Defining Your Own Future – Insights from the Wilderness #105

Defining Your Own FutureHumanity’s Future Is A Mystery, But Your Goals Shouldn’t Be

Philosopher Ken Wilber says the future for our human species is an unknowable mystery. Our ability to see into the future is both finite and limited. It’s as if we are riding on a train that is taking us headlong into the future and we are frantically laying down the tracks as we go.

It’s no wonder there is so much confusion and uncertainty about where we want the tracks to take us as a species. The “human committee” making the decisions on where to lay the tracks has roughly seven billion members globally, and every member on the committee not only has a different idea about where we should be going, they also have different opinions about how best to get to the future they are each envisioning.

This disorganized growth process can often leave us as a species feeling frustrated and anxious as we struggle to make sense of our chaotic world.

When a diverse global species is attempting to determine its future, laying down the tracks can be a very complicated process.

Defining Your Own Future: Your Two Basic Choices

Defining your own personal future, and your own individual goals, however, is a very different process. When it comes to individual goals, the future is far more predictable. The committee making the decision only has one person with the power to vote—–you!

But know this simple truth. You have only two choices.

You will either live the life you were born to live; the life of your dreams; a life big enough for your soul, or you will live inside the boundaries of a limited and confined life that someone else chooses “for” you.

The Process

Once you have a clearly defined goal or vision of the life you want to live and where you want to go, a goal that reflects your heart’s true life passion, you can immediately begin laying down the tracks that will eventually get you to your goal——-even if the goal is years into the future. If you need to change direction from time to time, the decision to do so is yours.

The goal should be written down with as much detail as you can envision. The more specific you are, the more clarity you will have about where to lay down the tracks. Because those tracks are taking you into the future, each step toward your goal will need to be carefully spelled out, and each step will need to be achievable.

Once your detailed plan is down on paper, hang it on your bathroom mirror, roll up your sleeves, and lay down your first rail. You are now on your journey toward the future.

Always keep your primary attention focused on accomplishing the next step in your plan—laying down the next rail.

Don’t worry about step #231, you can deal with that rail when you get there. It you look too far into the future you’ll get discouraged.

Two Warnings

Warning #1 – Life will derail you! Count on it. When life gets in the way of your goals, getting back on track (pun intended) will be very simple if you have each step of your plan written down. Simply pull out your plan, dust it off, and take the next step. If you didn’t write your plan down on paper, there is a very good chance that you will awaken one day to the reality that “life” has been “distracting” you for “years”.

Warning #2 – The more intelligent and creative you are, the more easily shiny objects will distract you. If you are bright and have an intelligent mind, you will discover that there are many “shiny objects” that will pull your attention away from your plans and goals.  Count on it!

But again, when the “shiny objects” distract you from your goals, getting back on track (pun intended again) will be very simple if you have each step of your plan written down.


If you follow the guidelines I’ve listed above, regardless of the number of  “steps” in your plan, the day will come when you look up from the path you have been traveling to discover that you have arrived at the goal you set for yourself so long ago. You will be amazed at how simple yet powerful this technique of one step, or rail, at a time was in moving you toward your passion; your future; your dream.

And you will be amazed at how quickly the time has passed. What once felt like an impossible goal, a goal that would take years to achieve, will feel like the time was no more than the blink of an eye.

That day that you will know that you are living the life that you dreamed about living so many years earlier. You will be living your heart’s passion.

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