Recently I discovered Steve Pavlina’s website. I checked out a few of his blogs and this is one I wanted to reprint here. On Friday I will post another section of this. His blog entries are quite long and detailed, but I feel some great information.
Thursday 9/9/11 4:30PM… Note: As I created this a few days prior to the post being published, I hadn’t fiinished linking Steve Pavlina’s site here in case you wanted tto check it out. I have done so now, above.
Looking to the Past
If you want to know where your current path is taking you, look to your past. That’s the best way to predict where you’re headed.
Looking to your past is more reliable than looking at your goals and intentions.
If I want to know where someone is headed, I’ll take a look at their past, especially their recent past, and make a prediction based on that. I don’t need to hear about their goals and intentions — that information isn’t relevant. (I’ll explain why I say this a bit later in this article.) Just let me see what they’ve been up to for the past few months, and that will give me a pretty good idea of where they’ll be in a year or so.
Obviously there’s some randomness in life. There are chaotic events we can’t very well predict. Sometimes the unexpected happens, and it spins our lives in completely new directions.
But most of the time, our lives succumb to predictable patterns, especially in the long run. We may not be able to predict what will happen tomorrow or next week with much accuracy, but barring an unusually consequential chaotic change, our lives tend to be a lot more predictable over longer stretches of time than we usually care to admit.
Eat a little bit more than you burn in an average day, and you’ll be heavier a year from now. The result is fairly predictable, given the patterns observed in the past.
Is your expected future really so difficult to predict, at least in a general way?
If you go to college and major in a subject with little or no market demand in terms of jobs, isn’t it largely predictable that you may struggle to find paying work after graduating… and if you do find work, that it will likely be outside the field of your major?
If you linger in a relationship that you wouldn’t rate as a 9 or 10 on a scale of 1-10, isn’t it predictable that dissatisfaction or resentment or apathy will develop over time, as opposed to love and gratitude?
If you eat unhealthy foods and experience high stress levels, can you not make certain predictions about what kind of lifestyle problems you may experience down the road?
These concepts are about ‘slight edge’ choices and decisions we all make, as described in Jeff Olson’s book The Slight Edge, which we’ve mentioned here before.