Where are you headed in life? Do you know what it will take to get you there?
At some point in our lives, most of us will come to terms with where we want to be in the future. In fact, it may happen several times for some. When we are young, retirement is so far away few of us give it much thought. Unless you are one of the rare conscientious individuals who think and plan 40 years out, it is not a concern until you are older. The more immediate concern is where you intend to be in the next few years.
Are you happy with where you are or are you the ambitious type who is eyeing the next promotion and the better lifestyle it can afford? Regardless of whether you are happy where you are with what you have, or you want more, more, more, it is wise to consider where you hope to be and what you hope to be doing in one, five, ten, and twenty or more years into the future.
You don't want to wind up as one of those who never gave it thought until something happens, do you? A little planning now can save you major regret in the future. As one of our nation's founding fathers said:
"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Why not plan to plan now, rather than when it is too late?
Where is your aim?
Where is your current aim? You are aiming at something in the future, aren't you? Why not fix your aim on something you wish to achieve within a reasonable timeframe. Where do you want to wind up in the next few years? Or you can ask, "Where do I want to be and what do I want to be doing in the next few years."
Without something to aim at, how can you know where you will wind up? Why leave it to chance? Why not pick a target, even if it seems impossible at this time? What do you have to lose? By aiming for something, you will at least move in that direction rather than allow your whims or the wind to carry you wherever it may. As the famous author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland wrote many years ago:
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
Why not have an idea of where you are going? I don't know about you, but I would rather be on the road to somewhere, even if I wind up lost, rather than not caring and being who knows where. Being lost on the road is a temporary condition, while not caring is more permanent and not in a good way!
A major reason 64% of Americans will retire broke is their lack of discipline and failure to think ahead. This lack of thinking ahead can carry serious consequences. Do you want to be in that group of nearly two out of every three people? You can allow that to happen to you, or you can choose something else if you wish.
The simple truth and how to take destiny into your own hands
There is a solution to this lack of forethought, but it requires a little effort. That effort is working on yourself. What better investment could you make in life than to work on who you are and who you are becoming? When you work on yourself, even the slightest improvement pays dividends for the remainder of your life. What's not to like about that!
Let's look back more than a century for the time-tested, proven answer to taking our destiny into our own hands. One of the founding fathers of the modern personal development movement, and the founder of Success Magazine in 1897, said:
"Our destiny changes with our thought; we shall become what we wish to become, do what we wish to do, when our habitual thought corresponds with our desire." Orison Swett Marden (1848-1924)
It all begins with your thoughts. Not the thoughts of someone else. Not thoughtlessness. But with your personal thoughts.
From where do your thoughts come? Thoughts come from what you feed your mind and from what you do and who you are becoming. From reading, taking time to think, and journaling. From your dreams and desires and those closest to you. These thoughts become a reality when your habitual thoughts are consistent with your desires.
So yes, your destiny is determined first and foremost by your thoughts. That means no one else is responsible for the outcome you achieve but the person you look at in the mirror each day.
It is up to us to think about what we want in our future and do the planning to aim our actions in the right direction.
Take the earlier quote from Lewis Carroll seriously. Look at its inverse for the answer to obtaining your destiny. In other words, instead of "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." Change it to:
"If you know where you are going, get on the road that takes you there."
For example, let's take a big desire you may one day have. Say your aim is to retire in Miami, Florida, and you currently live in New York City, work to align your habitual thought with your desire to move there. By planning and doing the right things, you may wind up moving there one day. But if you do no planning resulting in no action, who knows where you will be!
By the way, it is your life, so you get to set the desire for which you wish to aim. It can be a big target like retiring in Miami or anywhere else you wish to retire, or it could be that next step in your career. The main thing is to give it some thought and do something!
Is it that simple to aim for your desire, just by giving it thought? Yes. Will you need to be disciplined and thoughtful and take the right action to make it happen? Yes. Is it possible you could pull it off? Absolutely. All you have to do is start and follow through!