The most common issue I run across when speaking to people about their futures can be summarized in one word: options. There are always options. Many people seem to feel trapped, like they have no choice about what happens. Often the lack of options, at least the perception of no options, stems from circumstances that are either out of our control or totally in our control. Things like the weather, geographic limitations and the almighty dollar, or the lack of seem to be the most common causes.
I think we, as human beings sometimes get so involved in our own lives that we often get to a point where we are too close to be able to make decisions for ourselves that may seem obvious to others. It's hard to keep perspective. Often we are able to look at the situations of others and make smart, well-thought analytical decisions for them, but when it comes to ourselves we don't apply the same filter or lens.
Life is a battlefield, there are many possible outcomes, and even within winning there are different levels of victory or degrees of glory. Military ground commanders will tell you that the key to a great battlefield win is air superiority. Having a birds-eye view allows you to see things from a unique perspective; you can see everything at once, allowing you to properly assess your situation.
Here are a few things you can do to get a birds-eye view of your battlefield and make the right decisions so you can have the most favorable outcomes.
1. Find a mentor. I always say you should never take advice from someone with whom you wouldn't switch places. Find a person that cannot only help you from a third party perspective, but that will also help you make awesome decisions.
Coaches, teachers, employers and trainers can all be mentors, the greatest athletes all have people to motivate and train them, if you want the best results, you need the best guidance regardless of the subject.
Being able to help yourself sometimes requires a different perspective; a mentor may just be what you need.
2. Study thoroughly someone you recognize as a success. This may be someone you'd even like as a mentor but perhaps don't have access to that person due to limitations of their time or the fact that they simply don't mentor people.
But rather than focus on the successes of these people, especially the material ones, look at the struggles, and if you look deep enough every truly successful person has had to make enormous risky sacrifices to be in the position they are today. I say thoroughly because outwardly the media tends to build people into either superheroes or into villains. Show me a winner and I'll show you someone with a great support team. We don't do it alone; there are lots of behind the scenes people that make businesses and teams work.
3. Perspective. Consider where you are in the world, chances are if you have access to this article and can read it in any language, let alone English, you probably have more options than 90 percent of the rest of the people on this earth.
The decisions we make today will create options, both now and in the future. As you go throughout your day, remember, you always have options.