“All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and someone who believes in them.”

“All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and someone who believes in them.”

—Magic Johnson, former Los Angeles Laker Basketball Superstar

Weston on his 1st Birthday

How often do you video chat with family and friends that live far away? A few weeks ago, Wendy and I were delighted to see our one-year-old grandson Weston take 10 steps at the encouragement of his mom — our daughter Rachel.

Our children are our future, and I have no doubt that Weston will be an extraordinary young man due to the hope, help, and belief we all have in him.

EXERCISE:

Who are the big and little kids in your world that need and deserve even more belief and support? In what ways can and will you more fully contribute to their growth and development?

The future is something which everyone reaches

“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”

—C.S. Lewis, 20th Century British author

Image created in Canva

Today’s quote has a bit of a passive quality for me. In a recent article, Michael Simmons points out the considerable downside of a passive approach by describing a term he coined “The Five Hour Rule” a few years ago. Through his research of the most successful people in the world he discovered a pattern: They all devoted at least five hours a week to deliberate learning, to ensure long-term success.

His work demonstrates that in maintaining only our current knowledge, about 50% will become outdated within a decade. He points out that each of us will need to learn five hours a week just to stay up-to-date in our current fields, and more if we want to get ahead.

Most of us know that we all forget a significant portion of what we learn, but did you know that facts in many fields of study have a half-life where previous knowledge can no longer be found in scientific citations?

Consider where the fields of artificial intelligence, app development, social media management, driverless cars and cloud computing will be even a few years from now. None of these fields existed 15 years ago.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you invest at least five hours each week on intentional learning?

Consider checking out Michael Simmons article by reading “The Math Behind the Five Hour Rule.”

Even though the future seems far away it is actually beginning right now

“Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.”

—Mattie J.T. Stepanek, late American child poet & agent of peace

image of Mattie Stepanek with Oprah Winfrey

Image of Mattie Stepanek from oprah.com

What is the best time to plant a tree? If you’ve heard this question before, you know the answer is something on the order of, “25 years ago.”

The typical follow-up question to this riddle is, “What is the next best time to plant a tree?” The answer is, of course, “Today!”

Those of us who desire a more fruitful future continually look for and take the next step that will begin or continue the journey. In this way, we can realize the future that may initially seem far away.

EXERCISE:

What specific seeds will you plant within your community efforts today? Better yet, what will you do right now to make this possible future a reality?

Build a Future

“Build a future – don’t just polish the past.”

—Author Unknown

New or Improved? Which of these words conveys the most energy for you?

Both words are often used in advertising and marketing to declare some advantage in a product or service category.

Where are you currently creating something new? In my observations, I see most people (including myself) maintaining the stats quo, simply polishing those things we have already done to brighten our lives a bit.

Creating something entirely new is often a messy process and can look like it is more trouble than it is worth due to the frustration and discouragement that can accompany the effort.

EXERCISE:

Where can and will you build a better future by creating something entirely new in either your personal or professional life, and not just polish your past?

“If you want to change what you are doing today, change your image of the future.”

“If you want to change what you are doing today, change your image of the future.”

– Glen Hiemstra, author and founder of Futurist.com

524Image from Flickr by bjornmeansbear.

This past week, I watched a program on the Science channel, “Prophets of Science Fiction.” Among the authors profiled were George Lucas, H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, and Jules Verne.

Through their creative and innovative writings about their worldview of the future, it was fascinating to see their predictions and considerable influence on our society in such areas as medicine, robotics, space exploration, and a host of other topics.

Exercise:

How can you practice being your own personal futurist, exploring and envisioning those futures that significantly impact what you are doing today?

Consider reading physics professor Michio Kaku’s book, The Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100, which speculates on possible technology developments over the next 100 years.

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

– Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

One of my philosophies of life is that what we do each day and who we do it with determines our satisfaction in the moment and manifests our future.

Consider yourself as a gardener, where each day you sow the seeds of success in your professional and personal world, and take care to water and weed your crop throughout the growing season to reap the harvest of a better future.

Exercise:

Take particular note of the daily behaviors and habits that are contributing to a better future.

Recognize where some of your daily efforts or lack of action are creating a less than desirable future and know that it’s not too late to start over tomorrow – because the future, as Lincoln suggests, comes one day at a time.