When I joined secondary school, we had the opportunity to write a letter to our future self about where we wanted to be. I remember pondering over all the great things I’d like to achieve including flying to the moon and playing rugby for England. Then I concluded that what I wanted at that time was to be the most successful bank robber in the world and retire to the Costa del Crime. I’m pleased to say my aspirations changed, I’m not sure that promise to my future self would have been particularly helpful for my long-term health and well-being.
How will my promise to my future impact me?
It is easy to make a big hairy promise to my future self without thinking about the implications for the things we care about. Or volunteering to take on new responsibilities and projects that have far-reaching potential future impacts. The challenge is not to avoid big commitments, but to make sure we understand the implications of them and consider how they will affect our future self. I would always encourage you to take a moment preferably in a quiet space to look forward and imagine what life will be like one, two and even six months down the line with the choice you are about to make in mind.
Excepting and sharing your strengths and difficulties?
Neurodivergent individuals have a soup of traits that form strengths and difficulties depending on the situations based on their environment. If they have had negative experiences in the past, they will often choose not to share the traits that cause them difficulties. This can result in their needing to work far harder at the choices they have made and can sometimes push to break down if changes happen within the organisations, they are working in. I mention this because the choices you make may well also have implications for the people you work with and collaborate with.
Will you choose when to go into conflict with others wisely?
Making put promises to your future self inevitably involves change. With change can come conflict as our ideas and aspirations do not align with those who are working with or collaborating with closely. One of the promises we need to consider to our future self is when will we choose to go into conflict and what will we choose to do to avoid it?
Will you treat the things that have gone wrong as CPD?
Promises to our future self will often involve risk. This could be personal, financial, reputational or some other sort of risk. When things go wrong, they can often be expensive for us and the question we need to ask ourselves is are we prepared to treat it as CPD (continuous professional development).
As a side note, I have been on many training courses some of them incredibly expensive and have learned little we never fail to learn from the things that have cost us, dear.
Will you hold firmly to your values and not compromise?
In my example, at the beginning of this post I talked about my aspiration of being a bank robber but what I had not thought about was how this fitted with my values in terms of fairness and charity. Now, this is an extreme example, but it is one we should consider when looking at promises to our future self-do our promises align with our values. For example, if values are for a more are we making promises that mean we spend substantial amounts of time away from home creating an imbalanced lifestyle.
Will you live in the reality of today, not the if’s and but’s of tomorrow?
When making a promise to my future self are you prepared to live with the consequences. When making promises to your future self are you happy that there will be things that you cannot do because of the things that you have chosen to do. It is easy to look back with ifs and buts this is not an option if you had made choices and stick to them.
Will you be kind to yourself?
As you consider the choices that you want to make and the implications, they may well have for your future self I would encourage you to be kind. We have one life and is one of adventure challenge disappointment and grief.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
If these are questions that affect you, or someone you work with I would encourage you to reach out and have a conversation with someone you can trust. If I can help with that conversation, please feel free to get in contact.