“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
You are sitting here today reading this piece due to each and every experience you have had in the past that has led you to this very moment. All the good, bad, boring, exciting, highs, and lows of your life have brought you here. Pretty amazing in a way when you really dig in and think about it right?
But this way of thinking, this association with your identity can become a crutch and something that massively holds you back.
“Causal determinism” is the idea that whatever happens now is directly caused by a past event or condition.
The human mind is like Velcro for negativity and like Teflon for positivity.
We tend to hold on and remember that one cutting comment by a stranger on social media rather than the many positives things that have happened in the week.
Our past traumas and negative experiences can easily stick around and linger and begin to alter our belief systems of ourselves and the world around us.
Confirmation bias begins to grow and increase all around us. And the negative, dwelling, ruminating, fearful experiences, and people appear more often. We start to attract and welcome them in.
In this article, I am going to help you reframe parts of your belief system and to try and get you behaving and making choices today NOT based on your past self, but rather, your future ROCK STAR self!
Often, we make our choices in life due to these past experiences as this is all we really know.
I would like to challenge that way of thinking today.
I want you to begin to be ruled by and given the guidance from your future self that you see, and feel will be the success you want.
This future self can handle things well, with a mature and balanced mind, and make strong and sound choices.
This future self has a determined and champion mindset, whether in sport or life.
This future self is kind, compassionate, strong, empathetic, flexible, and a success.
Not necessarily a success in the modern way that is usually defined by the trappings of wealth, and status, and material objects.
But a deeper and more wholesome and lasting success based on attitudes and belief systems.
A future self that is a solid and reliable citizen of the world.
A future self that can handle conflict, stress, anxiety, self-doubt, fear, and negativity in a healthy way.
A future self that has success and is ALWAYS winning no matter the outcome or what the results say.
Personality isn’t permanent. It should be in flux. It should be being shaped and moulded towards the future self that exhibits all the above behaviours and philosophies.
Here’s a world-renowned author and keynote speaker Allistair McCaw sharing insights into the optimal attitude for success:
Olympian Cath Bishop sharing her thoughts in this video about identity and self-worth:
The 80:20 rule
I want you to start to think about the 80:20 rule in your life for your choices and decisions in the current moment.
Past experiences are valuable and useful. You should not ignore them and shut them off. They have got you this far, so there is some use in them.
But, I propose that you use 20% of your previous self, your past experiences to help you in this moment.
80% of you right now needs to be pointing to and aligned with your awesome future self.
The future self you see being the person you know you want to become.
You need to learn, and learn quickly.
Why would you want to make the same mistakes again and again? It was Einstein who said:
“The definition of insanity is performing the same behaviour again and again and expecting a different result”
You should borrow from the past but not be dictated to by the past.
Adopt the attitude that everything is life is happening FOR you, rather than TO you.
Too many people believe that all the hardships and difficulties in life are happening to them and begin to cultivate a victim mentality.
“Typical, this always happens to me!”
“Oh, there I go again”
“I just knew this was going to happen”
“I just can’t get a break”
But the best out there do not allow this to happen.
The best have a growth mindset.
The best use the Stoic maxim of amor fati.
The best believe that suffering and loss is not only inevitable but also a necessary part of life.
The best use experiences to add yet another layer of amour to their suit.
Amanda Sobhy has a tattoo on her arm saying, “I can do hard things.”
This is to remind her that she has got through hardships in the past, and that she can rinse and repeat the same when they come knocking on her door.
The best are proud of their scars, their failures, their shortcomings.
The best often wear them as badges of honour.
As these failures have been taken back to the workshop, beaten and hammered upon, shaped and moulded, manufactured, and now brought back into the world and used in a forward facing and productive way.
Can you begin to do the same?
The vision and coaching from your future self will allow this to happen.
To not be dragged down and associated with the past shortcomings or experiences. But rather, to use your future self to talk, coach, motivate, reframe, calm, settle, push, drive and ultimately WIN the current moment when you may have to make some pretty darn hard choices.
Choices not just about sport, but life also.
This toolkit can and should be used in all areas.
Did you know that during a flight, the on-board computer system of an aeroplane must make millions of tiny adjustments to keep the plane on course to reach its destination?
It is constantly analysing the data about how and where it needs to go, aware of when turbulences, air streams, wind friction, fuel levels, and temperature changes are taking it off course.
It then corrects itself, rights the ship so to speak, and points its nose where it is trying to go.
We need to think about our mind, our inner voice, our view of the current situation, the same as this on-board computer system.
