"I'm always thinking one step ahead... like a carpenter who makes stairs." -Andy Bernard, The Office
In both our business goals and our personal lives, we are always looking one step ahead. Not only do we want to be well-prepared for the future, but we strive to propel towards the next exciting phase. Think about it; how often are we preoccupied with thoughts of tomorrow? Why is that?... It's because tomorrow is the chapter that hasn't been written or read yet.
Tomorrow is full of thrilling potential. It can be planned — and unpredictable. However, not many people embrace the possibility of tomorrow due to one common factor: fear. Along with success, tomorrow can also bring failure, mistakes, disappointments, discouragement and rejection. Many find it easier to fear the future rather than look forward to it with great enthusiasm. When you let fear of the future get the best of you, you find yourself stalled on the stairway to success. And unfortunately, this stairway is not an escalator.
One factor which keeps us in fear of the future is trying to take on too much at once. Often we make tomorrow's to-do list so long that it's seemingly impossible to accomplish any of our goals. We try to cram the responsibilities of the next ten years into tomorrow. Michael Scott said it best in an exchange with a co-worker in another classic episode of The Office:
Michael: "I have too many things to do before I get dressed. I need to find 100 clients." Pam: "Michael, that seems impossible." Michael: "It's totally impossible!"
Pam finally calmed Michael down with the advice that he needed to find one realistic goal he could accomplish that day. That is the secret to embracing the future: breaking your ambitions down into smaller, manageable steps you can take one at a time towards your success.
E. EXCEL's bright vision of the future is centered in helping you achieve your success. Your bright vision of the future also needs to be centered in your personal success, setting and achieving your business goals. If at any point the process feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller steps. Ask yourself what's one realistic goal you can accomplish today to bring you one step closer to achieving success. If you do this, you will find yourself accomplishing your goals faster than you ever thought possible. And you will start looking forward to the future instead of fearing it.