Create the Future
For much of my life, I believed that I could not create the future. I believed my future was set, that there was a path I was destined to take and that my job was to find that path and, having found it, to stay on it. As someone raised in a conservative Christian tradition, that path was called ‘God’s will’.
Just over a decade ago, I heard a speaker at a conference talk about this path. He said that people often saw ‘God’s will’ as a tightrope – narrow and difficult to stay on – but, he saw it more as a six-lane highway where all the lanes were going in the same direction and if you continued moving forward, it didn’t matter which lane you were in or if you changed lanes.
What a great way of looking at the future! This meant that I had choices.
In the last 10 or 12 years, I have proved the truth of this perspective. I’ve switched ‘lanes’ a number of times but I have always been moving in the same direction. I have realised that the plans and ideas that are in my head are valid – I don’t need someone else’s assent or approval to envision and act – and I now have a three-step plan for creating the future that I desire.
Create the future – first you have to see it
The first step is to have a vision.
A vision often starts off as a dream or a bright idea. This is a most important step – we must be able to ‘see’ ourselves in a new place, doing something new, being the someone we want to be.
Our minds are powerful things. Athletes know that and use their minds to envision themselves crossing the finishing line in first place, clearing a certain height as they jump or pole vault, seeing that little white ball drop into the hole in the middle of the green, or seeing that smash leave their tennis opponent staring.
Children have no problems with dreaming of their future. For them, the future is filled with endless possibilities and they are often told by their parents that they can be anything they want ‘when they grow up’. But, somewhere along the way, adults often lose that ability to dream, or they shelve those dreams in the face of a very different reality.
I’ve had two dreams in my life and both involve communicating. The first was to be a school-of-the air teacher – to be able to instruct and impact others over a long distance. The second was to be public or professional speaker – again to connect and communicate with people and impact their lives.
What are your dreams, from childhood or your youth? What do you ‘see’?
Create the future – then you must believe it
To turn a dream into a vision it must have feet, and this is where the second step is so important – we must believe that our dreams are possible and not just possible but possible for us. Part of the believing is convincing ourselves, ‘selling’ ourselves on the idea of our dreams becoming a reality.
There are all too many people willing to tell us that we cannot achieve our dreams. In the process of my moving out of full-time employment to make my dream of professional speaking a reality, I talked with a friend about my ideas. He liked to play ‘devil’s advocate’ and come up with the worst-case scenarios – which in my case was to conclude that, because I had very little materially in my life, I had nothing on which to build a successful business. In his words “Bronny has nothing!”
In one way his assessment was accurate – I had very little, but my friend’s negative outlook did not take into consideration my belief in myself or my determination to make something out of nothing.
Belief. It is the key component for turning a dream into a vision that you can run with. Do you believe you can do what you ‘see’ in your head?
Create the future – last of all just do it
Finally, we must act.
No vision will become a reality if we do not actually do something! And that ‘doing’ will always involve some measure of risk and discomfort. To make a vision a reality takes work, hard work. It involves developing the necessary skills to be able to ‘see’ your dream outside your head. For me, that has involved ‘risking’ money on business coaching and speaking opportunities. It has involved investing money in learning skills for me to operate effectively in the online space.
And the results of that risk and work?
Those two dreams of my childhood and young adulthood have become reality – although they look a little different to what I originally ‘saw’. I am now involved in a weekly podcast that has the potential reach of millions around the globe (rather than school via the radio). I have been a public speaker for more than three decades and have spoken around Australia and internationally as a professional speaker. And, more than that, in just over 18 months I have coached clients, spoken internationally, run my own events and am building a global online presence as an authority in my field.
My dreams are now my reality – and I’ve only just begun.
What about you? What are you doing to turn your dream into a reality?
Would you like someone to keep you accountable or unlock more of your potential so your dreams become reality?
If you feel as though you are only taking baby steps or that your reality is not coming fast enough – be patient and expect the best. Baby steps are great – you are moving. Your reality is building slowly and that’s ok – it’s building.
Want some guidance or clarity? Leave your details below and I’ll be in touch. Together, we can hone your vision, increase your belief and make it happen!