Constantly adjusting, taking on board the ever-changing environment, being flexible and adaptable, “being like water” as Bruce Lee says. And ultimately being clear and focused on our end goal and our destination.
If a plane takes off from LA going to NY and the pilot alters its course by a merge 3.5 degrees south, the plane will end up in Washington!
A tiny, inconsequence change leads the plane onto the wrong fight path that makes a surmountable 240 miles difference by the end of the flight.
Are you a few degrees out with your initial direction?
Are you aware of course corrections?
What choices, behaviours, and attitudes today are leading you towards or away from your future self?
“A slight change in your daily habits can guide your life to a very different destination. Making a choice that is 1 percent better or 1 percent worse seems insignificant in the moment, but over the span of moments that make up a lifetime these choices determine the difference between who you are and who you could be. Success is the product of daily habits — not once-in-a-lifetime transformations”
– James Clear
Your future self is built, not discovered. It is something you create through actions and behaviours.
With a deep sense of purpose, you start acting and doing today based on the vision of your goals tomorrow; your future self.
When you’re driven by purpose, you’ll be highly flexible, and you’ll make decisions irrespective of pain and pleasure to create and become what you want.
You will be less impulsive and reactive. Rather, having and working off a blueprint of future-defined success.
Moreover, if you are serious about your purpose, it will change who you are today for the better.
Your purpose isn’t something you discover, but something you ultimately choose for yourself.
Stop looking for it and make the choice, then let the choice transform you.
As you proactively make positive decisions, develop skills, and seek out new experiences, your personality will develop and change in meaningful ways.
It will adapt to the level of your goals and decisions, rather than the other way around.
There is no such thing as a perfect system. Being perfect is a flawed way of thinking. But a system that is built around a purpose can become unstoppable.
What is your purpose?
The most successful people in the world know that true and deep work is about helping and creating value for other people.
“If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset (“what can the world offer me?”) and instead adopt the craftsman mindset (“what can I offer the world?”).” – Cal Newport
In summary, can you become who you need to become in order to reach your goal?
The answer should be a resounding YES after reading the above.
“You become who you want to become by leading the life of the person you want to be” – Dr. Benjamin Hardy
To change your past, you need to become more psychologically flexible.
Psychological flexibility is the skill of being fluid and adaptive, holding your emotions loosely, and moving toward your goals.
The more flexible you become, the less you’ll be overwhelmed or stopped by emotions.
Instead, you’ll embrace and learn from them.
I was sent the below by a friend of mine, try and let it sink in after a few times of reading:
– Heighten your awareness of your mindset and inner voice. Is life happening FOR you or rather TO you? Keep this to hand and remind yourself of it often.
– Change the record. Just because things have been this way in the past does not mean they have to be this way in the future. Stop being the victim of your situation and take the reins and be clear what and how your future self is helping you in these tough moments.
– Think about what real success looks like for you. You can of course look at success as winning, gaining status, bank balances, and getting trophies and titles along the way. But all these things are not fully within your control. It is fine to think about and look at winning but dig a little deeper and define success as something that you have full control over and that will also add positive layers to you as a person of the world.
– Reframe the situation. Try and not allow the negative thoughts to come in and take a hold of you. There is always a choice you can make and always a more positive route that can be walked. With a growth mindset you can take on any tough, challenging, or negative situation and turn it into a positive learning experience. Even if the outcome falls short of what you want.
– Reflect. Take time to journal. Go for mindful walks with no distractions. Sit and have a quiet mind. You will discover some pretty cool and profound things in these moments. We are all so busy and live in this modern world of constant distractions and fill our minds and eyes with things endlessly. Finding quiet spaces and times to reflect and hone your future self, to course correct, to make the 1% gains, is a superpower that not many practice. Think deep and true about your purpose!
– Make it a habit. Having just a burst of inspiration and becoming more aware and purposeful is great. This can help. It can fundamentally shift you. But what is more powerful is the habit of doing this on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis. Stack these habits up to access the power of compound interest. Your results will be incredible!
– Find and do something greater than yourself. Give back. Stop and help someone. Talk to a stranger that may look lonely. Go and seek out a place you can offer a service. Be open and welcoming to the world. Leave money with the cashier for the next person in the line at the coffee shop without telling them. Do things that will give you no reward or benefit besides the feeling and knowledge that you have been a slightly better citizen than you were the day before. This is proven to have a large ripple effect in the world and a powerful unseen force at play that we could all do a little better of trying to fulfil.
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