A few years ago, I asked my boss for an enormous favor.
I sat across the desk from her at our company’s Chicago headquarters and explained my situation. My husband had recently gotten a new job in San Francisco, and we were moving in a month and a half.
Then I asked for her to let me keep my current job and work remotely.
Was I nervous? Nope.
I knew that my manager and the company would keep me on and give me the resources to work remotely even though the company hasn’t been flexible with telecommuting in the past.
But I knew with certainty that everything would work out fine because I had spent the previous 3 years building a stellar reputation and working my ass off to be well-respected throughout the company.
I smiled at everyone no matter what department they were from or level they were at. I gladly made copies and fetched coffee. I took on the projects no one else wanted. I joined teams and put myself in front of upper management.
And guess what? I got everything I asked for…and you can too!
All you have to do is understand that everything you do today is creating your future. The actions you take (or don’t take), the things you say (or don’t say), and the way you think about yourself have a huge impact on where you end up in life.
Think about the different areas in your life. Here are some ways you can make sure you’re designing the kind of future you want.
Your Work Future
As I mentioned, I went above and beyond at my job, so when I asked them to go above and beyond for me, they did.
It wasn’t about kissing ass or taking on a lot of work and bragging about it to everyone. And it certainly wasn’t about undermining my female colleagues.
I knew that I wanted to grow and be a vital part of the company. That meant I couldn’t fade into the background. I had to get out of my comfort zone if I wanted to get to that higher level.
What kind of work future are you creating for yourself? Are you showing interest in your company’s growth and success, or do you do the bare minimum just to get by? Are your clothes professional and do they show that you care about how you represent the company?
Your Relationship Future
The problems most couples face don’t spontaneously appear overnight. They’re built little by little over long stretches of time. Think about debt, lack of intimacy, or nagging. Chances are, those problems didn’t exist when your relationship began.
In my ebook How to Stay Sweet in a Sour World, I talk about a question that I’ve found can clear away distractions so you can focus on how you want your relationship to be in the future.
The question is, “Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?” Whenever you’re about to say something mean to your partner, ask yourself this question. Sure, you can be “right” by nagging him or her to load the dishwasher. Or you could be happy by thinking of 5 things you love about your partner.
Relationships are built over time by our everyday actions and words. If you want to stay connected and loving toward your partner in the future, consider whether what you are doing today is leading you in the right direction.
Your Personal Future
The dreams you have for your life won’t magically fall out of the sky and land on your lap. The only way to get there is to use the time you have today to move yourself closer to your desired endpoint.
If you want to lose weight, you might think that eating a cupcake won’t hurt you. And you’re right, it won’t. One cupcake won’t make a difference, but dozens of cupcakes spread out over time certainly will.
And it’s the same for good things. One day of running won’t make you drop weight, but many days, weeks, and months of training will add up to dramatic changes for your health.
Consider whether the small choices you’re making today are leading you closer to or further from your goals. If you keep making these choices, what personal future are you creating?
“The future depends on what you do today.” Mahatma Gandhi. Tweet this!
In the comments below, tell me how your past actions led you to where you are today. Are you happy with your choices? What will you do today to support the future you want?