Remember You Have Options, the Future Is Not Set in Stone

There are a variety of reasons why we might feel helpless in our current environment. You hear a lot of discussion these days about political polarization, environmental degradation, inequality, and a system that is rigged to favor the powerful. People have lost faith in public institutions, in the accountability of our leaders, and in the agency of the government. However, as a student of history, I know this is not the first time we have faced great obstacles as a nation. I am encouraged that such obstacles will be overcome, when we are willing to step out of our complacency and into the struggle.

In my line of work, I often have to remind people that the future is not set in stone. If it were, it would be much easier to predict. There are people out there, change-makers, doing things on a daily basis that impact the direction they and others are headed. So, I encourage my clients to think of the future as a spectrum of possible outcomes. And, to take inventory of the things they can influence and the things for which they can prepare.

This is the sort of practice that you can (and should) undertake today, without wasting another moment. And, I’m not necessarily talking about the BIG social issues. Start small within your own personal sphere of influence. For example, my wife and I decided to homeschool our 5 year old this year for kindergarten. We couldn’t find a school near us that meshed with the way we like to do education at such a young age. Even though we had never considered homeschooling before as an option, it suddenly became clear to us that it was the best option for him right now.

This practice can apply to any area of your life. If you don’t like the way things are going, ask yourself what other options you have. It’s amazing how often we neglect to ask ourselves this one simple question. However, once you get into this habit, you will realize that you have more power to impact your future than you previously thought.

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