Are your decisions based on your present or your future?

Posted: September 23, 2013 in Finances, Leadership, Success
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I had a chance to hear Claude Hamilton talk in Kitchener yesterday, and part of what he said was so profound that I have to share my interpretation of it. Understanding the concept I’m about to share can drastically change your life.

There are three time frames to consider: your past, the present, and your future.

The first thing to consider is where you are in life right now. How much money do you have, or how much debt are you in? How much of your time do you own, and how much is owned by others? To explain that last part, take my situation for example; I’ve sold 40 hours a week of my time to my employer (if you don’t count lunch breaks and travelling) for a certain amount of money – this means he owns that time and not me. How many friends do you have, and how good of a friend are they? How fit are you health-wise?

The answers  to those questions is simply the way things are right now in the present. You can’t change the present. Everyone is where they are in life because of what they did in the past. You can’t change anything in your past to make anything different today.

Since you are where you are because of past decisions, you need to start making decisions with a different level of thinking if you hope to change anything. If you are worse off today than you were in the past, then to not change your thinking means your life will actually get harder.

Would it be safe to say that most people want a better future? The problem is that instead of making decisions based on where they want to be in the future, they make it based on what they got from their past; in other words based on where they are today.

If you make a decision based on where you are at now, your future will become your present.

A perfect example of this would be with finances. LIFE Leadership recently its Financial Fitness pack, but this pack actually costs money; that’s right they are not spending money to give it to people for free! Shame on them right??? Well if someone is deeply in debt, and doesn’t know how he got there or what to do about it, doesn’t it make sense they should probably get some better information to help them even if it costs something upfront?? If that person just focuses on the price of the product and how they don’t have the money for it, what are the chances that their future will change? What are the chances it will get worse?

What if that person instead made a decision based on their future? If they were to decide that in the future they want to be debt free, and knew that this could do that, they would not think of the cost today, but the gains in the future. It wouldn’t matter that they couldn’t afford it now, since they would realize they can’t afford NOT to get it.

When you make a decision based on where you want to go, you will look not just at the cost – but the opportunity cost. Good business will do this by going into debt to start up, or to upgrade their tools or machinery. They understand that it will pay off in the end. In the case of the Finance pack, an individual might see that although the pack costs $100, they could gain that back in the first month, and actually have an extra $100 (or more) in their pocket every month after that if they applied the information. This is what happened with me! My opportunity cost has been a surplus of at least $70 to $100 a month since I first went through the financial information found in that pack – meaning I have that much more every month because I based my purchase on where I wanted to go in the future.

I’m so Thankful to LIFE Leadership founder Claude Hamilton who helped put that pack together, and Joce Dionne for helping me develop the understanding of what these products can do for my future.

Another great example of this concept would be in terms of time. If you are super busy right now, and don’t have time to do anything, but want more time, it is very easy to make the wrong decision when opportunity comes knocking to get your time back. If someone has a way where you can spend an extra couple hours a week on a project that can give you an extra 40 hours a week in the near future, you might change your priorities a little bit and drop things of lesser importance. However, if you are not focused on where you want to go, you will only see the time available to you now – none – and turn down the opportunity for a better future.

The future is where you need to place your focus on, for any decision you make in life. Having a vision of where you want to be is so important because it is what allows you to make decisions based on that instead of where you are now.

I believe this is also just as important for those of you who are comfortable with how things are right now; in some cases even more important. I believe my main problem lately has been not focusing enough on my future. I’m too comfortable where I am now, and you can’t change what you are comfortable with. I realized this again the other day as I was going though my top 100 list with a friend; I haven’t looked at it and focused on it enough lately to make my present uncomfortable enough to change as much as I need to.

As Orrin Woodward says, you either hate changing enough to lose, or hate losing enough to change.

Being too comfortable can let the good get in the way of the great.

Comments
  1. Thanks for the recap…wish I was there.

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