“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." -Chinese proverb
Taking these foundational areas of life and organizing them is essential to creating your ideal future.
Very few people consciously plan and design their life. It’s actually startling how few Americans are investing in their future. Most Millennials are terrified of the stock market and long-term investing. Most Baby Boomers never developed the discipline to invest, but instead maintained an addiction to American consumption.
Even still, you have complete power over the details of your life the moment you decide you’re worthy of that power. That decision is manifest in tangible behaviors, like fixing or removing troubled relationships and saying no to activities that are nothing more than a waste of your time.
You get to decide right now.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” -Benjamin Franklin
Your vision should be based on your why, not so much your what.
Your why is your reason; your what is how that is manifest. And your what can happen in a ton of different ways. For example, my why is to help people get clarity on the life they want to live, and to help them achieve their goals as quickly as possible. My what could be blogging, parenting, being a student, going out to dinner, and several other things.
Too many people think creating a vision is about nailing down exactly what they want in the next 20 years. The problem with this mega long-term approach to goal setting is that it actually slows your potential.
Instead of having a pre-set plan of what he wants to do, Tim Ferriss executes on three- to six-month experiments that he’s currently excited about. He told Darren Hardy in an interview that he has no clue what the outcome of his experiments might be. So there’s no point in making long-term plans. He has no clue what doors will open up, and he wants to be open to the best possibilities.
But his why doesn’t change.
When you are proactively creating and collaborating with many different people, the whole becomes different and better than the sum of its parts. This is why you can’t plan for everything. Because at the highest level, you’ve transcended your need to have things exactly how you want them. You know that with the help of other people, you can do things 10x, 100x, or 1,000x bigger and better than you could ever conceive of on your own.
Rather than expecting a particular outcome, you are completely confident that the best outcome will ensue. This is how you create and contribute beyond anything you could ever comprehend. Collaboration and synergy lead to innovations and, ultimately, human evolution. It’s how the old and outdated rules are redefined and replaced with new and better ones, thus changing the global environment.
Invest in your future
When you choose to forgo momentary gratification in order to have an enhanced future, you are investing in your future. Most people fail to do this successfully.
Most people don’t purposefully invest in their finances, relationships, health, and time. But when you invest in yourself (and your future), you ensure your future present moments will continue to get richer and more enjoyable.
Thus your life will continue getting better and more in line with your ideal vision.