Looking at the 5 to 10 years ahead in the future is difficult. But if we can do it, we can achieve most of our dreams.
When was the last time you looked at and visualized 5 years ahead, 10 years ahead?
For career? For personal life? For finance? For your family?
It is rare and not very consistent. Moreover, if someone asks you to plan for it, it doesn’t seem possible.
But the leaders and visionaries do that successfully.
So why can’t we think long-term? How can we do it? here are the pointers and solutions:
We like short term thinking as its effortless
Our brain is physically is not meant for thinking ahead, most of the brain functions are in current living mode. Maximizing the current, be it eating, be it drinking, be it earning money, etc. And that’s the reason we don’t easily sacrifice immediate pleasures, even after knowing that if we sacrifice now, we will get much better outcomes (In longer terms).
The marshmallow test is the biggest example (Wikipedia) where even a delayed gratification for the next 2-3 hours of getting more marshmallows if you don’t eat now, couldn’t be accomplished by many of us.
We need to exert self-control and willpower to avoid things even though it seems gratifying now but can have ill effects in the future.
Also, practice thinking towards the longer term. Visualize your long-term dreams because that will motivate us to control our present.
Requires knowledge and hard work to think about future
It requires wisdom, knowledge, and application of your learnings to think about the future. It requires hard work to think about the future.
Let’s do this small mind experiment:
Say you are a cricket fan and don’t know much about football, now if I ask you in the next 3 years where will India be in cricket, you will immediately have some answers based on your knowledge of cricket, current team, etc. But if I ask the same question in football, where we will be in the next 3 years, you will be blank.
Even though the above experiment is trivial but it shows that we can think of things in the future only if we have the knowledge and wisdom based on our learning.
This also proves that the more knowledge you can gain, the more you are capable of thinking, planning, and dreaming about the future.
Keep learning hard and understand as much as possible, specifically in the field where you want to succeed, that’s the only way you can see ahead of yourself.
Don’t want to plan the future because of past failures
We don’t see any value in thinking about the future based on past failures and experiences in a particular area or field. It might have happened in past, that you would have planned and executed but failed in it. With these failures in mind, it’s painful to plan for the future in that field.
But that’s exactly the opposite, the more we fail, the more we gain knowledge in the field, and next time our chances of success are much higher.
Most successful people are visionaries who can think about the future without getting emotional about pasts.
Failure just implies that the path we have taken may not be the right one, but does not mean that our goal, mission, or dream is untenable.
We need to let go of our past hindrances and learn from them, do better planning for our future.
I think if we can do these things consistently, we can be long-term thinkers and be successful in achieving our life dreams.
Nokia CEO ended his speech saying this “We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”
Ans – You lost because you didn’t do anything wrong.
Doing something wrong is the most important attribute for success. So let’s be wrong more number of times. Being wrong is most important to succeed and keep succeeding…You can succeed one time without doing anything wrong (By luck maybe) but if you want to succeed and succeed …you need to keep doing something wrong always…
Job hunting is hard — really hard. And you may want it to just be over. But it’s important to stay grounded throughout the process so you can make smart decisions along the way. Try these strategies to keep stress at bay:
Make an appointment with worry. Instead of letting anxious thoughts (“Are they going to call me back? “Will I ever find a job I love?”) tug at your attention all day, schedule an appointment with those heavy thoughts and only visit them once a day at a designated time. Tell yourself, “Each day at 9 AM I will give this subject five minutes of my complete focus.” Then, when those thoughts come to you at other times, as they will, remind yourself that you’ve got an appointment to think about those things later, and try to move on.
Focus on the process, not the outcome. Take the interview. Rather than fixate on whether you’ll get the job or not, spend time visualizing your best performance. Imagine the way you want to show up — confident, smiling, prepared. This will clear away some of the stress and allow you to perform at your best when the moment arrives.
Set aside time to think through possible futures. It’s easy to get caught up in the process, but don’t rush into anything. If you do get an offer, sit with it for at least 24 hours to give yourself enough space to consider which decision is going to most fulfill you and your long-term goals.
