What Everybody Gets Wrong About the Future (Myself Included)
If you were to look back into the far reaches of your own personal history, I bet you’d see a lot of zigzag. You’d see how one thing here led to another thing there, which bounced you to that experience way over there.
But could you have ever planned it? Could you have ever guessed it? Would you have ever predicted such a perfectly imperfect succession of events that lead you to right here—right now—this place in life where you’re currently reading these words?
My guess is no. And if I look into my own past, it’s actually a big effin NO (and also, thank goodness). I never could have predicted this life in a million years. This future is one my 20-year-old self easily dreamed about, but could never imagine it coming to fruition.
I never could have predicted this life in a million years.
Why then, do we expect our future to go exactly as we plan? Because we want and expect it to be linear. Because we think one thing will lead to another in a logical succession of events. And because it’s probably easier to imagine a straight line than the zigzag our past clearly tells us life often becomes.
Nothing about your life is linear. Your work will not be linear. Your relationships will not be linear. Your future will not be linear. Nothing will be a straight shot from here to there. Nothing that happens will be perfectly sequential. So stop expecting things to show up for you like that.
Nothing about your life is linear. Your work will not be linear. Your relationships will not be linear. Your future will not be linear.
When you can drop the expectation of a linear path, your eyes will open to so much possibility. Finally, you’ll be able to see what’s actually showing up for you. It may not be what you planned for and it may not even be what you asked for, but often the greatest adventures in our life are ones the universe sent our way that we didn’t have the capacity to know existed.
When you can drop the expectation of a linear path, your eyes will open to so much possibility.
The steps you take won’t always be forward. They won’t always be right. And they won’t always work out. But they will be what leads you to the place where you’re supposed to end up. For the lesson, for your own success, for the people, for you to heal, for you to expand, and for you to live—welcome the zigzag.
So, if you want the future you dream of wanting, just keep moving. Keep staying open to possibility.
Keep expecting curveballs and side steps. And know that you have everything within you to deal with it. And trust that it will all make sense in hindsight. The dots will connect. They always do. And when you look back, you can see for yourself they always have.
This article originally appeared on Maxie McCoy's blog.
Read next: How to Accept—Not Fear—Your Fuzzy, Uncertain Future)
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