Some people wait for the future to happen. Others create their futures. The former depend on the luck of the draw. The latter cut their own deal.
How do you create your own future?
By forming a vision and expressing it through a mission statement. Your dream now glitters on the horizon of the future. But you are standing in the reality of the here and now.
How do you close the distance?
You can't dream your way into the future. You must have a plan. You have to know where you want to go and decide how you're going to get there.
The important word is 'how.' The word 'if' won't take you there. You must approach your future with a sense of certainty that your dream is achievable.
Hannibal, the great general from ancient Carthage, once asserted: "We will either find a way or make one." Be like Hannibal.
A plan will establish a route to your destination. It will prevent you from drifting aimlessly through life. A good plan will have these characteristics:
- It will specify actions. By deciding what actions you will take to bring your vision to reality, you take control of events instead of responding to them.
- It will set a timetable. Without a specific timetable, your plan loses cohesion and never gains momentum. Nothing gets accomplished "sooner or later." It gets accomplished at a specific time and specific place.
- It will be flexible. You can't anticipate every event and circumstance that might have an impact on your future, but you can allow for contingencies.
You formed your vision in the creative right side of your brain. To create a workable plan, you need to bring the logical left side of the brain into the picture. Use your left brain to pass ultimate judgment on the ideas you've generated, to set priorities and to devise workable action plans.
You begin the planning process by revisiting your vision and reviewing your mission statement.
Assess your present circumstances and measure the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Then follow these steps:
(1) Set goals. (2) Set priorities. (3) Develop strategies.
Your present circumstances establish a starting point, but they don't determine your destination. Where you are very quickly becomes where you've been. So keep your eyes focused on the future --where you want to go--instead of on the past--where you've been.
Have a good trip.
- Success Magazine Feature - Sept 2012 (PDF)
- Business North Carolina February 2012
- US Airways Magazine October 2011
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- How To Write Effectively
- Principles For Communicating With People
- Change: Embrace It Or Resist It
- Change: Cultural Diversity: Our Future
- From Training To Education
- Solid Strategies = Solid Success
- Controlling Change
- Work Strategies For Winners
- Effective Time Management
- Investing In Your Future
- Creating Your Own Future
- Proactive Success
- Business Talk 360/Delta Airlines Interview (November 2012)
- Success Magazine Interview - Sept 2012 (Audio)
- Highlights from 2012 (Video)
- NPR Radio Interview (Transcript)
- NPR Radio Interview (Audio)
- Laura Ingraham Interview (Audio)
- Business Leader Radio Interview (Audio)
- Seven Choices for Success and Significance (Video)