When I was 17, my friend wanted to be a pharmacist. His future wasn’t a dream, or even an ambition, it was more like a fact that hadn’t happened yet. Like an airline pilot planning a flight to Hawaii. He knew where it was, how to get there and how long it would take. I’m not sure why, pharmacy didn’t run in the family or anything, but that was definitely what he saw himself doing. He had a very clear picture of his future destination, which was real and immediate, not out there in the distance.
Mark’s now a very successful research chemist (in pharmacy), he’s exactly where he thought he would be, nearly forty years ago. I guess he’s had different aspirations along the way as well, but he’s achieved his lifetime career goal.
I admire Mark for his focus and vision (notice the visual words we use in English to talk about the Future). He’s very Future orientated.
Our time perspectives drive how we all manage our time in the macro sense – managing our life time. They’re the dynamo that drives time management behaviour in the micro sense as well – how we manage our days and hours. Can we keep our eyes on the final destination, or are we more prone to deal with what’s appears right in front of us? This affects how and what we instinctively prioritise, regardless of what we think we should be doing, or what’s theoretically number one on our to-do list.
Mark’s goal may have been way out in the future, but it had two essential qualities. Firstly, it was connected to the present by his sense of purpose. He was highly motivated in the here and now to work towards it. Secondly, the goal was more than just a vision, it was a fully realised thing that he could touch, smell, taste and hear, as well as see. When those two qualities are present, the destination is a real place, worth going to, worth spending time getting there.
So, if you can make your goal real for yourself and other people, and if you can connect it to your inner motivations, you will be propelled towards it, and it will get more real as you draw closer.
Let us know if that’s interesting to you.