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Published:February 22nd, 2007 08:15 EST
Is your Future for Sale?

Is your Future for Sale?

By Simon Bailey (Mentor/Columnist)

Recently, I was in a session listening to Dr. Mark Chironna (my master teacher and the person who’s had the greatest impact on my life over the last decade) when he said that we must learn how to “buy the future.”

His statement bounced around in my head for several days. I attempted to reduce this catchphrase down to just an empty platitude. However, the more I tried to run away from it, the louder it spoke to me. I started to see the brilliant truth of this statement everywhere I looked.

Take the Oscar nominations, just recently announced. Consider the careers of nominees such as Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren. These actors purchased their present success long ago when they put in thousands of grueling hours rehearsing, working with acting coaches, releasing their brilliance in B movies and associating with Oscar-caliber actors and directors. Sure, they got some breaks along the way, but they bought the future by keeping their eye on the target and being prepared when the right opportunities appeared.

What about you? How can you buy your future?

Your future is created in the present.
Everything that you think, do, say and believe in the
present creates the future that you will experience.

You buy your future by having a strategic life plan that clearly envisions where you intend to be one, three, five years from now. Buying your future is exceeding expectations every day in every way instead of just doing your job. You invest in your future when you roll up your sleeves and identify ways to drive value for your team and your organization. You buy the future by being the most brilliant YOU that you can be in the present moment.

If the future can be bought, then it can also be sold for less than it’s worth when you don’t believe in your brilliance. Okay, maybe that sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus, New Age psycho-babble to you. But think about it for a moment…

In The Bible, Esau, the first born son of Isaac, sold his future when he gave away his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of soup. In current pop culture, a fresh new talent sells her future when she listens to a “judge” who idolizes himself tell her that she’s not good enough, not pretty enough, not hip enough for America to vote for her.

You sell your future when you believe that where you are and what you have is all that you will ever get. You sell your future when you think that a disadvantage, disappointment or discouragement is your last will and testament. Selling your future is showing up late, wasting company time and resources, and giving the bare minimum. Selling your future is knowing you’re trapped in a dead-end job, and yet continuing to show up every day as if something is going to change. Nothing will change until you create change.

I sold my future when I believed that the color of my skin was a burden instead of a blessing. I sold my future when I thought that being a college dropout meant I was a complete failure. I sold my future when I accepted someone else’s opinion of me as reality. I sold my future when I tried to be like everyone else instead of being authentically me.

Enough already! You get the point.

Looking back, I realize that I started buying back my future when I decided to finish college. Despite being on the 10-year plan, I did it. And I’m not done. I’m going back again.

Now, I’ve made a conscious decision to buy my future. How? By choosing to be happy right now in the skin I am in. By speaking well of myself and blocking out the negative energy of people who try to project their unfinished business onto my canvas of brilliance. Yes, I know it sounds haughty, and I know that we should all be meek, humble and quiet. (But then again, you know me – that isn’t going to happen!) I’ve played that game and felt as if my potential was put into a straightjacket of limitation. No more! That’s it. I found my Mojo! I’ve reignited my internal belief in myself. That’s buying the future.

What about you? Are you buying or selling your future?

If you don’t consciously buy your future, you will never discover the person that you might have become. Here are five questions to consider:

  1. Who are you right now in this moment? Are you living as your authentic self? Who is “pulling your strings”? You or your mother? You or your job? You or your bills?
  2. Are you at peace? Dr. Chironna says, “Happiness is an inside job.” On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest), are you happy and at peace? You can’t expect to be happy 24 hours a day, but you can choose to be at peace. If you’re not in a happy, peaceful state, you won’t have the wherewithal to buy your future.
  3. What liabilities do you need to rid yourself of in order to buy the future in the present? Liabilities are any beliefs, habits, outdated ways of thinking, people, situations and any other emotional baggage that stifle your brilliance.
  4. Who are the people in your life that are investing in your future? The people you associate with make either deposits in you or withdrawals from you. Limit your time with those who deplete you, and spend more time with those who invest in you.
  5. What can you do tomorrow in your career, business or vocation that will produce results and thereby make a payment on your future?

No one can push you to succeed. Many people sell their futures waiting for someone else to push them, nudge them, tell them how wonderful they are and what a good job they’re doing. What if you never receive the support you’re looking for?

The longer I live and the more I learn about people, success, significance, and brilliance, the more I realize Dr. Chironna is right…it’s all an inside job.

Simon Believes…Every action or non-action creates an outcome that either buys or sells your future. Are you buying or selling?

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