Enabling the future
Curt Rosengren on Passionate Work
"As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I love the idea of enabling the future, not foreseeing it. I see so many people get themselves wrapped around the axle and stuck because they can't say with certainty what the future will bring. They want guaranteed direct cause and effect..."If I do this, then X will happen."
Comfortable as that would be, the world doesn't work that way.
Enabling the future though? That we can do.
Think of enabling the future as taking steps to open doors. If you don't open the door, the potential future beyond it is closed off to you. You don't necessarily know what's behind the door you open - it could be another step to take or it could be the grand prize - but if you don't open it, that potential future is closed to you.
A first step in enabling that future might be as simple as committing to it. For example, take somebody who feels stuck in a career that drains their energy. Maybe their first step is simply looking up from the rut and saying, "I want something new for my life. I want work that is vibrant, and meaningful, and fun...and I intend to make that change."
Saying, "This is what I want, and this is what I'm aiming for," opens a door, setting the wheels in motion.
Maybe another step is doing the internal work they need to do to be able to recognize the right path for them to begin with (see my article from the premiere issue of Worthwhile for some ideas on how to approach this).
Another way they might start enabling the future is to enlist the support of their family, friends, and colleagues. They can share the dream, and bring it out into the light. Nobody does it alone. Everybody needs support of some kind along the way (emotional support, knowledge, connections, etc.).
I could come up with a nearly endless litany of ways to enable the future, but ultimately it all boils down to this...start taking steps. It's the steps you take today that enable tomorrow.