Do you ever think about your future? I mean rehhhealy THINK. And we are not talking about immediate future, like you think about what you should have for dinner or when you think about your next vacation. We are talking about deep space nine! Your planet, your environment, your government, your industry or your own business or workplace. We are talking about YOU in YOUR future.
Let me start with WHY I am even asking. See… when you are a kid, you KNOW exactly that everything is going to change. You know exactly that one day you will be tall enough to ride that big rollercoaster, that one day you will be an adult and you will move out, you will be driving a car, you will have acquired skills, you will have a job, you will be old enough to get hammered if you like. You know as a kid that this is just a phase and soon, no one has the right to tell you “no” any longer. You know that one day school will be over and you KNOW that there comes adulthood. You know this, no matter what age you are and you look towards that freedom and all your possibilities. Your brain is able to project exactly what you want right now to be true in the future. You envision yourself in your future car, your future home with your future boyfriend or harem or whatever floats your boat. You have reasons to think about your future because you are a co-dependent creature and parents, school and regulations are in your way BUT you see the light at the end of the tunnel because there is NO WAY that you stay a kid forever. You are able to estimate influences, you are able to consider external factors to your own growing up and you are able to picture your place in the world. Your brain is able to create a future, a far away personal future on a daily basis.
A while ago I signed up for an interesting seminar: The Leaders Vision Day. Lots of seminars have the core to motivate and enrich your life but most seminars are based on sheer emotion, “mind set” and the way you should be feeling about yourself, to get rid of limiting beliefs and just plan and take action. I have to be honest; I like these seminars but this seems a bit more “religious” to me since your growth in personality is not something you can systematically steer, it is something that has to grow in you, manifest in you and you need to wrap your brain around a “can do” attitude.
This seminar was quite different.
See, I almost didn’t go because… well… I am a business owner for about five years now but I didn’t consider myself a leader. From my perspective a leader is someone with a plan, a structure, an extensive knowledge of how to be in charge of a bunch of people with different personalities within an organization. And quite frankly, yes, I am providing people with jobs, but I didn’t feel my responsibility to lead them anywhere.
Saturday triggered my brain in a way I didn’t feel triggered in a very long time. To be exact since I was 21 years old. From that point on my brain didn’t create visions for me anymore. I just did what I had to do in order to feed myself, clothe myself and take responsibility for the child I was about to have. Since this time, I have experienced myself as an adaptive survivor in any environment and situation and as a functioning worker, taxpayer and member of society. Things did constantly change, and I adapted and I and the things I was doing were always a product of circumstances. I didn’t really create the situations, I walked right into them, took them on, made them my bitch and was semi happy. I also started my business with this attitude. Not sure what I was about to do, I founded, I hired, I worked and I saw it was ok but it was still circumstantial and I could have quite as well walked into the next job, working for the next person exploiting my skills and adapting and surviving again… Does this sound familiar to you?
I guess once adulthood has a grip on us, our brain, the most efficient organ we have, does what it does best and what it was meant to do. It finds the closest association and gives you the immediate impulse that this is your fact, your truth, accept it! There is no other stage really to look forward to, at least not a mid-term one. (You can plan for retirement but even on this topic, we all majorly suck. Cause actually looking at retirement, planning and making smart choices, requires us to sit tight, not live in the moment and always function a bit like a hamster. This totally sucks the joy of life out of you, so we’d rather ignore the fact that we age.)
So we lost that very thing that helped us to survive our complete suppressed, co-dependent childhood. The part of our imagination where we took comfort about the “nos” and the “you are not old enough yets”. We lost the thinking ahead, the ability to envision us as adults, which probably determined the directions we were going and the people we grew up to be.
You hear about all the innovative stuff around you and sometimes you even ask yourself “why didn’t I think of that?” Well.. because you are not looking at the bigger picture and you are not looking at the resources you actually have. In school we are trained to close our gaps, our skill gaps, our knowledge gaps and you have to focus mostly on the things you are not grasping very quickly. You’ll be tutored in the things that don’t come easily to you rather than learning to take your valuable skills and talents and build massively up on them.
During the seminar I’ve learned to look at things from different perspectives, actually to look at things through different glasses and to use a model to see the world from the outside in and to create it from the inside out.
I have been looking at this model for quite some time, but I never understood the actual help it provides to learn how to THINK.
In this model you start to look at factors of estimated changes that you simply can’t influence, developments, tendencies and the things that are already emerging. You get to use future factors, sociological, political and technological trends, scenarios and projections and you use these as a basis for your own assumptions of the possible future.
Then you use these factors again with the opposite development or outcome and you use that as the surprising future.
In the following step you systematically break these factors down to the actual point where you find yourself and your own market and business field. Considering the direct connections, you have with your suppliers, your solutions, your customers, partners and rules you now draw connections to these factors in multiple ways.
Similar to a session of creative thinking and writing you get to morph possibilities and the possible meanings for you.
Of course it was called “Leader’s Vision Day” and not “Leader’s Model Day” so how does this come together?
With a model like this, you get to actually THINK through scenarios, you get to THINK through possibilities. You get to connect certain trends with your own business, and you get to draw assumptions. These assumptions will help you to make decisions and to pave the way for the direction you would like to go. This direction and directed image of where you would ideally lead to, sparks a vivid image in your head and you see where you want to be in the future… sounds a lot to me like what we all did our entire childhood.
Well first of all: this is my blog and I can write whatever I want to and second of all: what kind of communicator would I be if I would not pass on valuable information.
Visit the free crash course! Look at your business and systematically learn to envision how it will be making a difference, making better choices and decisions, creating valuable companies and jobs. Have something great to look forward to, live through four, five or six more phases of childhood and create a solid vision of what you want to be when you grow (up).