I was reading an article by Peter Bregman titled “You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self” that made such a great point that I thought I would share it with you. Of course, I will modify and add stuff to make it appear as though I have additional enlightening input.
The article essentially states that we are all so busy working in the moment and on what is on our minds, that we tend to ignore what and where we want to be. We stay busy all day without really being productive. He states, “It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination.” To be productive we must ask who we want to be and where do we want to go. These are the questions that determine true growth.
You must spend time on what you want to become. You must spend time getting to where you want to be. You need to spend time on the future even when there are very important things to do in the present. Spend time on your future even when there doesn’t seem to be any return for your efforts. “ … if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.”
You may wind up with emails left to answer, phone calls not returned, grass left uncut and a carried over to-do list, however, you will be closer to who and where you want to be.
I have written before on the value of procrastination. I have stated that procrastination is good because it allows things to get done so we can avoid others. Not just putting things off but delaying them and doing other more pleasant tasks in preparation for the unpleasant ones.
Bregman is not speaking about this procrastination technique of which I am so fond. He is not speaking about procrastination at all. He is talking about a deliberate and focused approach to becoming your desired future self. You should have a scheduled, focused, and unwavering commitment to your future self.
I guess that it what Buddha meant when he said something like, “You become what you think about.” I believe this to be true. Most present business gurus say the same thing in their own way. Bregman is stating this in a wonderfully clear way. Spend time thinking about and becoming your future self.
I have been following this advice before it showed up. I want to become a very good poker player. I think about poker strategy all the time. I read articles and books about poker. I play poker almost daily. I let other things go undone to be “my future self as a great poker player” all the time.
I thank Bregman for providing me with a Harvard Business Review article that describes and encourages what I normally do. I now have my justification, reason and excuse for the long undone list that my wife, Ruth, carries around. Remember that he said something about doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive. I have newfound enthusiasm for my poker game. I can ignore that I am not good at poker since I am investing in my future self.
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