Figuring out the Future You

My kids, Michaela and Jack, have probably heard parts of this in distinct parts, but the great thing about a morning run besides loosening up my joints, is moments of clarity and epiphany.  Such was this morning after an interesting talk with my son last night. 

At different points in our lives, we are confronted with challenges that make us evaluate who or what we want to be. Maybe that is a too simple statement of the issue, as sometimes it’s about who we are, sometimes it’s about what we want to be, and sometimes it’s about how we can get to who or what.  I’ve been at this point several times. Sometimes I’ve felt like I was asking these questions every day.  When I was young, it was different than when I was older because circumstances and responsibilities were different.  When I was young, I didn’t know what my foremost talents, skills, and abilities were.  When older, the challenge became more about how to get to “the what.”

When I was a young officer on recruiting duty when confronted with failure, I became a believer in personal development.  The idea that by identifying where I wanted to go, doing the work and putting my time into my highest priorities in an organized method, I could excel.  This concept and the method I employed bore out with excellent results, but when I got older, I realized it is limited. The other day I was listening to a video by Ryan Lee and Brad Gibbs of Atlas Wealth, where they quoted a paradigm for goals of mindsets, skillsets, and networks. The limitation in my method, which was mitigated while a Marine, was in the mindset.  As a Marine, I was constantly challenged in the Apprenticeship Cycle of mentors, peers, and apprentices, but upon retirement, that challenge was removed.  The Marine Corps had provided me a continuous “Mastermind Group” as prescribed by Napoleon Hill in “Think and Grow Rich.” Until I became involved with the Service Academy Business Mastermind and Whitefeather Investments, I was limited in mindset. 

With all of that said, consider who you want to be, today and forever.  This is the objective you, your character.  Some experts say this is set by the time you are twelve. If that is true, I hope my kids are ok with who they are. I will say that there is plenty of room for adjustment in my experience.  Define this “objective you.”  In doing so, you will identify the goals that help you develop the habits that support your highest values.  Living those values will attract the people who want to marry you, be your friends, and shape your children.  This is the biggest part of your mindset.

If you have identified leadership as a key part of your objective self and mindset, recognize that being a leader is a lifelong commitment.  While you can lead in almost any occupation, leading requires a lifelong commitment to study, action, reflection, and refinement in addition to whatever technical field you pursue. 

In considering your occupation, evaluate your talents, your highest values, and what product, business, or action that will be profitable.  An occupation that aligns with your highest values, employs your talents, and pays well is a home run, but it doesn’t mean you will be poor if you don’t find such an alignment.  It is possible to develop wealth external to your chosen occupation, and I would say that most people who become wealthy do so external to their occupation. Regardless, it is by identifying your highest values and aligning your performance by setting goals that you can achieve all you choose if you are willing to do the work.

So today, do the work.  Consider the mindsets, skillsets, and networks necessary to achieve each goal.  Those are your intermediate goals.  Your mindset is largely the “objective you,” but you need to consider your fears or things you dislike and what you need to do to get past that fear or obstacle.  Skillsets are knowledge, and in today’s world, knowledge is available in many more places than just schools. Apprenticeship is the life of a leader, but you can find mentors in many aspects of your life. Mentors provide both knowledge and networks, but the key is to consider who you need to know to help you attain your goal.

Crush every day.  Put your effort into what is most important, and success will follow.  That means you have to evaluate your goals daily and what pieces are most important today, then do the work.