Yes, I know that you are being told all the time to let go of the past, leave the future to the future because supposedly you have no control over it. Stay in the now and make everything happen there. Sometimes, however, that can be your comfort zone area, the place where you can easily get stuck and jeopardise any future you might have. So this blog goes right against the grain because I want you to stop a moment and think about your future self.
We are living in uncertain times, where on-going change is the new normal. Our lives are very busy. On the one hand we are committed to developing our professional lives while at the same time managing the many demands of our personal lives. In most families there are two parents working. We have children who are engaged in as many activities as we are as adults. Some of us have ageing parents to care about. We rush from one thing to another as we try to be all things to all people, meeting everyone’s needs except our own.
This week I want you to stop and think about You and your needs and do something your future self will thank you for.
Here are just a few examples for your professional and personal lives.
Do Something Your Professional Self Will Thank You For In The Future.
Take hold of your career and grow it
Are you in a job you know you’ve been in too long? Are you feeling jaded and disillusioned? Are you missing out on opportunities and promotions? Are you not challenged anymore by what you are doing? Are you there because you haven’t the courage to seek out something else? Is your fear of changing escalating as you see work in your industry sector being automated and you are wondering how long your job will continue to exist?
You, not your organisation, are responsible for your career development. Your future self will thank you if you take action now to seek out a new job, rather than wait around until your organisation makes you a better offer, or worst case scenario, you are forced out. At that stage it is likely you will present to new employers as lacking that sense of energised presence that they want in their organisation in these times of change. Changing jobs will challenge you and bring new energy and enthusiasm to you professionally and personally. It will allow you to explore and develop potential you didn’t know you had. It may even benefit you financially. The lesson to learn here is to not stay in that new job too long either. Keep moving on and up.
Develop and enhance your skills.
One of the reasons you may be in the position I’ve discussed above is because you haven’t kept your skills up to date. That may be the reason you are not getting the opportunities and promotions you would like and expect. Don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that you have to go back to university and do an MBA, or get another qualification. It may mean that your technical skills are not well enough advanced for this digital age. Alternatively, you may be highly skilled technically, but do not have well-developed soft skills which are very important in today’s workplace.
Seek out someone to mentor you on your career and what skills you need to develop. Talk it through with your manager. Alternatively seek external, independent coaching or mentoring to guide your decision making. Your future self will thank you when you develop skills that secure you professionally and financially for the future workplace.
Do Something Your Personal Self Will Thank You For In The Future.
Prioritise Your Physical Health.
This is about the most important and sustainable investment you can make – investing in yourself.
We spend the first half of our life destroying our health to build our wealth,
And the second half of our life spending our wealth to restore our health.
This is a profound thought. Your future self will not thank you for the chronic illness you experience in your 60s and 70s (young in today’s terms) because you didn’t care for yourself in your 30s and 40s. Nor will it thank you for your lack of mobility in your 70s and 80s because you told yourself you didn’t have time to exercise in your early life.
Your future self will thank you when you look after your physical self by eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.
Your future self will also thank you if you book an appointment with your GP to have a full health check and then make changes to your life depending on what the results tell you.
If you have any history of chronic disease in your family, for example, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease – even if you have no symptoms at this time – your future self will thank you if you go and get it checked out and see where you are at this point in time.
Prioritise Your Emotional Well-Being.
If you are in a stressful work environment, your future self will thank you if you pro-actively do something about that. There are a whole range of things you can do to reduce your stress, exercise being a major proven one. There is also meditation, mindfulness, tai chi, pilates, playing sport and many more.
Your future self may need you to leave that job for another that is less stressful but maybe even more purposeful. It may even ask you to make a tree change.
Taking up some creative activity, that puts you back in touch with an essence in yourself, is a great stress reducer. For example, you could learn a musical instrument, or how to paint or draw, take up woodwork, learn how to play Bridge, or write the book you always wanted to write. Your present self will also thank you for improving the quality of your life in the now; your future self for enhancing your inner self for the long term.