Planning for your future

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artist-monalisaval-jThis morning, I read Seth Godin’s blog in which he posted a joke set of predictions for 2008.  (He claimed to have written them in 2002.  Obviously, he’d written them this week.)

But, as he concluded his post, he stated his point very well:

“…just think about how impossible it is for your to predict what your life is going to be like in four or six years… being ready for anything is the only rational strategy. So, why exactly are you planning on the future being just like it is now, but with better uniforms?”


Many of us have accepted traditional goal-setting strategies.  They include looking ahead five years to what you can reasonably achieve, but perhaps with a slightly starry-eyed vision.

That’s where I recommend a shift to the Getting Things Done view, mixed with a little of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits…

Think in terms of wild success.   I mean success beyond your wildest expectations.  How would that look?  How would your life be different?  What would your workday be like?

And then, plan for that.  Take the steps to integrate those changes into your life right now.

Remember what you’re doing this for.


Is it to be a successful, well-paid artist?  Well, do you dress like one?  What about your car… is it as immaculate inside (and out) as it would be if you had a chauffeur to maintain it for you?  Do you always have nice, upscale business cards with you, to hand out to fans (or people you’d like to have as fans or clients)?

Are you doing this to be famous for future generations?  Okay, what are you doing to create a name for yourself, right now?  Do your PR strategies include getting your paintings into highly visible locations, such as your town offices, state offices, the offices of your Congressional reps, every local museum… and then work up from there?  Have you contributed (or contributed to) a very visible mural in a public space?

Are you working on your art so you can be a full-time artist?  That’s great; how much time are you dedicating to your art.  I don’t mean the commercially successful art that can be the first step into the marketplace. I mean strange, deeply expressive and authentic art that may never match the colors in anyone’s sofa, and may only make sense to you.

The fact is, no one can predict the future with certainty.  The five-year plan was fine when five-year intervals could be predicted.  Today, life moves and changes at a vastly faster pace.

Don’t plan for the forseeable future.  Plan for a wildly successful future.  That’s what’s within your reach, and perhaps sooner than you think.

Start now.  Plan with the end in mind:  Success beyond your wildest dreams.

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