Overall it’s all about keeping calm and managing self and focus on the process instead of the outcome.
Most of the things in our life are random, yes we call it “luck” either good luck or bad luck. There are so many things that have been unpredictable in past, in present, and will be in the future.
If someone is saying there is no such thing and if most of the things in his or her life are planned, then it’s not real life, it’s a dream.
Moreover, if there is no randomness why do u think with the same amount of hard work & dedication in the same areas gives different results for different people? I do a lot of hard work in my work, I am sure you also do the same, but the results are always different for different people.
So Why it is? Is it God? Is it Destiny?
Frankly, no one has an answer to the above question. Serendipity play’s a big role.
So how can we still be successful after all this randomness and still get what we want?
First of all, success is a very relative term, we look up to others who have been successful in our path. But be sure they are actually looking up to someone else or something else to become successful. Yes someone can be content (Be satisfied with what they have) but given humans basic nature to aspire and become more…it kind of works against our basic nature.
So let’s reframe – How can we make it big?
These are two hacks that we can use to make it big:
Think Big & Dream Big – If success is given to chance and it’s rare, taking bigger leaps with each success is much better. So even if there are a lot of failures but one or more big successes will lead us to make it large. Think big, do big, and dream big!
Keep trying, keep giving urself chance – Keep trying, failure is so much upon the chance that figuring out the reason for failure is a waste of time. Yes u did wrong, yes u were persuaded wrongly by others, yes u came down the wrong path, yes this..yes that..continuously introspecting these is futile. Instead, keep trying and keep trying and keep trying! Lady luck will smile on you if you give her more chances!
Ben (Name changed), a research and development director at a pharmaceutical company, was distraught. “A situation happened at work today that I can’t get out of my head,” he said. It turned out that Ben had spent hours preparing for an all-hands meeting with colleagues across the globe. He reviewed the agenda, drafted his talking points, and logged on to the conference software ready to contribute.
Then, things went askew. Ben struggled to be heard above more dominant colleagues, and when he did get an opportunity to speak, he felt flustered and flubbed his words. Afterwards, Ben was preoccupied by the incident. He couldn’t quit beating himself up. Why hadn’t he spoken up earlier or been more assertive? Why did he over explain and blabber on instead of sticking to his talking points?
Ben is a Sensitive striver — a high-achiever who is also highly sensitive. He is driven and demands excellence from himself at all times. But when he falls short of those impossibly high expectations, his innate sensitivity and thoughtfulness cause him to spiral into self-recrimination. If you can relate to Ben’s reaction, then you also may be too hard on yourself. This can take the form of harsh, punitive judgments, overanalyzing your shortcomings, rumination over minor missteps, worry, and assuming fault.
Perhaps you have thought that self-criticism is what keeps you sharp. Sensitive strivers like Ben often use it as a form of motivation, hoping that if they’re tough enough on themselves, they’ll be compelled to perform. But research shows that self-criticism is a poor strategy. When used excessively, it is consistently associated with less motivation, worse self-control, and greater procrastination. In fact, self-criticism shifts the brain into a state of inhibition, which prevents you from taking action to reach your goals.
Being hard on yourself may be ineffective, but it is also a hard pattern to break. It requires consistent attention and practice. Here are a few strategies that can set on the path to taking a more balanced, emotionally equanimous approach to your performance.
Name your inner critic.
Create psychological distance from self-criticism by personifying it. For example, choose a silly name or a character from a movie or a book. Mine is called Bozo, but you might name yours “the little monster” or “gremlin.” I once had a client who called his Darth Vader (of Star Wars fame). He purchased a small Darth Vader action figure for his desk, which reminded him to keep the critical voice in check.
Naming your inner critic leverages cognitive defusion — a process by which you separate yourself from your thoughts. Defusion is shown to reduce discomfort, believability, and the stress of negative thoughts. It also promotes psychological flexibility, or the capacity to steady your mind, manage your emotions, and be aware, open, and adaptive to changing demands.
