The Lifetime Growth Rule: How Good You Want To Be is More Important Than How Good You Are Now

Who you want to be in the future is more important than who you are now

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Artwork by Abbey Lossing

Growth is fundamental for all of us — it gives us a feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction, meaning, and progress.

In his book, “The Dan Sullivan Question,” Dan Sullivan, the founder of Strategic Coach, talks about making your future bigger than your past.

An important question he asks about designing a question to help people make their future seem bigger than their past is this:

If you and I were to meet three years from today, what would you want to have happened for you, personally and professionally, in order to consider those years a success?

Here is a different way you can ask the same question to think about it differently. If you were to measure your life three years from today, what would you want to have changed?

The fastest way to move forward in life is by doing more of what delivers the results you want for your future self and stopping the behaviours that are holding you back.

Your behaviours today are shaping your future. If you expect something different for your future self, upgrade your behaviour.

We’ve all heard Albert Einstein’s famous line: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Joe Polish, the founder of Genius Network and GeniusX once said, “You must be willing to destroy anything in your life that isn’t excellent.”

Your choices are deliberate, purposeful and very conscious. You take control of what happens to you. You consciously allocate your time to activities, habits, and things that yield the most tangible accomplishments you want.

When you aim to make your future bigger than your past, you believe your best work is ahead of you and connect with equally great minds who are becoming better versions of themselves.

An ideal future creates a desire and ambition

“Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have. Without having a goal it’s difficult to score,” says Paul Arden, former executive creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi.

The past is rich with experiences that help us think about options in new ways. All those valuable experiences can help you create an even bigger future. Take lessons from the past, but don’t live there.

When you aim for growth, you don’t allow your past to be a hindrance to your progress. You don’t stay stuck. You actively move forward in the direction of your dreams.

“A bigger future includes anything you want to see that’s somehow an improvement on what’s true now: greater learning, contribution, opportunities, capabilities, understanding, confidence, quality of life, compassion, connectedness,” writes Dan Sullivan and Cateherine Nomura in The Laws of Lifetime Growth.

What you visualise, think about, write down and aim for, you (are more likely to) achieve. To become who you expect, your job is to shift your brain, mindset, and identity to match that future reality.

Dr Joe Dispenza, an international lecturer, researcher, corporate consultant says all creation begins with a thought. He says you can train your brain to match the identify of your future self.

“According to research on mental rehearsal, once we immerse ourselves in that scene, changes begin to take place in our brain. Therefore, each time we do this, we’re laying down new neurological tracks (in the present moment) that literally change our brain to look like the brain of our future.”

  1. “You clearly decide what it is that you’re absolutely committed to achieving,
  2. You are willing to take massive action
  3. You notice what’s working or not
  4. You continue to change your approach until you achieve what you want, using whatever life gives you along the way.”

When you know what you want, you automatically focus your full attention on them — if you want it bad enough.

Stop talking about building a better future and start doing it. Release it to the world. Didn’t go so well in the past? Try again. You’ll get better — failing to try one more time is your biggest obstacle.

Pay attention to how your actions today are working, tweak them based on what’s working for you, and experiment further — but eventually sticking to habits that give you the most results.

If everything you’ve done until now has not led you to what you expect for your future self, what can you do differently?

There will always be a gap between where you are and your ideal future.

But when you work backwards and choose your actions carefully in the present towards that goal, you will get there.

Think of ways you can make improvements every day. Every decision gets you closer to either your best future self or worse self.

“The experience of taking control of your life will change your reality, making it possible to achieve almost anything you seriously want to do..,” says Dr Bernard Roth, the author of The Achievement Habit”.

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