Entering a new decade with eyes wide open
We’ve all heard the expression “hindsight is 20/20.”
The expression is meant to imply that it’s easy to see things clearly once they’ve already happened, realizing what we “could have” or “should have” done to achieve a better outcome. I had an interesting time researching this expression – particularly the meaning of “20/20.” Some consider the metaphorical interpretation: perfect vision. Others consider the literal definition: to have 20/20 vision means a person sees from 20 feet what the average person sees from 20 feet. To extrapolate, then, 20/20 vision is average, which few would consider perfect. There are plenty of instances where I’d lean towards the literal, but in this case, I’m happy using the metaphorical meaning.
In my experience, most people believe “hindsight is 20/20.”
Why, then, do so many people project the antithesis: that it is not possible to know what’s best when looking to the future?
Whether looking ahead with optimism or dread, very few take ownership to write the script that will play out for their lives. Most live under the assumption that life happens to them, and that things are not in their control.
But I have a question for you: If you don’t write that script, who does?
You may be thinking “OK… How in the world do you write your own script?”
The most important thing is step one. It’s actually a two-part step: Decide that you will, and believe that you can. Pretty simple, right? Simple yet insanely powerful, and not always “easy” to do.
There are so many resources and tools to help you figure out how to write your script: goal setting, visualization, meditation… The list goes on and on, and I’m tempted to share some of my favorites right now! I’m going to save that for later, though, because before you start looking for the right resources, you have to decide that you are going to do this, and commit to following the threads of where it leads you. It may lead you down paths you didn’t expect, to discoveries and revelations. It may solidify what you thought you knew. It may be quick, or take longer than you could have ever imagined. In any event, it will be an interesting and worthwhile journey for sure if you allow it to be and stick with it.
Perhaps more importantly, you have to believe that it matters.
There is little value in doing this (or doing anything in fact!) if you don’t believe it matters. Going through the motions is not enough. If you don’t already believe in the power of the mind, you’re not alone. I admit that it sounds a little strange that belief, which is really just like a thought, can have power. You can’t see, smell, or touch thought. Similarly, you can’t see, smell or touch the wind – yet you’ve no doubt seen the effects of the wind – with the beautiful ability to propel boats to their destination, generate power in wind farms, gently cool off a warm face… also with the destructive power of a tornado, or hurricane. You can smell whatever it wafts your way. You can feel the air it pushes at you. Just like the wind, your beliefs and thoughts can bring about what most serves you, or what doesn’t serve you at all. What will it take for you to believe that you have the power to shape your future?
So why am I writing this, my first blog, now? We’re on the verge of a new year and a new decade. I’m reflecting on the year that’s ending and the one about to start. I’m reflecting on the decade that’s ending and the new one about to start. The calendar flipping is hardly the only time to do this exercise but it’s a very convenient one and I like it so I use it! I am grateful for teachers, mentors and experiences that have helped me develop the power of belief. I’m designing my year ahead, even the next decade, so that I can actively and purposefully create my future.
My best wishes for you in developing your foresight skills!
p.s. Don’t get caught up on the specific time or day you’re reading this. There’s no wrong time to make a right decision! If you’re not at any point commonly considered a ‘good time’ to start something – a new year, a new month, even a new week… that’s OK. Each moment is a new moment and honestly just as good a time as any to take a first step.