Future focus is essential if you are going to reach goals and arrive at new life destinations. How much are you future focused? In this article, I’m going to share with you three ways to tap into Future focus, when trying to reach your future goals and destinations.
Many wander aimlessly to through life, not really sure about what to choose to do. In previous post, I teach you why what you choose is less important, than just choosing something. Anything. You can read about that here. But, for now… just know that any decision is better than no decision, simply because of the things you’ll learn on your journey all along the way.
Categories of Destinations or Goals
Now, there are lots of destinations.
- Big picture destinations (furthest in the future): like marriage, college graduation, or a mission
- Shorter term destinations (in the near future): like an A in a certain class for the semester, finding a job, or training for and running a race
- Daily destinations (in the immediate future): like getting a workout in, spending a certain amount of time studying for a test, or meeting a buddy for lunch. We can actually think of our daily “To Dos” as a set of destinations we are trying to reach
Many people wonder why they are unable to motivate themselves to reach the destinations that they set for themselves. The simple answer is that your human brain wants to keep you stuck. Not moving forward. For more info on that, read here.
Some Suggestions to Keep in Mind
But, let me offer a couple of suggestions to keep in mind along your journey to where you want to go.
First, to reach any destination, you have to know that there are going to be difficult moments. Too many people plan what they are going to accomplish, set a destination, and then, when the going gets tough, they decide the discomfort means it’s not the right course of action. But, the opposite of this is true. When you are headed for your goal, discomfort shouldn’t be seen as a red light… instead, let the discomfort you are feeling be a sign that you are on the right track! And then, keep going.
Second, leave the past in the past. When we are trying to accomplish something new, our brains will look for evidence that what we want to do is possible. But, because we’ve never done it before… of course the brain won’t have any experiences to draw from. How many times have you heard yourself saying, “I’ve never done that before, so I don’t know what to do!” Often we are scared to take any action at all. When I hear this from my clients I tell them, “Of course you are scared. Of course you don’t know what to do.”
Rather than stay stuck, or give up, we’ve got to take steps forward anyway until we CREATE the evidence our brain is looking for. We have to start thinking and behaving like the person who has already achieved their goal.
Third, make sure the actions you are taking are fueled with the right thought/feeling combination. What many of us don’t realize is: the emotion we think we will feel when we reach our destination, is actually the emotion that we need to generate right now. As long as we keep operating from the current thought/feeling combination, we will continue to get the same result. And this has always been the craziest to me: In order to get to a NEW destination, we will need to start thinking something we have actually NEVER thought or believed before. You see, if we already really believed the new thought, we’d had already arrived at our destination.
All of these concepts combined are the basis of what I call Future Focus.
My Favorite Future Focus Illustration
My favorite illustration of Future Focus is a toddler, learning how to walk. When we were toddlers… if we had given up at the first sign of discomfort, if we only looked to the past for evidence as to whether we could succeed, or if we believed a thought like, “this is never going to workout for me…’ none of us would have ever learned to walk! We would have just given up. We’d ALL be crawling around.
But, instead, we looked at our falls as a sign that we were close… a green light that told us to keep going! We looked to our future as a walker, someone getting around all on our own. We kept believing that even thought we didn’t know exactly how walking works, that we’d for sure figure it out!
And then we eventually do.
When you are ready for that new destination, make sure to tap into Future Focus.
- Anticipate discomfort in your future and look at it as a green light.
- Stop looking to your past for what you are capable of. Start looking to who you want to be in the future, instead.
- Imagine the thought/feelings you will have once you achieve your goal and start working from that thought/feeling combination now.
Once you do… you reaching the destination you desire, is pretty much inevitable!