The outcome of this experiment suggests that it is worthwhile to take a backward perspective on key career decisions. The specter of failure looms large when there is potential risk in a particular course of action. When looking forward, the risk of failure seems important. But even significant failures are unlikely to derail your career, and what seems like a catastrophe may have little impact on your overall life satisfaction.
Instead, base your career decisions (at least in part) on what hope to say when you look back on your life. You may not always succeed, but are unlikely to look back with regret on those decisions that gave you the opportunity to reach your aspirations. And statistically you are much more likely to look back with regret on the roads not taken.
John Lennon famously wrote, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” It is easy to get caught up in small projects and the day-to-day minutia of business. At least once a year, though, it is important to take stock of how you are progressing on your larger goals. If you find that you have not accomplished anything in the past year that you will look back on with pride, think about what you can do in the coming year to get you a step closer to doing what you want to have done.
Finally, encourage your colleagues to take the same approach. Every company has lofty goals. An organization that consistently looks back on the present from the desired future has an excellent chance of achieving those goals.
Try to imagine your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes (Thank you Steve!) that you will have when you are from the abundant place of having already achieved your outcome. It can give you the perspective to see things more clearly. Away from the fog of your current emotions that block your view.
P.S. Steve’s article on Ignoring Lack to Create Abundance really helps..