I love Back To the Future. To be able to hop in a Delorian and check out my future self would be amazing. How my future-self looks depends on what I do now. Life has a way of throwing difficulties your way on your journey. Your future deserves to be celebrated. So how do we avoid stalling out on the way to your future? Check out these suggestions:
Don’t live in the valley of indecision
Indecision plagues too many people. To decide not to decide is still a decision. This avoids living a life with regrets because you "wish you could have done something."
Make the best decision you can with the information you have, then pursue it with everything you’ve got from a posture of humility.
Relentlessly pursue self-awareness or in other words "read the room"
Self-aware people make the best leaders and are easy people to hang out with in life. Probably most of your favorite people in life are the people who are self-aware.
But self-awareness doesn’t come naturally. Selfishness makes me naturally blind to what is happening around me. So "read the room" and if you can't then find someone who can.
Deal with your issues now
It’s easy to blame others for what’s happened to your life. And unfortunately the common factor to the issues in your life is going to be you. So deal with you. You have issues. Everyone does.
Give people permission to call out your "stuff." Go have some serious conversations with those that you trust. Do what it takes to deal with your junk. You'll hi-five your future self!
Build a team around you to make you better.
Find the people around you who are modeling where you want to go. Find people who have gone before you and have walked through your life stage to coach you through it. Find someone who is similar in strengths and personality with you and ask them how they have dealt with the personality traits that can sabotage.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to intentionally pursue friendships and relationships with people who are smarter, more skilled and simply ‘better’ than me. To become a better person and leader, spend time with people who are better than you
Be known as a person of faithfulness
Being committed to something that goes beyond just your emotions is a challenge for a young person. Maybe that’s why aithfulness seems rare. Not just in marriage, but also in life.
Culture teaches us to dispose of anything or anyone we don’t like. So do the opposite. Learn how to be dependable, consistent and loyal, holding to what you know is right even when you feel like it.
Choose a tribe of friends and be devoted to them
Friendship circles change when you leave school, get married and even change jobs. In the midst of all that change, find a few friends and stick with them for life.
Most people can only handle 5 really close relationships in their life. Choose those 5 well and build into those relationships deeply.
Let your weaknesses be your weaknesses and call it a day
We try to improve our weaknesses to be good at everything. You’ll never be great at everything. So instead of trying to improve your weaknesses...manage them don't ignore them. Instead focus improving your strengths.
Pour increasing amounts of energy into your strengths
Once you realize you’re only great at a few things, you’re free to become even greater at them. Take Strengthsfinders test. Take personality tests. Take time to talk to those who know you best and interview those closest to you to take an inventory of what they think you do best.
Pour your time, energy and resources into what you do well. That’s the difference between being good at something and being best at something.
Map out the "high roads in life" and take them often
The high road is the hard road. But it’s the best road. People will try to pull you off the high road again and again. But if you choose to take it often you can look back and see the view of your life that you can be proud of.
Make your character a priority
Character sustains what God is building around you. Your skills, talents and personality will take you only as far as your character can sustain you. Choose to do the right thing no matter what...you won't regret it.
Push through the dry seasons
Trust me when I say you will have times when your relationships, career and spiritual life will seem flat. Remember why you are there and don't forget it. That's why God says to pray about everything. Because then your yes to these decisions in your life have meaning even when you don't feel like it does.
Your emotions eventually catch up with your obedience. So be obedient.
Discover what refuels you and fuel up often
Some things give you energy in life, some things drain you. Figure out what refuels you. Most likely it's not going to be what you think. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is watch a movie, go to a sporting event, hit up a new restaurant with friends, take a nap, etc. What ever fills your tank... do more of it.
Book appointments with God and don’t break them
Your calendar will naturally fill up with urgent things other people believe are important. And you will watch a decade or more pass by without doing anything really significant. Anything done without God isn’t fruitful.
I put appointments in my calendar that I don’t move so I keep that time with God and I don’t break them. I use that time to seek God, pray, have my blank journal page and write down the vision, plans and purposes God has for me. Then when someone asks you if you’re busy, you can truthfully say “I’d love to help, but I have a commitment with someone and I just can’t break it.”
Forgive again and again and again....
Forgive and trust again. Don’t let what someone else did sabotage your future. Let’ your future thrive because you chose to forgive, and move on. The second you stop trusting people you start living a life of isolation. And a life of isolation is a life without impact. Not to mention…you’ll be awfully lonely.