Truth #1: Your future drives your present
Goals create the constraints that guide us. Flow most easily occurs as you break big goals down to their smallest chunk. If you’re a football team, rather than overly focusing on the goal to win the game, you simplify the focus to the set of downs, and even to the specific play. Rather than trying to win the game, you try to get the touchdown, or the next first down. That’s the mile marker.
Focus on the goal right in front of you, and do that again and again, knowing these are the critical steps to the overarching goal of winning the game, and then the championship.
If you’re a writer, rather than focusing on the completion of the whole book, you simplify the goal to a single chapter, a single illustration, a single page, a single paragraph.
Truth #2: Your Future Self is different than you expect
The promise of change empowers you to give grace to your current self. You can make mistakes. It’s okay that you don’t have all the answers. It’s okay if you’re a bit disorganized and camped in the messy middle. Things will change. If you’re committed to a certain change or outcome, then you will figure it out.
Albert Einstein correctly said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
When you appreciate that your Future Self will be a totally different person than you are today, then you free yourself of needing to be perfect or finished now.
Your current self is radically temporary and fleeting.
You’ll even be different tomorrow.
Truth #3: Your Future Self is the Pied Piper
Small investments lead to bigger investments.
The more you invest, the more those investments compound.
Investing gets you committed.
Investing gets you results.
Investing is how you proactively upgrade your vision and goals. As you invest in yourself, you increase your commitment to a bigger vision. This change in commitment simultaneously alters your identity, since your identity is what you’re most committed to.
You can pay yourself now or put your Future Self in debt.
Either way, the Piper will be paid.
Start investing now. Then, make bigger and bigger investments.
Truth #4: The more vivid and detailed your Future Self, the faster you’ll progress
Effective progress comes with a combination of measurable metrics, a vivid vision of your Future Self, and clear mile markers. Without these elements, people wander.
The Japanese skateboarder Yuto Horigome is a great example of following a detailed and measurable Future Self. From 2017–2021, Yuto went from an average pro skater to the top ranked skater in the world.
Yuto succeeded because he created with extreme detail and craftsmanship. Not only did he see himself becoming the best in the world, but he invented the most technical, challenging, and beautiful performance seen on a skateboard.
His goal shaped his process. And he committed to that process until he won Olympic Gold.
Truth #5: Failing as your Future Self is better than succeeding as your current self
Commitment to Future Self means investing in loss or failure here and now to accelerate progress. The more willing you are to invest in momentary loss and pain directed at a goal, the faster you’ll adapt to the level of your Future Self.
If you want to become your desired Future Self, play at their level as quickly as possible. Commit at the level of your Future Self. Adapt at the level of your Future Self. Your current self is clearly not there yet, and will therefore need serious training, humility, and feedback.
People naturally avoid investing in loss. It’s comfortable doing something you can already do. Winning feels good. But if you want to aggressively become your Future Self, then investing in loss is how you get there.
Truth #6: Success is achieved by being true to your Future Self, nothing else
Many people appear to be successful, but are actually living a pseudo-version of the life they’d really like to be living. Even Richard Branson couldn’t be considered successful if he wasn’t actually doing what he truly wanted.
The same can be said of the person living a quiet simple life, that doesn’t have fame, money, prestige, or any of the things we often consider as success. If that person is living the life they truly want to live, then they are absolutely successful.
External factors are absolutely not what determines if a person is successful or not. Only that a person lives in alignment with their own aims.
Truth #7: Your view of God impacts your Future Self
Every person has the inherent capacity to become like God. This life is a small step in our evolution. Infinity extends behind us and infinity stretches before us. A person’s trajectory is far more powerful and real than their current self.
Inherent in this perspective is the belief that we chose to engage in this earthly experience as an important step in our own evolution. We saw our Future Selves in this experience. If we continue evolving, it will be because we choose to do so. Although the children of God, God gives us the freedom to decide what and who we become. There is no force or coercion. To quote the 1805 hymn, first published by Elias Smith and Abner Jones, the original author is unknown:
Know this, that ev’ry soul is free
To choose his life and what he’ll be;
For this eternal truth is giv’n:
That God will force no man to heav’n.
He’ll call, persuade, direct aright,
And bless with wisdom, love, and light,
In nameless ways be good and kind,
But never force the human mind.
God loves and respects us irrespective of what we choose.
Step #1: Clarify your contextual purpose
Who is your Future Self at your next level?
Can you give your Future Self context and make your vision vivid, detailed, and personal to you?
What three priorities of focus are absolutely most crucial and essential for you right now? Do your three priorities embody the purpose you feel is most important for you to fulfill? Do these three priorities resonate deeply and excite you?
Step #2: Eliminate lesser goals
Is this taking me toward my objective?
Is this the most effective thing I can do? If the answer is “No,” then refocus on your vision. When you slip and pursue a lesser goal, quickly recommit to your vision.
The French writer and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said,
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Step #3: Elevate from needing to wanting to knowing
Accept and know that what you want is yours, and you can be and do from your goal, rather than to your goal. You know you’ve already succeeded, and act from the position and mindset of your Future Self. Because you’re acting from the goal, rather than toward the goal, your actions are far more powerful and aligned.
Your actions come from your identity. When your identity is rooted in current commitments, rather than your Future Self, your actions are weak and unaligned with your goal. The only way to realize your Future Self is to be your Future Self now.
Be, then do, then have.
Step #4: Ask for exactly what you want
When you ask, the doors open.
Often, we’re afraid to ask for exactly what we want because we don’t think we can get it. So, we lower what we ask for, and receive at the level of our internal acceptance.
You get in life what you ask for. Sometimes, you’ve got to be persistent in your asking.
And as you evolve, you’ll want better things. You’ll hone your clarity about your Future Self. And you’ll ask for more specific things that better align with your ever-greater Future Self.
Step #5: Automate and systemize your Future Self
Little distractions or inputs can infect or alter your entire life. The Butterfly Effect is an economic principle explaining that small and imperceptible influences can compound and massively change the overall system.
Introducing small changes into your system can have a dramatic effect. Refining your system to automate your desired results and block noise and decision fatigue is essential to flow and high performance.
It’s crucial to note that even the best system will quickly become outdated. As you evolve and grow, your goals and situation will change. As your vision expands and your commitment to better results increases, you’ll improve your system.
Step #6: Schedule your Future Self
Once you commit to your Future Self, you’ll be required to be courageous. Choosing freedom over security is an act of courage.
Are there risks?
Every time you choose your Future Self over your current self, there is risk. But being your Future Self now and doing what your Future Self would do immediately creates results beyond anything you’ve done before.
Yes, with deliberate practice comes failure.
Yes, being in the arena can lead to battle scars.
It’s better to fail at the level of your Future Self than succeed as your current self.
Once you’ve clarified your three priorities, it’s time to live them.
Own your time.
Step #7: Aggressively complete imperfect work
Perfectionism leads to procrastination. “Eighty percent gets results.”
When we put a man on the moon, we didn’t have anything near the technology and science we have now. We innovated until we had the tools to get us on the moon. There’s no way we’d use the same tools now we used back then.
Prolific is better than perfect.
The more you make completion a way of life, the more you become your Future Self.
Eighty percent to your current self is beyond anything your former self could ever do.
Eighty percent to your Future Self will be beyond anything your current self could do.
Confidence comes from completion.
Completion requires commitment.
Anyone can start, but few finish. The further you go, the less competition there will be. Most people succumbed to their lesser goals and gave up a long time ago.
Every step you take toward your Future Self puts you in rarer air.
Everything you complete teaches you something you’ll use for the next project.