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How to Improve Your Future

How the past determines your future and how you can increase your chances of success

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Future Outlook
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We can often compare our lives to how others are living. We see their social media highlight reel and it can motivate us or as we’re recently finding out make a lot of us feel undervalued. The most important point to take away here is to realise any of our feelings come from thoughts and nowhere else. Thoughts create feelings, feelings create actions, actions cause reactions and this is how you get your results. It always occurs in this sequence. This is easier said than done and we have to stand guard for the information we allow ourselves to accept. Once we do this, we can control our thoughts. To practice assessing your thoughts try meditation. This ancient practice isn’t taking off for no reason. It’s helped some of the highest achievers such as Ray Dalio who said “Transcendental Meditation has probably been the single most important reason for whatever success I’ve had.”

How Can Controlling Your Thoughts Determine Your Future?

When we realise our actions are caused by our thinking we can have more control over the outcomes. Our future can only be as positive or negative as our evaluation of the past. If we feel negative about our past how can we possibly have a positive outlook on the future? All of our results in the past is evidence of what we’re capable of. Or is it? What if we failed a few times and now labelled ourselves a failure. Although we failed in the past this does not mean we will constantly fail in the future. Yet this is exactly what our brain thinks will happen, because we make links in the past and base our future on our experiences. How can we set ourselves up for success? To have a positive outlook on life we need to make peace with our past. You can do this by trying to find the positives. For example, if you ever failed at hitting your goal you can now be grateful of the lessons learned and you now know that strategy for hitting your goal didn’t work. Learn from your mistakes and take these lessons with you into the future. Here’s a mind-trick I use, replacing words in your vocabulary will trigger certain feelings. For example, replace the word failure with feedback. This turns a negative into a positive and will motivate you to keep going. Replace the word problem with challenge and you won’t feel stuck. The word challenge for a lot of people is exciting, whereas a problem is draining.

So, to have a brighter outlook on life we need to make peace with the past as our future can only be as positive or negative as our evaluation of the past.  

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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