"We can plan for retirement, we can plan for a lost job, we can plan for the day after retirement." I'm guilty of saying this time and again and yet it doesn't seem to be convincing.
I work with high-quality executives with one thing in common: They underestimate their innate power to make decisions. Instead, they're very mechanical in the way they treat the daily operations of their companies. This is the wrong type of organization-building. It makes them mechanical, not human.
In business, the "automatons" don't have it so bad. They get paid to make decisions every day. The more the business grows, the more they have to make decisions. It's their skill. It's their trade.
Now why would you ignore your competitive advantage and start following their patterns? Why would you assume that achieving your goals is going to be a button-push away?
The person who consciously embraces their natural ability to do things differently gets a leg up on the competition. They pick up where the machine left off, but they do it differently.
To apply what I call the "long-term mind view" to our decisions, we need to begin by extending our mirror into our future, our thoughts about our future selves.
Everything that we do, every decision we make is ultimately part of our effort to build our future self. Knowing this helps us embrace this shift in decision-making. Once you start seeing yourself as a human being instead of a machine, then you can see the story of your life as part of your story and develop personal stories. You'll get more invested in the stories of people around you and you'll start to create stories about your own story.
Engaging with the future helps us see the power of your power for yourself. I'm not saying that you have to become a Buddhist monk who meditates for 20 minutes every day, but you can start engaging in a critical adult conversation about what you want your future to look like.
Start changing your future for yourself.