Through the Looking Glass: See into the future of your life!

Have you ever wanted to look into a magic mirror and see your future? What would you do today if the picture in five, ten or 20 years didn't look the way you had anticipated?

To head towards the future you would like to achieve I offer a few tips I have learned from other people's insights:

  1. Prepare for Opportunity: Always continue to learn and challenge yourself in new areas. This will allow you to increase your ability and will assist you in creating you own 'luck' later in life.
  2. The People you surround yourself with is the person you become: People we spend our time with tend to influence our opinions and thoughts. Birds of a feather flock together. If you are not happy with the company you keep, consider changing friends so that you do not end up picking up any habits you deem as being undesirable.
  3. Mental and Spiritual well-being: While there is a lot of discussion these days surrounding physical well-being, keeping your mind and your spirit alert and sharp are crucial to ongoing happiness and success. (Physical Health is of major importance also, but the others should not be ignored, look for a balance.)
  4. Take Risks: Trying new things and being willing to take a little risk here and there can create new exciting experiences in your life. Try to find experiences that you would not normally undertake, as you might end up enjoying them and have your mind opened to a new perspective on things.
  5. Plan: You will never know where you will be in the future, unless you plan a direction and begin to take steps along that path. It is important to continue taking steps and adjusting goals as you go. Without a plan, you will not know your desired destination.
Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.  Where do you see yourself in the future? What action are you taking towards it?

How to Capitalize on Failure

All of us have failed at one point in time in our life. When we fail, most of us feel like the world has come to an end. The truth is, however, that failure is usually the beginning of new and exciting opportunities that await us.

Failure is never permanent. Whenever we fail at something we can choose to learn and grow from the experience, which will help shape and develop our character. I have included a list of examples of my own personal 'failures' (which are really just temporary defeats), and how they have worked out in my benefit:
  1. Dropping out of School: I left school before finishing due to a number of reasons at the end of year 11 (whilst having completed two Year 12 subjects). While this might seem like a failure, I have gone on to learn many skills and had different experiences I would not have been able to comprehend had I not left school.
  2. Education: I currently have a Cert II in Building, a Cert IV and Diploma of Human Resources, and Advanced Diploma of Business Management and am currently undertaking a Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship). One thing I have learned through education is that you don't really get taught anything, but rather you learn how to manage yourself and your priorities and much more. Education comes from the latin word 'educo' meaning to 'educe' or 'draw out', and I think education has helped bring out both the best and worst in me over the years.
  3. Relationships: There is much happiness and heartbreak to be experienced in relationships. Some of the things I have learned from my failures in relationships is the importance of communication, trust, honesty and integrity. These character traits that you learn from dating are vital skills to deal with all people in life.
  4. Work: I have undertaken some jobs thinking they would be fantastic only to find out that I hated them and would not want to continue in a career of that nature. I have been very blessed in learning this so early rather than spending half my career in an occupation I can't stand, as well as learning skills that can be transferred between careers and businesses irrespective of the particular type of employment.
My question is twofold:
  • What 'failures' have you experienced in your life, and what have you learned from them?
  • What opportunities have resulted from the knowledge you learned as a result of your failures?

If you have thought about it... You will recognise it.

Somebody recently told me this statement and I saw it again this morning in some of my notes.

This means that if you think about something, you will be more inclined to recognise what has crossed your thoughts. An example of this is when a person thinks that their spouse is cheating on them, and then starts seeing all these little innocent aspects in a relationship that could imply cheating.

People tend to become focused on what they think about. So the best idea is to focus carefully at various points throughout your day or week about what you are thinking about. Determine if the way you are thinking is the only possible viewpoint on a topic, and then continue to search out the other possibilities. You may find you had the wrong interpretation of things to begin.

Pushing the barriers and boundaries

Have you ever felt like the pain of going forward is worse than the pain of going back?

I have felt this way in my life many times. Sometimes what we are doing just feels like it is too much and that life was easier before we jumped into the new challenge we are undertaking (I.e.: university, a new job, a new venture, sport, etc.). However, while we may have this perception it is not usually the case.

We usually take on a new challenge in life to expand our context. Whether we see this new challenge through to completion or not is irrelevant. Throughout any time undertaken in these projects our context is increased in many ways, especially in our ability to comprehend new thoughts, options, etc.

If an individual leaves the new challenge with an expanded context, they will never find the level of satisfaction in that environment they initially did. This is true for many people who leave uni because they feel it is too hard only to regret it years later, knowing had they pushed through the barriers and boundaries that they would have achieved their goals.

In conclusion, while things might get harder, we learn and adapt and can push through these challenges in life with the right attitude and with patience, perseverance and support. Don't give up on your dreams if the going gets tough.