Predicting the future is easy. Predicting it accurately is the hard part. That’s why I recommend a “presentologist” approach.
Regardless of whether times are Up, Down, or Sideways, we too easily get off track when we chase success as a futurist. So rather than focusing on what might happen, focus on what you can do now to ensure you’ll be successful regardless of what happens. Rather than trying to predict the future, prepare for it.
You can prepare for it in a number of ways, but one of the most important is through learning. And while we might approach each day as a presentologist, we can still learn in the future tense. That’s not easy, because there’s so much out there to learn and a limited amount of time each day in which to learn it. What we choose to learn is critical, because the successful person isn’t the one who learns the most stuff the best — it’s the person who learns the most important stuff the fastest.
When you consider all the options for what to learn today that will prepare you for tomorrow, start by looking at the options with three pieces of glass — a mirror, a telescope, and magnifying glass.
- Look in the mirror. Be honest with yourself about your skills, talents, goals, strengths, weaknesses, time, et al.
- Look into the telescope. What can you see in the distance that’s coming your way? How will marriage or a new child shape your future? How will life change as an empty-nester? What changes seem likely (if not 100 percent predictable) within your industry, your company, or your career?
- Look into the magnifying glass. What’s happening at the gritty level of now? What do you need to learn to succeed today, tomorrow, this week, this month?
Wisely investing your learning time will provide the leverage you need to succeed in the present and in the future.