• Joe Cooke

How to predict the future...

Billboard that says, "Consequences Just Ahead"

Mentalists pick a member of the audience and then use a set of probing questions to get at some relevant piece of personal information, which leads them to more and more specifics, making it seem as if the mentalist has some psychic ability. But you don't have to be psychic to predict your own future. A set of probing questions will get you a long way toward a fairly accurate prediction.

Actions + time = consequences.

If you took a really hard look at what you do during the day, and then you mapped those actions out until they led to some natural consequence. For instance, if you put $1,000 a month into a 401(k) plan with an average growth rate, you could easily have over a million dollars saved up at the end of 30 years.

Do you ever wonder if the track you are on actually leads toward the outcomes you desire? It’s easy enough to find out.

Take notes on a typical day. Say, something like this:

Now, predict the natural consequences of those actions:

Choose your own adventure

Let’s say here is what you want to have in your life:

So, here’s what you would actually have to do on a day-to-day basis:

If you want to know what you value, and therefore what your REAL goals are (not the ones you ASPIRE to, but the ones you are WORKING toward), just take a good, honest inventory of your actions every day, because the BIG THINGS you achieve in your life are the direct and indirect result of the LITTLE THINGS you do every day.

You may have to start making lists of things that you must do every day to achieve your aspirations, and a list of things you must not do every day in order to avoid the future your appear to be heading toward.

Do this exercise pretty much EVERY DAY.

Yep. Every day.

Pangborn Airport

You know the anecdote about the airplane, being slightly off course 99.99% of the time? My friend, Mark, took me in a Cessna P210 from Walla Walla to Wenatchee, approximately 132 miles as the crow flies, for a business meeting, and he handed the controls over to me once we were airborne and said, “just point us in the general direction of that notch in the mountains way off there, and keep us at about 1,000 feet.” He took a nap. He loves piloting and I do not. The little two-seater, single-engine plane swerved and bumped and drifted up and down the entire hour and I was exhausted when Mark took over and landed us at Pangborn.

Truly, the thing was off course most of the time, and my job was to continually assess reality against the plan and adjust accordingly.

At least we had a flight plan, and it was set up to get us to Pangborn Memorial Airport in Wenatchee. Obviously, if we’d just started off flying in any old direction we’d end up somewhere else. The statistical probability of hitting your target, one point out of an infinite number of points, if you don’t aim. Is roughly…zero.

No guarantee that you’ll reach your destination if you plan and work and re-assess, but your chances are significantly greater.

And if your actions do not line up with your goals? Well, your actions always line up with some goals. They may just not be the ones you want.

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