When Ben found out details about the all-hands meeting later, it became clear that no one noticed he was flustered. In fact, the COO later told Ben she thought his comments were the only moment of clarity in the conversation. This shocked Ben since it did not match his impression. It was a clear example of the spotlight effect — a tendency in which you misjudge and overestimate how much attention others pay to your behavior.
To combat the spotlight effect, consider your performance on aggregate versus zeroing in on a singular negative event. Think of a bell curve: you’ll likely perform average or higher than average most days. Some days will be below average, and that’s normal. Keep an eye on the bigger picture. Ben realised that while the all-hands wasn’t his best showing, he was only paralysing himself further by taking this one unfavourable meeting and generalising it to an ongoing pattern. We avoid using extreme statements like “I always mess up,” “I’ll never get my voice heard,” and “This happens every time.”
Flip the “what if” narrative.
The human mind is wired to make meaning and answer questions. The sensitive brain, in particular, is adept at making connections and anticipating eventualities. Studies have shown that sensitive people have more active mental circuitry and neurochemicals in areas related to attention, action-planning, decision-making, and having strong internal experiences.
This means that as a sensitive striver you have the power to channel your thinking with greater precision. Make better use of your brain power by posing more constructive questions. Specifically, consider what could go right in equal measure with what could go wrong. For example:
• What if the senior leadership team loves my presentation?
• What if this idea isn’t stupid, but is the breakthrough that moves the project forward?
• What if this proposal revolutionizes how we work as a team?
Set a timer and a goal.
Being hard on yourself can ruin your mood, focus, and productivity if you let it. Luckily, shame and humiliation – two emotions that are common with self-criticism — are shown to only last between 30 to 50 minutes. Take advantage of this fact by time-boxing your feelings: set a timer and allow yourself to fully experience and process your emotions during that period. One helpful practice is release writing, in which you free write for three to five minutes to let go of pent-up frustrations.
Once the timer goes off, make a conscious choice about how to move forward. Define how you want to feel and what actions gets you closer to that feeling state. Ben decided he wanted to feel peaceful. We determined several steps that could help him achieve peacefulness, including a short meditation and taking a break to walk his dog.
Expand your definition of success.
As a sensitive striver, you likely have a tendency to define achievement in a hyper-specific way, that is, complete and total excellence at all times. You don’t need to lower your bar, but you do need to broaden your scope of what qualifies as a “win.” Achieving the desired outcome isn’t always in your control, so broaden your definition of success to include:
• Overcoming resistance or fear
• Pushing back and standing up for what you think is right
• Approaching a situation with a different mindset or attitude
• Taking a small step toward a goal
Take a few moments at the end of your workday to reflect not only on your professional highlights (praise, recognition, positive reviews, etc.), but also to consider moments where you made yourself proud. Acting in integrity with your values is the true definition of success.
As a sensitive striver, your desire to be the best is an asset when managed correctly. Once you tamp down the tendency to be hard on yourself, you’ll be able to more fully leverage your sensitivity and ambition as the gifts they are.
When you feel overwhelmed, the way you react can actually make things worse. Here are five common, self-sabotaging mistakes to watch out for — and how to avoid them:
You think you don’t have time for actions that might help you.
Stop waiting for an ideal moment, and do something to help yourself immediately, such as finding a therapist, taking a day off to rest, or calling up a friend.
You don’t use your unconscious mind enough.
It’s unreasonable to expect to be focused all the time. Try taking a walk and letting your mind drift and see what solutions emerge.
You interpret feeling overwhelmed as a weakness.
Being hard on yourself will only lead you to procrastinate or become more perfectionistic. Replace your self-criticism with compassionate self-talk.
You default to your traditional approaches and defenses.
Our strengths may not always work to our advantage; for example, thoughtfulness can become overthinking, or high standards can lead to perfectionism. Be mindful of your instinctive reactions in order to stay flexible in your approach to problem solving.
You withdraw from your support system.
Find ways to connect with people even when you’ve got limited emotional energy.