the future. However, there’s enough data to suggest that actually making decisions beats not making them.
(As well as the philosophical reality that not making a decision is actually making a decision…to not make a decision.)
You can’t allow yourself to be paralyzed by the unknown.
How should Present-You go about making decisions? Only you can answer that, but we think this mental exercise might help.
Back from the Future
Remember: today is tomorrow’s yesterday.
Or, the present is the future’s past. You have, as it were, a chance to go back in time from the future to today and make a difference in where you ultimately end up.
Do Yourself a Favor
Have you ever wished that Past-You had done Present-You a few more favors? Set you up for success? Not left you so many messes to straighten out?
Today, you get to be Future-You’s Past-You. You get to do the favors, set the scenes, clean up (or not make!) the messes. Future-You will thank Present-You someday!
What’s the best decision Past-You ever made? And what gifts will Present-You leave for Future-You this year? Join the conversation!