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growth mindset

How to Create a Future-Proof You

We can't predict the future, but we can prepare for it - and the more prepared we are, the higher our chances of success.
How to Create a Future-Proof You
Image credit: Bigstock
Contributor
Mental Coach, Author & Speaker
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

We live in exciting times. There is no denying that. I am sure that you often wonder about what the future holds for you. Lying awake at night worried about the uncertainty created by technology, the economy, politics.

The things is… I don’t know what the future holds for you. Neither do you.

Nothing you can do will change that. Humans are notoriously bad at predicting the future and how it will unfold. I never thought I’d be a professional speaker and leadership coach. Neither did I foresee my book on the shelves of bookstores. Yet, here we are.

How often has something happened to you and before you can find yourself you are daydreaming only the most horrible of outcomes? Breathing life into the words of Seneca when he said, ‘We suffer more often in imagination than in reality’.

 

This tendency to catastrophise even the smallest thing means that we are perpetually anxious about what the future brings. This anxiety is amplified by uncertainty. The not knowing.

Catastrophising and uncertainty is not the same thing. However, they do have the same cure.

 

Learn to Surrender

We must surrender our idea of controlling the future and instead live in the world we have been given. It’s in this world that you can affect change and prepare for what is to come.

Only, we never really prepare for tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes. Instead, we are preparing for and waging the war right here. Today. In the present.

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Si vis pacem, para bellum is translated as “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

So, what does a daily routine look like in which we prepare ourselves for the future. It has three elements:

  • Learning
  • Doing
  • Reflecting.

 

Learning

You already know how important this is. It’s why you are reading this magazine. However, do not confuse casual reading and podcast listening with real, deep learning. I would consider it deep learning if you came to Entrepreneur magazine as part of a continuous learning programme or in looking for a solution to a specific problem.

Informal learning is great and the way to go. That’s why Mark Sham’s Suits & Sneakers is making such a big noise in its corner of the world. However, they too know that learning has to happen intentionally.

I see too many people consuming tons of content and never integrating it into their way of thinking and being.

 

Doing

This is kind of my thing. I love seeing people do, try, and move. It’s the only way we truly effect change and create results.

The question is what kind of “doing” are you busy with?

The right kind of doing aligns you with your goals. The wrong kind helps you to make no progress at all. It’s easy to trick yourself with this one, so I suggest a healthy dose of reality.

A client of mine recently logged all the time spent on various activities and after a week concluded that he wastes tons of time. It was a stark realisation as he thought of himself as a productivity machine.

Do, but do the right thing.

 

Reflecting

All that learning and all that doing needs time to settle. To really integrate into your being. That’s the role of reflection.

It’s deliberately created moments in which you reflect on what you have done, what you have learnt, the challenges conquered, and the failures withered.

Reflection allows you to deepen your understanding of yourself and the way you move through the world.

You’d be surprised how a daily reflection practice could change your life.

 

Future proof yet?

“Live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find eternity in each moment.” — Henry David Thoreau

There is no trick to being future proof. The thing is, you already are.

You have all the tools that you could ever need:

  • A sharp mind
  • A keenness for learning
  • A desire to create and do.

You do not need more than that. Use what you have and build yourself into the best version that you can be. There is nothing more to be done than that.

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