The best way to predict your future is to pay attention to where you’re headed.
– Andy Stanley
Want to know how to predict your future?
Sounds too good to be true, right?
It actually might not be.
Here’s what I mean…
Imagine for a minute you’re on a road trip.
When you start out on a road trip, you know where you’re going. You have your destination in mind.
But you end up getting lost along the way. You’re enjoying yourself and not paying attention, really, so it takes you a bit to realize you’re even lost.
Eventually, you figure it out.
You get new directions, and then you head in a different direction.
You get to your desired destination but it takes twice as long.
This isn’t hard to imagine, right?
We’ve all been there!
This analogy is really useful when thinking about where you’re currently headed in your life and where you actually want to go.
You may intend to get somewhere “someday” but may be headed in the completely wrong direction.
This is the life changing work that can help you know exactly how to predict your future to the best of your abilities.
Here’s what I mean…
If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — Direction Vs. Intention.
The Principle: Direction Leads To Intention
Andy Stanley just did a series on his personal development/Christian podcast, “Your Move” (which is amazing by the way) about intention and direction, and it was a total gamechanger for me.
What resonated with me most was how much this concept applies in every moment of our lives.
Meaning, the action you take today leads you in a direction, regardless of whether it aligns with your intentions.
In order to get a better sense of this, let’s take a look at the difference between direction and intention…
Understanding The Terms: Direction Vs. Intention
Here’s a look at the difference between “direction” and “intention.”
Direction is where you’re headed right now.
It’s the action you’re taking and the path you’re on.
Remember the road trip example from above? When you get into your car to go from one destination to the next, this is your direction. The turns and streets you take, ie. your path, is your direction. This path will lead you somewhere.
Since direction is where you’re actually headed, this means it’s different from where you intend to head. It’s simply the steps you’re taking right now that move you on a certain path.
Examples of direction in your daily life…
- How you spend your time today
- How you’re filling your calendar and with what
- Whether you’re working out
- What you eat
- Who you’re dating
- How you’re relating to people
- Whether you’re setting goals
- What you’re spending your money on
- Whether you’re saving money
- Whether you’re making money
The above examples are of actions that you’re taking that have everything to do with where you currently are and where you’re going.
Intention, on the other hand, has everything to do with where you desire to end up; your destination.
Your intention is what you desire for your future; where you want to end up “someday.”
When you share your plans with someone, the idea behind what you share would be your intention.
It would be where you’d say you’re headed and be your beliefs and vision about your life.
Examples of intention in your daily life…
- I plan to get out of debt
- I plan to get married
- I plan to have a good marriage
- I plan to only date really great guys
- I plan to build a business
- I plan to work less
- I plan to prioritize my relationships
- I plan to make a million dollars
- I plan to eat healthier
- I plan to get in a career I love
- I plan to lose weight
The above examples are of intentions that you have that have everything to do with the desire you have for your future.
Your plan for your future is your intention.
If you aren’t arriving at a place that you see for yourself, the problem may lie in your direction.
More specifically, your direction may not line up with your intentions.
The Problem: You May Not Be Headed In The Direction Of Your Intentions
You may be very clear on your intention and have a strong desire for it, but if you’re not taking action toward it (i.e.: if you’re not moving in that direction), you’re inevitably moving further away from it.
If the action you’re taking on a daily basis isn’t moving you toward your intentions, then you’re going in the wrong direction.
It’s the moment you might say, “oh yeah, I’m going to do that,” but instead move away from actually doing it.
If you say “I plan to get out of debt,” but continue to overspend and increase your credit card bill, you’re going the wrong way.
- Side note: listen to this podcast episode on Debt to see how to think about debt from abundance.
To complicate things, you may feel amazing with the actions you’re taking today.
When you feel great with your current actions, it can be hard to know if you’re heading in the right direction and very easy to overlook going the wrong way.
Examples of enjoying your actions but going in the wrong direction…
- If you want to meet someone seriously, but you’re spending all your nights and weekends partying.
- If you want to build a six figure business, but you spend all your free time traveling.
- If you want to prioritize your relationships, but you spend all your time working.
In the driving analogy, it takes some time when you’re lost to realize you’re lost.
