The last few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about my past. Maybe it is because my dad passed away at this time two years ago or maybe I just slipped back into old patterns. Regardless, what I realized is when I focus on the negative things from my past I am filled with regret and can easily get discouraged. These days, I am self-aware so I am able to notice if what is happening is grief or using my past against myself.
I’ve learned that when I chose to look at my past as perfect and that it happened exactly the way it was supposed to that it helps me shift my energy from dwelling on negativity to focusing on the future. This is important because I can impact my future but I can’t do anything about what has happened in the past.
The past is over and we can’t go back and the good news is the future is wide open. One of the ways you can tell if someone is past or future focused is they will say things like:
“I’ve always done it that way.”
“I have tried but it doesn’t work for me.”
“That’s just how I am.”
“I’ve always been overweight.”
“I’ve never been good at sales.”
Someone who says these things is defined by the evidence of their past - evidence they have been looking for subconsciously to prove their terrible belief system.” We would all agree that it is helpful to learn and grow from our mistakes and yet we don’t want to be defined by our past or what we haven’t accomplished.
One of the ways we can get excited about the future is to focus on the outcomes we want to achieve in our lives or business. I talk to a lot of people who say, “I can’t recruit. “I’m not good at recruiting.” What if you didn’t need to be defined by your past and could move into a future where you are good at recruiting? There is an exercise that can help you do that. I call it Your Top Five.
Take out a piece of paper and write down the top five outcomes you want in your life. These are the five most important things you want to happen before your time on earth is up. Also, when we talk about outcomes it’s helpful if we make them specific so that we will know when we have accomplished them. For example, I want to work at a job that is aligned with my values and pays me enough (or $X) that I can save $1M for my retirement.
If you haven’t done this before, I have found that usually, people have a couple of categories that are important to them such as health, money, relationships|family, spirituality, and education|career|work. This can be helpful as a guide as you might want to have one outcome per category to round out your top five. Simply ask the question, “What is important to me for my health?” “What is important to me in terms of money|retirement?” “What is important to me in terms of my spirituality?” etc.
Once you have completed your list, think about what you did yesterday and ask yourself, “How did I spend my time yesterday?” Write down everything you did yesterday and ask yourself how much of your time was spent on your top five? What was your overall feeling? If you were left feeling anxious and exhausted it could be an indicator that you weren’t focused your top five.
For example, many people have one of their top outcomes to have an amazing relationship with their spouse but they spend the majority of their time with their spouses discussing agendas or arguing over things that don’t really matter. Planning a date night away from the kids could be a way to help fulfill this outcome. However, it is easy to get stuck in busyness or overwhelm or create excuses.
The next step is to take your top five and plan the next day. What will you tomorrow knowing that these are your top five? How will your day be different? How can you incorporate each of the top five? When the day ends, write down everything you did and notice how it felt? Does it feel different than the daily grind?
When we spend time identifying what we want and then organize our lives around what is important, our lives begin to take a new shape. We see how we are creating our future and that it is more than just a daily grind with a laundry list of activities to complete.
I think it is the same for our career and business. For example, if I know that one of my top five outcomes is to recruit then what will I commit to on a daily basis that will help me hit my objective. It is often small and consistent action taken with purpose that is the most fulfilling and in the end the most rewarding - spiritually and financially.
I encourage you take a few minutes and identify your top five and experiment each day to see how it can make a difference. Also, I have a life plan that can help you if you want a more in-depth way to look at each of the five categories. Feel free to download it here: Life Plan
If you would like my help to create your top five ore life plan, please schedule a free 30-minute session with me at https://calendly.com/talentattractionexperts.