Close your eyes and think about your dreams. Think about your highest hopes, aspirations, and goals in life. How do you feel?
If you’re feeling a sensation of excitement, as if an electric charge is going through you, then there’s a good chance you are living into a compelling future!
If you don’t get that feeling, it’s okay. Maybe this article can shed some light on how to invent a personal, compelling future that really gets you going. After all, who we are today depends largely on who we are striving to become, and that striving is motivated by having a compelling future ahead of us.
What is a compelling future? It’s an anticipated event or circumstance that has an immediate effect in the present. In other words, it’s a possibility that informs our choices and state of being in the here and now, even though that possibility has yet to come to fruition. If a possibility compels you, then you will be moved to act and feel in a way that is aligned with that possibility.
For a visual illustration, imagine a city on the horizon with a long, winding road leading to it. As you drive toward the city, you notice that the road has many forks and turn-offs along the way with signs telling you where they lead. You also notice that the path to reach the city will take several of those turns, and you can choose to follow that path or not. If the possibility of getting to the city compels you, then you will follow the signs that point there, instead of going another way. In this way, the destination, or the compelling future of getting there, has an effect on you before you even arrive. It informs your choices.
Not only does a compelling future inform your choices, but it should inform your outlook on life, too. If you have a destination, you will look toward that destination as you travel toward it. If that destination is appealing, then looking toward it will excite you. If it is unappealing or dreadful, then it probably won’t be so exciting.
Now bring those concepts back into your life. Do your dreams, goals and aspirations influence the choices you make? What about how you feel? Does the future you see for yourself excite you, or bring you down?
If getting to a certain destination or reaching a certain goal has compelled you in the past, but not anymore, it could be for several reasons. Perhaps that future is no longer appealing to you, and a little bit of soul searching might be necessary to find a future that is.
Or perhaps a certain aspiration is still appealing, but you have lost sight of it, or no longer believe it is possible to get there. This is where having strength in the face of opposition can play a huge role. So many of our heroes became who they are by overcoming obstacles and never giving up on themselves, so if we want to accomplish great things in our lives, we should probably follow their example.
As an aspiring author, many stories of successful novelists come to mind when I think of overcoming the odds. Take J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series, for example, which was rejected by twelve different publishers before one of them reluctantly accepted it. The hit series would never have been published if she had given up.
It is important to remember that a desirable future is only compelling if you believe in it and you are working toward it. If you consistently make choices that do not lead to that goal or dream, there will be a conflict between what you hope for and what you are actually doing. This can only lead to frustration and discouragement.
But why do we make choices that take us away from our goals, or lose sight of a possibility we once believed in? There are many reasons. Sometimes we give up, or sometimes other things get in the way, but whatever the reason, it is important to acknowledge it so that we can change our mindset.
What truly matters is that we turn toward a compelling future, whatever it may be. It could even be the same future we were already living into, but with a new, compelling view on it.
If what you want doesn’t seem possible, try working for it anyway. You might be surprised at the doors that open up for you. Here at the Center of Dental Professionals, I was never hired to write the blog, but after mentioning that I liked to write… well, you can see what happened. The key is to put yourself out there and strive. Sometimes there is no easy way, but there is always a way.
The compelling future you live into will have an impact on your life in the present, and that is what truly matters. It’s not necessarily reaching the destination, but the journey and anticipation of reaching it that makes life exciting and empowers you. Regardless of what future you are living into, make it a compelling one, and your horizons will always be something that excites you.