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Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Art of Facing the Future

By George Chingarande

To everyone living there is a hereafter. To every nation and organization there is a future. The human being's most precious possession is his life, and it is given him once to live. Thus he has one opportunity to do his life's work and finish it; one opportunity to dream and accomplish all his dreams and aspirations; one opportunity to craft his legacy and one opportunity to become all that he can become. Since this is the case it behooves him to behave prudently. Winners excel at this while the mediocre and the losers stumble. In this issue we will explore some of the traits of winners in this regard.

- Winners often take a gaze into the future
From time to time winners make time to take a gaze into the future. The winners are cognizant of the fact that not only is there a future, but the dominant winner of the future is the one who dares to dream big dreams. Not only do they dream but they also dare take the necessary big risks to actualize their dreams. The future is like a field of dreams where there is no lack. In his mind every winner must often go into the future, as a shopper goes to the supermarket and careful select what his desired future achievements, experiences and conditions should look like. He should then come back to the world of reality and plan and strategize the fastest way of getting to the future of his dreams. The winner first visits the future in his mind before he dashes into it with the rest of his physical body. The losers fly blindly like bats into the snares.

- Winners are excited about the opportunities
There are two kinds of people- that is the paranoid and the inverse paranoid. The paranoid suspects that the universe and all people are conspiring to visit him with evil. He always sees a glass as half empty. He expects things to move inexorably from bad to worse. He sows pessimism in his heart and he reaps negatives in the outer world of his life. The paranoid says in his heart, "There are two things certain in life-taxes and death." The poor fellow lives a blighted existence and achieves little. The hallmark of the loser is that he is fretful of the challenges that the future brings and he believes in fate. With his mind's eye he sees a bleak future and this is betrayed by the words of his mouth that constantly pour out a torrent of negativity.

The winner is an inverse paranoid. He believes that the universe will not leave him in his current predicament or circumstances. Instead the universe is scheming to do him good. He believes and expects his path to shine brighter and brighter till the sun dawns. The winner knows that there are two things certain about the future. These are time and opportunity, which occur to all humans in equal measure. The winner is therefore excited about his opportunities and not fretful of his challenges because he knows that in every challenge there is a hidden opportunity. The winner expects a miracle everyday.

- Winners Drive Forward
The greatest enemy of the future is the past. The greatest hindrances to future adventures are memories of past mishaps and the worst enemy of a glorious dream is nightmares from the past. Winners are masters of the art of compartmentalization. They take every episode and event in its perspective and consign it to its proper compartment. The past is not allowed to meddle with the future. If they experience a bad morning at home, they do not carry the same poisoned spirit to work. If they were abused as a child they do not allow the bitterness to spoil their adulthood. If they have a bad meeting, they do not allow the negative vibes to spill over into the next meeting. They achieve this by taking time to set clear intentions about every segment of their day and life. This is called the art of segmental intentioning.

No one can successfully navigate forwards by constantly fixing his eyes in the rear view mirror regardless of how beautiful or rugged the rear view is. Learning from and forgetting the things that lie behind the winners press forward.

- Winners have an outrageous improvement agenda

It has been estimated that the shelf life of a university degree is now 18 months, and that of a new invention is much less. Therefore, on an individual level the future belongs to the one committed to an outrageous agenda of life long learning. This does not necessarily entail an accumulation of educational certificates but it calls for a continuous development of one's latent talents and refinement of skills. On an organizational level the future belongs to the relentless innovator of both technology and services. Winners continually ask themselves the question, "How have I become better today and how can I be even better tomorrow?" Slight incremental changes will suffice for the common man because he elects to abide in commonality but the winner will choose the path of radical self-renewal and innovation. Only the one who constantly strives to become more will be relevant in the future.


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