Updated: Jan 9
“Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.” ― Mandy Hale
As we close out the month, year, and decade, it provides an incredible time for reflection, fun, and merry-making. We celebrate successes and milestones, plan for the next few years, try for promotions, and maybe even evaluate the things we’re not so proud of.
Many people fail to realize that big success is the result of little successes achieved, often over a very long period of time. Truly successful people are long-term thinkers. They know that they must build upon each achievement and constantly learn new and better ways of doing things. A regular review of your progress is an essential part of goal setting. And a goal is little more than a wish unless it has a timetable for completion. Make sure your plan for your life includes short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Revise your goals as circumstances dictate, check them off when they are completed, and set new and bigger goals for yourself as you grow. And take time to reflect often to make sure you are on the right course — for you.
We need to make sure that what we are pursuing, what we are focusing on, and how we are going about it, is the right thing and being done in the right way. All behavior has meaning. All behaviors, all action, all pursuits have effects and consequences. Some intentional, some unintentional. Some good, some not so good. To act without a measure of clarity is to act blindly and foolishly.
Where will you be ten years from now if you keep going the way you are going?
Are you happy with the seeming trajectory of your actions and their consequences (both good and bad)? Does that mean take no risk? Not at all. In your pursuit and focus, take risk. But take risk with calculation knowing that there are always things you can’t control for and always potential unintended consequences. Your focus determines your reality. Your feelings aren’t circumstantial. No person or circumstance can dictate or determine how you feel. Your feelings are generated out of how you think, what you focus on.
Can you control all circumstances and people that you face and encounter? No, you can’t. But you have absolute control over how and what you think and focus on, which shapes your emotions, attitudes, and the actions that you take. In this season of new beginnings, you have the privilege to choose. Who will you be? How will you choose to contribute to the world?
*This post was written in partnership with America's Future Foundation.