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You can dictate and invent your future.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

I hate travel maps with a passion.

For some reason, it’s not easy for me to follow maps. I mean the maps you pick up at convenience stores.

While detailed, I am not very directionally inclined. It doesn’t help that I don’t like asking for directions. Some of it could be pride.

But I think it’s more or less the type of directions I tend to get. I don’t do well with turning at the third light next to the place with a green sign.

So I try to follow that annoying map that’s always too small. I became accustomed to the MapsQuest life. It was glorious and felt like a little Garmin on paper.

Yet, if you missed a step, you’re lost, and there’s no redirecting on the paper.

Mapping The Future

Sometimes, it’s easier for me to pick a location and type it into Apple or Google Maps than to think about my future. Don’t get me wrong. I am a planner.

Only it seems easier to plan for breakfast tomorrow than where I want to be in three years. Or even a ten-year plan.

I often wonder if there is any effect to making such plans. It seems like an idealistic goal, but what can it lead to?

Dictating a Change

The crowd was electric. It’s January 9, 2007, a man wearing jeans and a black turtle neck is poised to speak.

As he walked to the mic, a sense of confidence brimmed in the air.

“This is a day I have been looking forward to for 2 ½ years.”

All the lights are low. The screen behind is dark with an Apple logo.

Steve Jobs would go on to unveil the very first iPhone. This phone was billed as a “revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone.”

The device revolutionized the smartphone industry. It brought technologies together that most of us didn’t even know we needed or wanted.

Looking Ahead

Jobs and company had begun piecing together the vision of the iPhone together 2 ½ years before. It was the culmination of planning and innovation.

It took foresight and a bit of presumption to assume their customers would even bite. It’s an example of a company dictating or inventing a future.

Sometimes we don’t know what we want until we get there or see it. I guess that’s what makes planning harder for me.

But what if we apply what Apple did for smartphones to our lives. What if we attempt to connect the dots.

Starting Inside/Out

If we are honest, the iPhone isn’t as innovative as it was touted. It’s an iPod touch with a cellular chip. The device incorporated existing technology that Apple had already successfully sold.

What do you do successfully? Maybe that’s your innovation for the future. I have been thinking a lot about what I genuinely want to do. But the core of the answer is, what’s inside me?

What do I enjoy and feel passionate about? If you are looking to plan out the future, decide to do a self-audit.

Look at what you do well and how you can grow that skill. Who knows where you could be in 2 ½ years.

Inventing Your Future

Every decision now will dictate your future. So take a moment to do something you’ve never done. Meditate, pray, read a book on something you’d never read, or write ten ideas that come to you.

Start now to invent the future you want around the values you hold dear.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

– Alan Kay

Start inventing.