Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Your Future Is Looking Right Back At You

If you could predict the future, you'd be making all the right decisions now.

"Yea...if only it was that easy. Predict the future? Hah! What are you smoking dude?!"

Well, I can promise you that the only thing I'm smoking is freedom. I'm going to take it a step further and say that all of us have this 'crystal ball' that we just refuse to look into.

Ok, I swear I'm not drunk as I'm typing this.

When we talk about predicting the future, we all wish that some sort of fairy godmother came down to earth, waved a few strokes of the wand and...BAM! we see our lives play out in a holographic mirage that flickers in a curtain of glitter.

Now I'm going to tell you that it is true.

Minus the glitter. Minus the wand. Heck, minus the fairy godmother.

Look around you.

I see elderly folks working at your local McDonald's - frantically clearing tables and tolerating the cusses from hasty teenagers. Take a trip down to your local gas station and you'll see elderly folks cleaning windscreens and pumping gas into vehicles that arrive in a rhythmic manner.

Don't get me wrong. These are honest...honest jobs and I respect these folks more than some white-collar folks in their suits, perched on the ledge of their ivory towers.

I remember talking to a bus attendant who looked very disheveled, obviously overweight and had the gait of a mechanical drone. But when he spoke, you'd pause and listen because he spoke with perfect intonation and grammar. Obviously he is an educated man who definitely held a good white-collar job in his prime.

Later I'd find out that he used to work in logistics - a fleet manager.

What went wrong? He candidly shared about the things he did, the wrong choices he made and the small mistakes that he allowed to compound over the period of his life.

Look around you.

It's not all doom and gloom.

I've seen parents who sacrificed everything to raise kids on a meagre income. Over time, their sacrifices paid off. They made the right decisions - small ones, compounded over time. Today both of their kids are university graduates. One of them is pursuing her doctorate.

The other one, is me.

Look around you.

In my line of work, I've had the privilege to talk to successful business owners. One of them owns a chain of retail stores. He shared about how he struggled in the entrepreneurial arena, succeeding and failing many times before he made success a permanent feature in his life.

He recalled sharing a cup of Starbucks with his wife in his early days because they could not afford a cup each. His savings paid off by giving him the capital to open his first bakery.

The rest is history.

Look around you.

Everyone out there holds a key to your future.

Look at them as more than just a cleaner in McDonald's, a janitor or a successful businessperson.

They are, in fact years of decisions and experiences - condensed in a crinkly bag of skin and flesh.

People often talk about prophecy, predictions and forecasts. But we fail to realize that our future is looking right back at us, through the lives of others.

Somehow, we just do not act on it.

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  1. In other words don't be surprised with the results you get later in life based on the decisions you make today.

    People forget that every decision you make today has a ripple effect for the rest of your life. Its the compound effect in action. Its with us in everything that we do, not just our finances.

    Its either working for us or against. And it impacts our health, our relationships, our business, our careers, our personal development, and of course our finances.

    1. Exactly! I've found another slight edge fan out there.


  2. Hi Josh,

    Another great article! (I found your blog via 1500days.)

    From your pictures I assume you live in Singapore. A great city I had the please to visit already three times for several weeks due to work.

    Please keep up the great work,

    1. Hi Thomas, I'm sorry your comment wasn't published. Somehow it went into the spam folder.

      And yes, you do have pretty good observational skills :) Thanks for the kind words.


  3. Yes sir. My favorite book of all time.

    By the way I just nominated you for the Liebster blog award. You can find out the details here: