Do you remember those fortuneteller machines you would find at carnivals? You put a couple of quarters in, she would wave her hands over her crystal ball, and a few moments later out would pop your fortune, informing you of something big that would happen to you at some point in the future.
I was fascinated by those machines as a kid. In fact, I was mesmerized by anything that promised the ability to peer into the future, see what would happen, and come back and give you a little insight on your direction.
Of course I realize now how all of that works. But at the time, I always thought it would be amazing if there was some way you could gain a little knowledge about 10, 20, even 30 years into the future, and use that to make your life a much better place to be in the now.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you would sneak into the kitchen for a cookie, be up on the counter, ready to put your hand into the jar when your mom would call out “no cookies, its too close to dinner”. How’d she do that, I remember thinking over and over again. Is she magical? Does she have a sixth sense? Maybe she’s working with that fortuneteller, able to predict and see things no others can.
And then I became a mom and I learned the secret. You do have a sixth sense about what your child is going to do long before they do it. In many cases it’s a matter of “been there, done that’. In some cases you can read their minds just by looking into their little faces, knowing full well what they are about to do next.
That doesn’t stop when your child hits the age of 5, or 10, 15 or 20. Nor does it stop with just your child. Once you’ve lived through an era, experienced things for yourself, you tend to have an understanding of what thoughts a person will have when they move through that timeframe.
Just like I knew my 5 year old would put her hand in the cookie jar when she thought I wasn’t looking, I can predict behavior and outcomes as she moves through the ages. If you have a child, you know what I mean. If there was anyway we could share our knowledge with them so they wouldn’t have all the trials and tribulations we’ve had to experience, think how much farther they could be.
Yet it doesn’t work that way. We all have to experience it all for ourselves. But the older you become, the more you understand how this “magic” works, the better you can use it to improve and predict your own future.
The 50 Year Time Machine
When I was in high school, I had my heart set on being an architect – until I found out it needed six years of schooling. Six years I screamed (yes, I really did scream it when I found out). No way will I make six long years of schooling, so I went into business instead. After four years I had a degree, and after another four years I had a masters, making that six years no longer seem that hard to achieve. But tell that to an 17 year old!
When I found the “perfect” job, I was excited about all the potential that lay out before me. Great benefits, guaranteed promotions for a number of years, lots of travel. I was convinced I would be set for life, and quickly settled into a 9 to 5 lifestyle that gave me enough income to do the things I wanted to do. (Which means buy lots of stuff.)
Then we had a child. As she moved from preschool to elementary, we began to look at schools and weigh our options. We wanted the best for her, and found what we considered to be the best school system. Of course we had to have a house in district, so we found a much larger (and much more expensive) house in the neighborhood.
When our daughter graduated and moved to college, the house became a lower priority. Too much space, too much time taking care of that much space; so we sold it all off, downsized, and considered our options.
Four phases – four outcomes.
Let me ask you a question … do you think each of these phases could have been predicted very close to the final outcome? Of course. And that’s where the crystal ball comes into play. Its right in front of you – all you have to do is watch and learn from people 10 to 20 years older than you, and you’ll learn a lot about your own future.
We all like to think we’re unique; that we live life by different circumstances than those around us. That technology will change the way we live; that our career choices will lead us down a different path.
I’m special; I’m unique!
But are you?
Chances are you’ve followed a similar path too.
School. College. Job. Marriage. House. Family. Stuff. Risks. Rewards. Successes. Failures.
We can all say we don’t want to take the similar path to the ones around us – our parents, family, friends, co-workers that are doing the same-old things.
Yet we all do it, day after day, year after year.
It’s difficult to make choices that take the unconventional path. They’re riskier than the norm. But they also lead to a richer life overall.
Ask yourself three questions right now:
- What would I tell my twenty-five year old self with what I know today?
- What advice would I want my seventy-five year old to give to me now?
- How can I make changes today to incorporate each of those ideas into my life right now?
Your answers can be big or small. They can incorporate huge transformations or tiny changes.
However you see them, use them to define how you move forward from this point on.
This is the year to thrive. And I’m going to show you how to do it, every step of the way.
Have a Big Idea you’ve been tempted to turn into a business? Has something held you back? Make today the day you move forward in a Big Way. I’d love to chat with you and help you start the journey of turning it into a reality. There’s no better time than now to design your perfect business!