You may actually enjoy what you’re doing right now and the direction you’re heading, but it may not be serving you at all.
Actions will ALWAYS create your results.
Remember thoughts.. cause feelings.. cause actions.. cause results. (If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, read this Mindset blog post.)
So the direction you’re heading in right now – the actions you’re taking today – will determine your results.
It doesn’t matter how much you intend and desire something for the future; if you’re not doing it right now, that’s not where you’re going to end up.
When you’re moving in the wrong direction, eventually there are consequences.
You will end up somewhere you don’t want to be.
It’s the equivalent to what happens when you’re distracted by your road trip playlist and end up 100 miles in the wrong direction.
You may have seen this scenario play out in other peoples lives.
They’re living in the wrong direction.
They may be happy but they’re missing their kids grow up, they’re missing their family or career.
Here’s an example of what this looks like…
- Intention: You want to build an online business and make six figures, working from home, on your own terms. (See my Online Business Resources page if you’re interested in this, by the way!)
- Direction: You spend all your time doing other things and avoiding your business. You’re planning trips with friends. You’re enrolled in lots of hobbies. You’re taking a bunch of exercise classes.
In this example, you have an intention but you’re headed in the wrong direction.
You may not realize this because it all feels really good and no one would fault you for living this balanced lifestyle.
But eventually, it will catch up to you because you’ll never get the result you want. You won’t end up where you intended.
For tips on how to stop being busy, be more productive, and have better time management, check out my free course, How To Stop Being Busy.
While there’s no “fix” to this problem, there is one way to solve it.
The Solution: You Have To Change Direction
You may find yourself with results you don’t want.
This is because you took action that led you in the wrong direction.
When you arrive somewhere that you didn’t expect to be, you can’t “fix” it.
You have to completely change direction.
It will take just as long to create new results as it did to create your current results.
You can’t leap across the country. You are in a car. It’s going to take some time to make the drive!
You’ll do exactly what you did to create your unintended result: create new directions and take a new path.
Your actions – the direction you’re headed – always lead you somewhere.
There isn’t a fast fix for this and you will need to have a completely new set of thoughts, feelings, and actions (for more on this, listen to this mindset hacks podcast.)
You will have to give up short term false pleasures aka “fun” but the result is long-term satisfaction.
Your direction in this very moment is determining your ultimate destination.
By getting clear on your direction, you’ll create your future with as much certainty as possible.
How To Create Your Future With As Much Certainty As Possible
You create your future (your results) through the action you take.
The action you take is based on what you believe right now.
Who you are being today leads to the results you’ll create in the future.
So, if you’re wondering how to predict your future with as much certainty as possible, take a look at the direction you’re headed in today.
Of course, tragedies happen and unforeseen circumstances arise, but that isn’t something you’ve created yourself and rarely is the issue of why people are headed in the wrong direction.
If you want to know what that future looks like, look at the direction you’re heading today.
And to figure out what direction you’re taking, ask yourself these fun questions.
Questions to ask yourself to get clear on your direction…
- What am I thinking?
- What do I believe?
- What am I saying out loud?
- How do I feel?
- What am I doing?
- Where is my focus?
These questions will help you to take inventory of who you’re being right now.
All of these answers make up the person you are today and if you continue thinking, believing, saying etc. the same things, then you’re going to continue being in the same place.
We get to where we should be through direction.
The great news is, if you change direction then things will eventually change.
You can start this change today, right now.
You can change direction by taking small actions.
You can start your new journey, in the direction that leads to the intended result you want most.
When you start to make changes to your direction in order to create the future of your dreams, people may not understand and that’s okay. No need to listen to anyone but yourself with this decision..
If you know where you want to end up and you change direction to head in that way, you’re doing it right.
A Final Note!
There’s nothing more I love than helping high achieving women design their dream lives. Truly, it’s my purpose.
I want to help you take control over where you’re heading.
You don’t have to believe it’s possible yet. I will believe for you.
This is what I’ll show you how to do in Grow You (my coaching program). You will master your mindset, emotions, self love, relationships, problems, overwhelm, productivity, time management, goal setting, and habits. This program will change your life.
By the end of it, you’ll have clarity on how to predict your future with as much certainty as is humanly possible.
Can’t wait to see you in there!