As leaders we talk a lot about five year plans, disruption, pivots, return on investment and other terms that point to the future. As I started to plan for something two weeks from now, I was stopped by the inner question: but how will you be today?
Despite my best efforts to balance life, I realize we are back at pre-pandemic activity levels. Our airports are crowded with something called "revenge travelers". Our calendars are full of meetings and events, yet we are determined to enjoy our summers by sampling every fest, visiting every destination within reach, and taking advantage of every moment this summer. (I can almost hear the teeth gritting as they say it). We are slaves to our devices, so work is just a text or scroll away. We justify all of this because we are planning for the future.
Can you take a moment to consider what is important to you today? Take a deep breath and three minutes of quiet to ponder your mental, emotional, and spiritual location. Are you still in the future? Then take three more minutes. While you are planning for the future, remember we live from the inside out in the present. Your anxiety about the future is the program running in the background that shuts down your appreciation for today. What about today makes you excited? What about today makes you feel anxious? How do you want to respond?
The five year plans are important. Considerations of who you will be in the future are important. But vital to both is the wellbeing of the person you are today; the one to whom that future will be entrusted.
Michele Aikens is CEO & Lead Coach of Sepia Prime Communications & Coaching. She is also author of Consider The Possibilities: Pursuing What Matters Most