#3 How you think about the future (4 ways)

Hello!

HOW YOU THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE (4 WAYS)

A very warm welcome to The Makers, the email newsletter for curious, conscientious people who are looking to live better by looking to the future. And welcome to new subscribers joining us this week! You can read previous issues here

The aim of The Makers is to share thoughts and ideas to help you engage more positively and purposefully with the future.

This newsletter (loosely) accompanies the YouTube channel Ours For The Making.

Today I’m going to share with you three things:

  1. One idea to help you better engage with the future
  2. Four ways you think about the future
  3. Links to future jam today

1. This week’s introduction 🤝

This section introduces you to an idea, concept or actionable tool to aid in some small way your positive and purposeful engagement with the future.

How do you think about the future? (And by this, I don’t mean, do you do your thinking standing up, or whilst humming.) 

What I mean is, what type or mode of thinking are you using? 

Here, I introduce the four ways you think about the future in this latest Long Term Short video. If you missed last week’s introduction, it was a quick exercise in connecting with your future-self.

2. Four ways you think about the future 🔭

Over the course of a typical day, you (and I) spend a significant chunk of it contemplating the future in a range of ways.

Four ways, in fact, according to psychologists.

  1. Simulation – when we make in our mind a detailed picture or representation of the future.
  2. Prediction – our estimation of how likely a specific future event is.
  3. Intention – to set a goal to be achieved in the future.
  4. Planning – when we identify and arrange the steps necessary to achieve a stated goal.

For example, you might make the following intentions: to post your cousin’s birthday card tomorrow morning. Then to do the weekly food shop tomorrow afternoon – before you run out of, well, everything.

You might conjure up a vision of what tomorrow’s lunch with friends will look like in order to simulate how the occasion might play out. 

You might then try and predict how the conversation will ebb and flow. 

Perhaps, you decide to plan out your upcoming week’s appointments, your summer holiday to Italy, or your long-term investment strategy for retirement. 

In all likelihood, you already unconsciously apply each of these modes when thinking about your future, moving fluently between them, according to your needs.

So, how does this help you?

First, it might help you to sharpen and better structure your future thinking.

Second, part of the quest to get “future-fit” will be to examine how good we are at thinking about the future, piece by piece and to explore what we can do to improve. These four “modes” offer some direction for where we should perhaps look.

For example, if we want to get better at simulating scenarios, then perhaps training our visualisation skills would be a good place to start? If we’re looking at forming intentions, then we could examine what forms a firm intention, how can we best craft them as useful goals and so on.

3. Future jam today 😋

Books, articles and resources on the subject of time and how we think about it…

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter (The Makers Newsletter #2), more and more people, like us, are showing a greater interest in the long term. New writings are appearing all the time, offering a fantastic range of perspectives that are well worth digging in to.

So, where to start? Well, here’s an excellent example that showcases a rich variety of voices, viewpoints and styles.

Taking Time publishes essays, thoughts and writings on time “written by people who have been asked to consider time and how we value it.” The site is curated by Simon Bray and Andy Kelham. They publish one new article each week. Why not check it out?

Thanks 🙏

Thanks for reading, watching, subscribing and being a Maker! I really appreciate it.

If you’ve enjoyed this edition of The Makers, you’d be doing me a kind and generous favour by sharing it with someone who might enjoy it also. If you’ve not already subscribed and would like to, you can do so here. I’ll also send you a (free) copy of my short ebook the 7 Fundamentals of a Future-Fit Person.

Until next time…

Best wishes,

James

Be a maker by joining the ‘Makers.

The ‘Makers is short, (somewhat) weekly newsletter. It gathers together evidence-based, actionable ways to help you think and do long-term. 

You can sign up below to join a growing community of curious, conscientious readers like you.

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