Life is a long journey where it pays to look several steps ahead. It’s impossible to predict everything that will happen, but you can get better at seeing into the future.
Train yourself to develop sharper foresight so you’ll be better prepared to reach your goals and deal with whatever circumstances arise along the way.
Benefits of Strengthening Your Foresight
1. Adapt better to changes. You’re likely to face many transitions in your life, from job changes to becoming a parent to growing old. It’s easier to manage the process when you understand what’s involved.
2. Feel more confident. Knowing what to expect reduces stress and gives you time to adjust. If your son needs more attention at school, you can talk with his teachers and hire a tutor before his grades start to drop.
3. Prevent conflicts. Disagreements with family and coworkers sometimes take us by surprise. When you have more insight into your relationships, you can generate greater harmony.
4. Discover new opportunities. Foresight also opens our eyes to treasures we might otherwise overlook. You might discover a current friendship has the potential to turn into a wonderful marriage.
Techniques for Sharpening Your Foresight
1. Conduct a personal inventory. It’s worthwhile to focus on your own thoughts because that’s where you usually have the most control. Be honest with yourself about where your current thinking is taking you and where you’d like to go.
2. Write your predictions down. As always, keeping a journal is a good discipline. Setting your forecasts down on paper gives them structure and clarity.
3. Evaluate your success rate. Look back over time to review your performance. You may find that your judgment is sound when it comes to career issues, but you may require more work with your love life.
4. Keep wishful thinking in check. There’s a general tendency to underestimate the chances of unwanted things happening in the future. Face it. Someday your roof may leak or your car may break down.
5. Look for patterns. Stay alert for recurring events. Do you gain weight each holiday season or see less of your friends when you start dating someone new?
6. Develop concrete scenarios. For the best results, pin yourself down. Deciding how you’ll spend your annual bonus this year is more revealing than dreaming about what you’d do if you landed a better paying job.
7. Consult with others. Your friends can see how you really behave while you may get distracted by how you want to see yourself.
8. Pay attention to small events. The little choices you make add up over time. Eating your vegetables and getting regular exercise strengthen your odds of living longer.
9. Think about long term consequences. Stay motivated by reminding yourself of future rewards. Ask yourself if having the down payment for a house in five years will be more gratifying than buying expensive coffee drinks each morning.
10. Make mid-course corrections. If you’re concerned about the path you’re on, the sooner you make positive changes the better off you’ll be. Increase the payroll deductions for your retirement account or schedule the dental checkup you’ve been putting off.
11. Play strategy games. Games are a fun and effective workout for your forecasting abilities. Break out the chess board or learn to play other strategy games like “Go.”
12. Dream big. Most of all, envision your future as a dynamic event you bring into being rather than something that happens to you. Becoming more skillful gives you more successes to look forward to.
Foresight is a skill that grows stronger when you know how to train your mind. Build a better future with the steps you take today.