Change Management Training Step 3: Set Clear Goals

Trust In The Power Of Future Pull

You can grow at a faster clip if you’ll put the future to work for you. Tomorrow is your ally.

The key is to let the future know specifically what you want from it. Start by coming up with a clear mental picture of your goal. Keep it alive in your mind. Visit it often in your imagination. The future will start organizing events to help bring about this thing you want.

Most people don’t appreciate how this technique can accelerate a person’s growth and accomplishments. Maybe it hits you as just too vague. Or you don’t give it a shot because you can’t figure out why it should work. The truth is, it may sound too simplistic for you to take it seriously.

But this isn’t baloney. The great psychologist, Alfred Adler, emphasized the “teleological” power of goals. By this he meant how goals or purpose seem to shape natural processes or events. He argued that goals somehow help create the conditions needed for their fulfillment.

Is this getting too heavy for you? Stay with me here—this is a far more potent idea than you might imagine. Don’t dismiss it just because you think it’s a little random.

Arthur Kostler states, “The pull of the future is as real as the pressure of the past.” And author George Land writes that the future may play a more important role than our past in causing us to be where and what we are.

Their point? The future shapes us. It carries major influence over our becoming.

But you can influence how the future influences you. Chart a certain course for yourself, and you tell the future how it’s supposed to help you. Your personal vision of what you want to become instructs the future on how to provide assistance. Your mental picture of what you hope to achieve tells tomorrow how to help. Just set the goal. Its magnetic power will pull you toward its realization.

Here’s the rub—the future can’t help you if you don’t know what you want. You have to pick your aiming point. Unless you deliberately set the direction for yourself, the future doesn’t know which way to pull.

So like a catchy book title says, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.”

The future behaves differently than it used to. It comes at us faster now, and affects us more powerfully than before.

Just as a 75 mile per hour wind isn’t three times as forceful as a 25 mile per hour wind—but instead is nine times more powerful—the accelerating future will surprise us with the speed and impact that mark its arrival.

We must learn how to turn its power to our advantage.

“I went into a general store. They wouldn’t let me buy anything specifically.” —Steven Wright