“The best way to predict the future is to make it.”  If this is your attitude – and it is an exceedingly fine attitude to have – then the most painful thing to do to you is to put you in a situation where your future is murky and unclear and not under your control.  The best way to relieve your pain is for you to anticipate your future, even the parts that are intentionally hidden from you.

For most of us, the next step in anything we do is decided by someone else, who doesn’t feel the need to tell us what the next step is. But he or she really feels the need to tell us when we do it wrong.   Sure, it’s an efficient and probably cruel method of control.  But it’s also reality.  Customers may tell us the goals they want the project to achieve (build a better mousetrap), but they may not tell us the goal that will satisfy them (the mousetrap needs to be better than their ex-partner’s mousetrap).   This lack of clarity frustrates you and gives you the feeling that you are being held back from your full potential; from the ultimate answer to your question “how can I better myself?”

Here are 5 methods you can use to clear the fog of a hidden future.

  1. Feedback of your actions. Many people avoid real feedback on their actions.  Fake feedback is simply tracking your progress toward a stated goal by counting numbers. Real feedback is evaluating the quality of your progress, to see the actual positive effects of the progress toward those goals.

  2. Time management.  Balancing control of your schedule between what you can control and what others control allows you to more efficiently use your time.  Time is not managed.  Time is spent.  Spend it on the most influential tasks.

  3. Set goals.  If your goals are set by others, then you need to set your personal goals to meet those goals.  If your corporate goal is to sell XYZ unicorns each month, then you work on your goals of how to achieve this.  You might find that your personal goal of reading 3 current research papers each month on unicorns gives you the skill and knowledge to better sell unicorns.

  4. Detailed backwards planning.  This is a corollary to the last method.  If your personal goal is to practice the saxophone 5 times each week, this details how each practice session transpires.  First scales, then etudes, then the piece you are working on, then sight reading.  Without this level of detail, each practice session is a hit-or-miss morass, which may or may not actually move you closer to your goal.

  5. Use a network.  This is not people in your marketplace who can tip you off about what competitors may do in the near future.  This is a network of people who will critique accurately and without bias your actions.  This network, by giving you this feedback, will help you to achieve clarity about the future.

For many people, anticipate the future means guessing your boss’s or your client’s mood.  Fooling yourself into this type of thinking is disastrous.   This is not the future.  This is slightly more advanced than reading tea leaves.  Mainly because your boss’s or your client’s mood may depend on what tea was served with his or her breakfast.  But also because the future is bigger than you or your boss or client.  The future is that thing giving everyone a bad or good mood, so focus on that.

The solution is to have a comprehensive system that includes anticipating and planning as a key component.  Unfortunately, as the higher one moves up the organizational chart, the more they are deluded into thinking that they plan and the people lower on the chart merely carry out these plans.  By developing a system personal to you that includes anticipating and planning, you will have greater control over the future.  Making “how can I better myself” the central question.

STRESS JUDO COACHING is designed to be that comprehensive system.  Designed around the exclusive progressive belt training system, this unique training and coaching program can be personalized, for you to reach your black belt potential. Just JOIN THE COMMUNITY using the box to the right (-->) and welcome!