Three Questions that Invent the Future and Defeat Stagnation
The future is invented by what you do today, not by what you plan to do tomorrow.
Three questions that invent the future:
#1. What do you need to stop?
If your life is full and you’re not flourishing, you’re filling life with things that don’t matter to you.
A busy life is not necessarily a full life.
Frantic busyness might be fear and boredom in disguise. Perhaps the busiest people among us are escaping life, not inventing the future.
- Clarify what matters to you. Imagine a year has passed. Your hands are raised in victory. People around you are cheering.
- Who is cheering?
- What are they saying to you?
- Stop doing things that matter less so you can focus on things that matter more.
- Get someone else to do things that matter less to you. Someone enjoys doing things that drain you.
- Improve your skills so it takes less time to do what you’re currently doing.
#2. What opportunity might you seize?
Move away from, “What’s wrong and how can I fix it?”
The temptation to focus on what’s wrong leads to darkness. Yes, some problems need attention, but they aren’t worthy of relentless focus.
Seizing opportunity transforms life.
Problem-fixers are back-ward facing. Fixing problems focuses on something that began in the past.
Fixing problems is safer than seizing opportunities.
Opportunity-seizing is forward-facing.
#3. What’s important to you about current opportunity?
Connect action with purpose to fuel energy and build stamina.
“Start with Why.” Simon Sinek
How might leaders invent the future?
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Dan – I work with someone who fits your frantic busyness description above. However, the board of control loves his perceived drive and determination The rest of our admin team sees through it, however, due to his constant complaining about how hard he works, stays up late, works weekends, etc. We can’t confront him about this because it looks like we’re jealous – and the board loves him! The rest of us work just as hard, but do it smarter. We grow tired of the complaining worker bee! Any suggestions? We are stumped in how to deal with him! Thank you to anyone with suggestions.
“ Improve your skills so it takes less time to do what you’re currently doing.”. This works so well and I am continuing to hone my skill set to do better quality work more focused with better results. And as I move along it takes less time. But I will have to admit it has taken years of practice to get to this point so for you younger ones it can happen you just have to practice calmly over and over and trust me with the right positive attitude you can get there.
Dan, I’m not sure I completely agree with 2. You said “The temptation to focus on what’s wrong leads to darkness. Yes, some problems need attention, but they aren’t worthy of relentless focus.” One of your US founding fathers (I think) observed that the price of peace is eternal vigilance. Unless you can successfully devolve the vigilance of problem-solving, those problems will kill your forward looking plans.
A daily self-improvement tool I use is what I call “The World’s Best.” I ask, and answer, the following question. “If I were replaced today by the world’s best person/leader in my subject area, what exactly would he or she do to achieve better results?”
I then answer that question in as much detail as possible. I then stop to realize that if I can articulate what the world’s best would do, then why don’t I just do it? Then I do!
This tool and mindset have helped provide courage and impetus to innovate, overcome the status quo, lead change, and manage conflict and resistance while achieving improvement.
I encourage others to try it. I just requires ego control, objectivity, and the burning desire to grow and succeed.
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