For Auld Lang Syne

The New Year is upon us!!! What was awesome about your 2016? What didn’t work out so well for you? The questions you ask yourself and the evaluations you give to those questions will determine the quality of your life, not just for this new year, but forever. Most of us ask questions that trigger bad answers. Ask: Why am I fat? , your brain will say: “Because you’re lazy”. The reason for this, is because most of carry around our past failures with us. Instead, carry your victories with you. Ask better questions if you want better results. What are you proud of? What are you juiced about? What makes your feel good? Those questions will get you unbelievable results in the gym and in your life.

Sometimes it helps to think about areas of you life like fitness as if it were a car being driven along the road. What type of car do you want to drive? How fast are you reaching your destination? Do you have enough fuel? I like to remind people they are always driving somewhere, but often they’re looking in the wrong direction. While the rear view mirror is very useful, if that’s all you’re looking at while driving……CRASH!!!! Make sure you check it to see what’s behind you, but focus on the windshield so you can see what lies ahead. And what a bright future it can be if you let it.

Auld Lang Syne the tune many of us hear during the New Year was written in 1788 by a Scottish poet named Robert Burns. You know the tune, but do you know what it means? Auld Lang Syne means ‘for days of old’. The poet was talking about “talking a cup of kindness” for days of old. The song instructs us to think fondly of our past, not take our defeats with us. In other words, it’s good to reminisce, but only if you’re focusing on what was good and what you can  be grateful for.

So let’s change your focus in 2017 to your victories and not your defeats. Focus on what you love and not what you fear. Focus on your goals, but focus more on the reasons you want to achieve them. Remember, success leaves clues. Find out what you want, then figure out who has done it before you and get some coaching.

So what’s your real goals for 2017?

-Sean Covell

Be Future-Focused

Some scholars and philosophers suggest that paying too much attention to the future is what causes most of the stress and anxiety in humans. There are entire schools of thought that preach we must be “present”-focused to have a high quality of life. While I do agree that anxiety is giving too much importance on future events and that we should all be grateful for what we have and can enjoy in the present, I strongly disagree with these schools that say we must be focused solely on the present. I believe the lack of a compelling future is what causes most people anxiety and stress. In other words, worry comes from a lack of hope and not paying enough attention to the future. From my experience and the experience of many of my successful, happy friends and mentors, the biggest commonality between them is that they are constantly focused on the future. They are designing their life and taking massive action so that their future is brighter and more compelling than today.

This is not to say these fulfilled people are not grateful for what they currently have, they are. These people enjoy every moment of life. I know some people so enthusiastic and so animated that you can feel their energy permeating the space around them. These people are able to suck the marrow out of life because they are enjoying the present, but are always mindful and preparing for the future. This type of preparation takes an incredible amount of discipline. However, that discipline allows them to use the stress of the future to design and build an incredible life. Throughout history, those who have been incredible successful in any area of life—marriage, business, health, money—they all have understood the power of anticipation. If you are pulled towards future, mindful of what may be in store, you can prepare yourself and your loved ones.

Being future focused is like laying the concrete foundation for a building. Preparations must be made for the future building so that it can last. The engineers and builders are taking massive actions so that their creation will last throughout the years. Let me suggest to you this is like your life. You are the engineer and the builder. Prepare for the future; design a future life that is so compelling, you can’t help but smile. Then, take MORE action than necessary to ensure that what you design will come to fruition. Yes, be mindful and grateful towards the present, but be future-focused. After all, the present will be the past in a moment. Being focused on the future will give you the ultimate fulfillment.

The Power of Anticipation

One of the most powerful forces in life and one of the most difficult to master is the power of anticipation. What does the future hold? It’s always impossible to be completely certain, and that uncertainty leads to a great deal of fear for many people, especially parents, business owners and investors. Trying to predict the future is nearly always a futile attempt, but without the ability to anticipate what is likely to happen, we are at a clear disadvantage—often leading people to inaction due to analysis paralysis. When the future is unclear, it is difficult to maintain a positive outlook and hope. Fear takes over in this situation.

This year happens to be a presidential election year in the United States. This always leads to a great deal of uncertainty as people from differing political viewpoints struggle to grapple with the outcomes of a new presidency. Will there be more war? More taxes? Perhaps, more freedom? It’s impossible to know for sure, and that causes entrepreneurs like myself to be very apprehensive about making more investments, especially in areas where increased regulations are almost guaranteed because of state pension liabilities and politicians who pride themselves on passing new laws, regardless of whether they are needed.

Business owners must run two businesses—the business as it is today and the one they believe they will have to run in the future. The greats had the power of anticipation. Bill Gates anticipated the rise of the PC. Henry Ford anticipated the automobile for every working family. The best in the world at what they do have the power to anticipate what is coming. Change is inevitable. How to adapt to the change is what is difficult. The answer to the future nearly always lies in the past.

Looking at trends, the assumptions that a group or groups of people make, as well as the underlying fundamentals behind their assumptions are, I believe, the best predictors of the future. Clearly, not all trends last or even make an impact on society, but an investor only needs to get a few trends right to be massively successful. Most investments do not work out, but a few “unicorns” can more than make up for the bad bets. Trends in business and government in the last 20 years leads to a fairly clear picture of the future. With all this in mind, here is what I anticipate in the next 10 years for the United States:

-Increased surveillance of the populace

-Increased taxation of regulation

-Insolvency for certain government departments and financial institutions

-Less overall employment

-The ubiquity of self-driving cars

-Student loans being defaulted on by millions of students, leading to lower credit scores and less consumer spending

-The disruption of many industries due to artificial intelligence

-Labor will be less important, due to increased use of robotics

Change is inevitable. Are you ready for what is coming?