Historian or Futurist?

 

We seem to like history, especially our own history.

Our history was created through a series of events. We get comfortable telling that story. We have told that story many times. We keep telling that story. We like telling that story.

The pain, the struggle, the successes, the joy.

But those things happened in the past, they are not currently happening.

We keep telling that story.

We are the historian. We gather the crowd around us, and take them on the tour. We rehearsed the lines, know when to pause, and draw them in.

But the crowd eventually fades. The story is old. Tickets are unsold.

But there is something else.

Something different and new.

We can become a futurist.

The futurist tells a new story.

The futurist is setting new goals.

The futurist is moving forward.

The futurist understands past events, but not through a distorted lens of over-emphasis or limits.

The futurist embraces today while envisioning something better.

The futurist is creating.

The futurist is risking.

The futurist is living.

We have a choice to make: remain the historian, or become a futurist.

 

 

 

Cross-Examine the Narrator

That Narrator.

That voice.

The one who cuts you down.

The one who seems to have a job description to regularly review your faults and past failures and bring a case against you.

We can try to silence the Narrator, but simply recognizing and trying to ignore that voice is not always enough.

During a coaching session we talked about the Narrator, and how often it reminds us of faults or short-comings. And, how when we silence that voice in one area or approach, the Narrator seems to find another angle, another strategy, another way to try to disrupt us.

But there is another way.

Cross-Examine the Narrator.

Instead of just taking in these words, these accusations, maybe it is time for us to examine the evidence, and take issue with these old approaches and rehashing of past failures.

Maybe it is time we put the Narrator on the stand after each statement or accusation that is leveled against us.

“Well you are not very consistent, if you were, you would be more successful. Look at the time you have wasted, and where you could be today.”

Hold on a second, now it is my turn and in my best pretend courtroomy lawyerly voice.

“I may not always be consistent, but part of my behavioral style allows me to be flexible and move quickly which is a strong quality. And as far as success, I am successful and here are the areas that I have had great success. [list of the evidence]”

“Yes, but…”

“So, you agree that I have had successes, but you keep insisting on bringing up old news, or old events. Your honor, I move to dismiss all charges.”

“I object!”

“Object all you want. You have no case. You have no relevant facts, and your accusations are groundless and are more of a distraction. Case dismissed!”

Don’t let the Narrator’s voice go unchallenged.

Speak up and Cross-Examine the Narrator.

Present the evidence.

Be tough on that voice that has been tough on you.

Dismiss the case against you.

Move forward and be free.

Disqualified

 

Disqualified

You were not good at math. You were easily distracted. You got an F. You got more than one F. You lost your temper. You messed up. You lost the account. You didn’t get into college. You didn’t tell the whole story. You said the wrong thing. You didn’t lose the weight. You were a bad friend. You got fired. You spoiled the party. You quit the team. You stopped calling. You didn’t get science. You made the mistake. You struggled with[insert name here].

Sometimes events make us draw conclusions. We were not good at math therefore we will never be good at math. We spoiled the party, therefore we will always spoil the party, so we should not be invited. We quit the team, therefore we are a quitter. We struggle with a pattern of behavior, therefore we will never overcome.

But worse than giving up, we become disqualified.

Disqualified is when the past is allowed to remove you from future opportunities, growth, or development.

Disqualified is a limitation on our potential.

Disqualified is keeping us from making a difference.

Disqualified is when struggles keep you from helping others.

Disqualified is a lifetime ban.

But, maybe there is no Disqualified status.

Maybe we misunderstood the value of the journey, the struggle, and the failure.

Maybe the fact that we struggle, fail, quit, mess up, and lose are the very things that qualify us to make an impact.

Maybe others need to know that we struggle as well.

Maybe we can learn, grow, develop, and be.

Maybe the future is wide open.

Maybe we are qualified.

Moving Forward

 

Moving-Forward

(Image Courtesy of capreform.eu)

The other day I had the privilege of going for a run with my youngest brother and my youngest daughter. We don’t see him very often because we live so far away, and running gave us time to connect just the three of us.

We ran. We laughed. We joked. We connected.

The conversation moved to something that we had just passed by.

It was then my daughter provided a bit of wisdom.

“It is hard to look backwards when you are moving forward.”

A simple statement.

A profound idea.

Sometimes the past isn’t satisfied with not being the star of the show.

Our lives are in the second or third act, but that first act keeps walking back on stage, interrupting and inserting itself into the present.

She was right. 

It is hard to look backwards when you are moving forward.

Just think about what 2015 might be if we keep that in mind.