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Planning Your Future Is Pointless. The How And Why Of Embracing Uncertainty

Becoming trustworthy

You can learn to be trustworthy by showing up on time, doing your best every time, being honest, admitting mistakes and finding solutions for fixing them, meeting deadlines, and being a good person overall.

You’ll build a reputation this way and people will recommend you to others, which is the best way to get a job or investor.

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Planning Your Future Is Pointless. The How And Why Of Embracing Uncertainty

Planning Your Future Is Pointless. The How And Why Of Embracing Uncertainty

https://www.fastcompany.com/3030866/planning-your-future-is-pointless-the-how-and-why-of-embracing-uncert

fastcompany.com

6

Key Ideas

You can’t figure out the future

Life doesn’t really go according to plan; yes, some people will do exactly what they set out to do, but you never know if you’re one of those.

So if you can’t control the future, focus on what you can do right now that will help you no matter how the future looks like: learn skills, go on adventures, make friends. These things will help in any future.

Getting comfortable with discomfort

The best things in life will most likely be hard, and if you spend your life avoiding discomfort, you’ll miss out.

One of the most important skills you can develop is being okay with a degree of discomfort. If you get good at this, you can do anything.

Thriving in uncertainty

If you can accept uncertainty, you’ll be open to many more opportunities.

If you’re afraid of uncertainty, you’ll skip starting a business, for example. You can’t really know for sure how things will turn out, and so if you have this need to control the outcome, you’ll avoid great opportunities.

Learn about your mind

Fear controls us and most of us don't realize it. Changing mental habits is difficult because we are not always aware of what’s going on in our heads.

Learn about how your mind works, and you’ll be much better at all of this.

Making people believe in you

You have to be able to make people believe in you enough to hire you or buy your products/service, which means you have to figure out why you’re worthy of someone believing in you.

And you have to learn to communicate that to people so they’ll want to buy or hire you.

Becoming trustworthy

You can learn to be trustworthy by showing up on time, doing your best every time, being honest, admitting mistakes and finding solutions for fixing them, meeting deadlines, and being a good person overall.

You’ll build a reputation this way and people will recommend you to others, which is the best way to get a job or investor.

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Today's uncertainties

The technology and the Internet are making the world evolve at a dizzying rate. The time to live quietly, without changes and having everything under control at all times, is over.

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Tips for dealing with uncertainty

  • Clarify your goals and objectives, what is really important to you and what is optional. 
  • Create a map.  You need a system that allows you to maneuver when you lose perspective.
  • Go towards uncertainty. Take the first step and you’ll see that the limits of the unknown become narrower.
  • Focus on what you can control in the short term. Do not obsess over what might happen in the future or you will be foolishly paralyzed.
  • Be open to surprises. It will allow you to learn and experience things that you have not even dreamed of.
  • Accept the risks
  • Be curious. Observe, read, question, learn, do not take anything for granted.
  • Be brave. The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

John Green, Looking for Alaska

“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia.”

John Green, Looking for Alaska

We use our memories to imagine the future

We predict what the future will look like by using our memories. This is how actions we do repeatedly become routine. For example, you have an ideas of what your day will look like at work tomorrow based on what your day was like today, and all the other days you’ve spent working.

But memory also helps people predict what it will be like to do things they haven’t done before.

Past and future for amnesia patients

An evidence that memory and imagining the future might go hand in hand comes from research related to amnesia patients. Studies show that when they lose their pasts, it seems they lose their futures as well.

Functional MRI scans made possible for researchers to discover that many of the same brain structures are involved in both remembering and forecasting.

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“Few things are sadder than encountering a person who knows exactly what he should do, yet cannot muster enough en..."

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Intense focus

It happens only when:

  • You define your goals clearly 
  • You have the capacity to complete the tasks necessary to achieve them.

You can't blame technology

While endless scrolling on your phone is a symptom of the problem, it is not the root cause of why you find it hard to focus.

To learn how to focus, you must adopt new skills as well as understand the most common causes of distraction.

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