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Posts Tagged ‘future’

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates

When you want something you have never had, you have to do something you have never done. – W S Bloom

I have been thinking about my future. Not next week, not a few months from now, not even next year. I’ve been trying to think about my longer term future, and what I would like to see, and what concrete steps I can take to work towards that vision.

I haven’t been thinking much about my future the last few years. I’ve been thinking about now, and I’ve been thinking about a few months from now, and I haven’t been seeing more than a year out from where I am at any given time. It’s been good to practice flexibility, and it’s been good to take the time to figure out what I want. Not based on convention or what anyone else I know is doing or what other people think I should do or be, but based on actual me. What I want and what I think is important.

I find having a vision to really help with my focus. Having spent the last few months honing my vision, I’ve begun to see that many of the details are extraneous. They don’t matter. It feels like they matter; it feels, in fact, like they are huge life-altering decisions. But sometimes all the big flashy external stuff is merely a blind for what’s going on inside. And being able to focus on the inside stuff brings a lot of clarity along with it.

It’s not always the specifics of a vision that matter. You have the vision, and then you figure out some specifics to get you there. But you could figure out a whole different set of specifics that may very well get you to the same place. What’s important, then, is figuring out where you’re generally trying to go. In order to pick specifics, in order to confidently make changes, it helps to know what you want.

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Details are a bridge, but you can always build another bridge further down.

I feel like this is easier for some people to achieve than others. I ask a lot of questions, and that can mean it’s more complicated to figure out what I want. I kind of tried to follow a common middle-class American life road map, but I was never completely on board with it, and then it turned out to not be what I wanted at all.

And then there’s the blindness that can come with experience. You don’t have something in your vision not because it’s necessarily not possible, but because it’s outside what has happened to you personally. Sometimes our expectations for what is possible can end up being set too low, and it doesn’t even occur to us to shoot for something more. And sometimes we don’t add something to our vision because it doesn’t occur to us that it is even an option.

I have discovered that Socrates was a wise guy (not that this should be news!) I have spent a lot of time in my life fighting the old. I have this weird idea that if I simply try hard enough, I can fix anything. I say it’s weird because it is patently false.

But when I focus on building something new instead of fixing or trying to prop something up, that’s when I tend to make actual progress. That’s when my vision begins to clear, and I think, “Oh yeah. I do know what I want. Huh. How about that.”

And that’s when things really begin to change.  

 

(P.S. I’m going to be traveling, so there’s going to be a short break in our regularly scheduled programming. See you in a bit!)

 

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I stumbled across Brenda Cooper revisiting her predictions for 2011, and my interest was completely captured. “What a fun game!” I thought. “Maybe I should make some predictions myself for 2012.” Then I thought again. “But many of my predictions will end up being wrong.” The unimaginable horror of that idea paraded through my brain.

So of course, now I have to write 2012 predictions to take my first good whack at my perfectionism this year. And not only that, but I am going to write them quickly, without obsessive researching, and I’m going to write them boldly without resorting to wishy-washiness.  Are you ready?

Publishing

  • E-books will continue to gain share in the marketplace. Based on the huge amount of Kindles that sold this December, I’m going to say that by the end of 2012, we’re going to see e-books up to 35% of the market…at least.
  • Publishers will hold firm at a 25% net royalty for electronic sales…except for the biggest author names.
  • A couple of major name authors will strike out on their own and release titles themselves. Because they are big names, they will easily be able to continue commanding shelf space at B&N.
  • Publishers will begin (or continue?) to commit more resources to building stronger relationships with readers (more aggressively building their email lists, for example) and developing brand recognition for their publishing imprints apart from author names. (This one, I am afraid, might be overly optimistic, but I can’t help myself!)
  • There will be no definitive answer in the traditional vs. self-pub debate. Some writers will go all in one way or another and be super judgmental of anyone doing something different. The smartest writers will do both. There will continue to be a stigma, although not nearly as strong as it was even a few years ago, against self-published work by writers who haven’t already been traditionally published. Interestingly, there will be no stigma against those writers who raise money for projects using crowd-sourcing platforms like Kickstarter. (Maybe because Kickstarter mainly works for those writers who already have an established fan base?)

Current Affairs

  • There will be the usual hoop-la of a US election year. Romney will win the Republican nomination, and Obama will win the election, but it will be a hard fight. Voter apathy will be more of a problem than it was in 2008.
  • The Euro will still exist as a currency at the end of 2012. No promises for 2013, though!
  • Some major shit will go down in Egypt this year, what with elections expected in the next six months. The military won’t let go of power easily.
  • Syria’s government will collapse by the end of the year.
  • The economic turmoil in the EU and the political turmoil in the Middle East won’t do the US economy any favors. Oil prices will go up. Volatility in the stock market will continue. I don’t expect unemployment rates to improve substantially (although I’d be very happy to be wrong).
  • My husband says the cinema industry will begin to tank this year, but I disagree. I actually think 2012 will be better than 2011 in terms of box office sales. The foreign markets for movies will continue to be robust.
  • Social media sites will try to collect ever more information about their users. Some people will continue, inexplicably, to think that they should overshare mundane data with their “friends.” Facebook, Google+, and Twitter will all continue to exist healthily at the end of the year. Klout, on the other hand, will have lost its klout in most circles due to both its basic dullness and its arbitrary algorithms (how I can lose or gain influence over 1000 people in the course of a single day is beyond me).
  • Houses will begin to become “smarter,” both due to Kinect technology and chips that talk to each other over WiFi and Bluetooth.
  • Scientists will push stem cell research farther this year, and will succeed in regenerating a more complicated organ (they’ve already done bladders and tracheae).
  • There will still be no flying cars or Asimov-esque robots in general use (and no, I don’t count the Roomba).

Care to play along? What predictions can you make about 2012?

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