By Penny Beeston :
The future. It hovers in front of each of us on a daily basis.
In a busy life, we can fall into the trap of becoming somewhat ambivalent about our future. We are paying down mortgages, busy raising kids and working hard. During these periods in our lives we tend to push plans for the future into the background.
The nature of busy lives, and the ever-increasing influence of political, environmental, technological and social factors can create “future tense” in many of us.
When we are feeling overwhelmed with day to day reality, it’s easy to push back at the tantalising, daunting, elusive, promising and uncertain nature of visioning, and planning the future we want for ourselves, and our families.
We treat our future with ambivalence at our peril.
If we are lucky, the little voice inside our heads, the one advocating for us to reach our potential, will kick in and remind us to refocus on where we want to be.
A lifetime ago I read the novel, The World According to Garp, by John Irving. I vividly recall the “undertoad”; reference to an ever-present anxiety – like an undertow in a waterway.
I think of this undertow as “future tense”.
The underlying anxiety experienced when we have dropped the ball. We are no longer planning, reviewing and updating our vision or stretching to our potential.
“Future tense” dissipates once we return clarity and focus to our future vision. And then, we are rewarded with a sense of increasing momentum.
That’s just the beginning, of course. There are steps to tread, challenges to meet and courage to be garnered.
What are the steps? What is the nature of the challenge? How much courage will we need to muster?
Well that really depends. How big is your personal vision? What do you envisage as your potential? How vested are you in bringing your vision to fruition?
An early win to be gained from re-engaging with your vision for the future, and identifying some meaty, stretch goals is the dissipation of that unsettling “future tense”.
Degrees of purpose and satisfaction fill this space.
We get one future, but we get to design it and personalise it. We can even redesign it as often as we wish.
Today, take ownership, design, plan, and install the future that meets your vision.
Do this, and observe the shift of “future tense”, to past tense.
Penny Beeston is the CEO of Strategic Options Consulting & Coaching. She is a Certified Executive Coach with extensive experience facilitating the professional growth and development of people in leadership roles so they can achieve their vision.