The Future You

© 2003 Stuart Goldsmith

Here is a little exercise I want you to do.

Imagine walking into a room and meeting the 'you' of ten years from now. What will you be wearing? Where will you be living? What will your lifestyle be like? What car will you be driving? Will you be running a business? If so, how successful will you be? What will your net worth be?

You really only have three choices here about how the ‘you of the future’ will look, and this is where the power of this exercise lies:

1. Somewhere in between how you are now, and a depressed, broke and scruffy tramp.

2. An exact clone of how you are now - absolutely nothing has changed in a decade.

3. A happier, wealthier, healthier version of the ‘you of today.’

Only a suicidal depressive would visualize number one. Number two is effectively saying that nothing will change; you will not grow over the next ten years, you will not get richer, happier, wiser, healthier - anything. The 'you of tomorrow' will be indistinguishable from the 'you of today.'

So that just leaves number three, and if you selected this it remains for you to back this glittering vision of the 'future you' with all the force of your imagination.

Having imagined how you will be in the next ten years, here is a really neat trick to help you achieve it.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • “What do I need to achieve in the next 12 months in order to make my future dream a reality?”

  • “What do I need to do in the next month to start myself on this journey?”

  • “What can I do by next week to prepare myself for the journey?”

  • “What can I do right now, today, in order to start this process off?”

Do you see how this works?

You need to dream, but this is not enough. Dreams come a size too large so that you can grow into them and this means that dreams are too large to realize all at once.

Our minds are finite, and so all large projects must be broken down into bite-sized chunks otherwise we become discouraged by the scale of the endeavor. This is one of the secret keys of successful people. They are undaunted by large projects, because they have the knack of breaking them down into simple steps. Each step is easily manageable, and can be completed in anything from a few hours to a few weeks.

In contrast, it is useful to analyze the situation of people who are stuck, both monetarily and in spirit, if only to allow you to avoid these errors. This is based on my experience of two decades of dealing with both winners and temporary losers in the game of life.

1. They are frightened. Their lives are dominated by fear. They see the world as a scary, threatening place and crave security, dullness, mediocrity. They long for every day to be the same as the last and become scared and upset if even a small change breaks the monotony of their days.

2. They completely lack visualization ability. If asked to visualize their future self, they would stare at you blankly. They are not pretending. They do not even understand what you mean by this exercise. If you force them to try, they’ll come back with nothing more than a shrug.

3. Assuming that you could drag some sort of dream out of them (for example wanting to be worth a million dollars some day) then they would be wholly incapable of working backwards from that point to the present, and suggesting actions they might have to take in order to make this come about. Again, they are not faking. There is now; there is the future; and in between, a yawning, fathomless chasm - a blank.

4. Even if you were to write the steps out, 1-100, with a check box next to each one, they absolutely lack the discipline even to start on the task, let alone complete the steps. At the first slight downfall, or negative comment from a friend, they will give up. In any situation which requires a choice between working for a better future, and instant gratification now, they will unfailingly choose instant gratification.

But this is not you, hopefully. If you recognize yourself here, then don't worry because it is possible to change and get out of this 'stuck' pattern you are in.

You need to develop the habits of a winner. You want to enjoy today, but have an even better tomorrow waiting for you.

To do this you must model yourself on winners - people who have achieved great things in their lives. I am talking here about 'winners' and 'losers' but I do not mean the term 'loser' in the usual derogatory sense.

By a 'loser' I mean someone who, by their own definition of winning and losing, is falling well short of where they want to be. By a 'winner' I mean someone who, by their own definition of winning and losing, is pulling ahead of the game and achieving that which they set out to achieve.

This is how a winner operates:

1. They are brave. Like all human beings they feel fear, but have mastered it and are able to rise above it. Whilst they acknowledge that there are frightening people and places in the world, in general they view the world as a benevolent place, full of great opportunities and wonderful people. This is a vital principle. Winners view the world as mainly benevolent with some bad bits. Losers see the world as mainly malevolent with some good bits.

2. They are good visualizers. They have the ability to imagine the future, often in glorious Technicolor detail. They have high self-esteem, and know that they are worth more than they have at present. Life to them is an exciting adventure to be lived to the full. In contrast, losers view life as a terrible chore to be somehow 'got through' with as little pain as possible.

3. They are intelligent, rational and logical. If they have a dream of the future, they know the secret technique for making this happen. Today's dreams are tomorrow's realities. They know that large projects cannot be tackled by finite human minds unless they are broken down into manageable, bite-sized pieces. They are able to work backwards from a future dream to the present day, and to list the logical steps required to make that dream come true.

4. Having written down the steps required to achieve their goals, they know what is required next. Action. Up until this point, all of their plans amount to little more than ethereal hot air. It is action which grounds the circuit and allows the current to flow. They know that the journey will be long and hard. Any worthwhile dream will involve hard work, concentrated effort and some suffering to attain. They need one more quality. Discipline. This keeps them going during setbacks, when the list seems too long, and when others heap mirth and derision upon their efforts.

Clients pay $4500 a day to hear Stuart Goldsmith's hard-hitting marketing advice. Legendary copywriter Gary Halbert recently described him as "The second best copywriter on the planet!" His sales letters and adverts have made him many millions of dollars. In his startling free action guide "Double Your Way To A Million", Stuart shows how you can change nothing into $1,310,720 without any capital, simply using your wit, imagination and your natural abilities.

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