Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Concept Of Looking Into The Future



Song:  Look Into The Future

Group:  Journey



To look into the future...
 is to have a concept of time...
of how limited it is for us...
and of how important it is to use ever so wisely.

It is to correctly place the greater value
on the long term over that of the short.

It is the desire to guide one's life on a grand adventure of self exploration...
of the inner drive to discover a prime passion in life...
to lay out an efficient and effective plan to fulfill that passion...
and to forego the pitfalls and false comfort points in life
which would derail you from that path.

While childhood is the time to do this...
often times in life, it is done in later stages.

Sometimes...
there are those who don't realize, until their death bed...
that they have deep regrets in life for not having discovered...
and followed, their passions in life...while there was still time.

Whether they had simply chosen a safe, but unremarkable path...
or had allowed others to dictate to them a later realized undesirable path...
this is frequently the number one regret in life...when faced with death
(as compiled from hundreds of dying hospice patients from an earlier
noted author who had been one of their caregivers in their last moments).

To not realize a life's passion...
 and the path to achieve it, while one is still young...
 is to fail at one of the prime objectives of youth.

To wander through life...
unaware that opportunities pass you by the more that time passes...
is to be a fool.

To never realize a prime passion...
or perhaps, even worse...
to realize it, and to forego the pursuit of it...
at least minimally during free time, or in retirement...
is to be a Grand Fool.

So...
what kind of fool am I?

I like to think of myself as a reformed partial fool.

You see...
although I had a deep passion in life early on...
being a samurai warrior or a medieval knight
 is simply not a viable occupation  :)

All through my early life...
I was a romantic fool
(I know some who know me will laugh at my use of the past tense :)

I had spent all of my early school years... daydreaming.

I was constantly (in my mind) living a life of high adventure...
of listening to great symphonies as I wandered the lands
in search of great adventures...
of slaying great beasts with my lance and sword...
of defeating opponents in life and death duels...
of rescuing princesses and saving kingdoms.

Of course...
as a result...
my grades all through K - 12...
were atrocious.

I had neither studied...
nor had I paid any attention while in class.

It was only after entering the Army that I had started to mature.

I was 17 years old...
and just two weeks out of High School when I had entered
Basic and Advanced Individual Training in the Army.

I went into the Army because, while I was immature...
I, at least, knew I was immature.

I knew I had to live out my wanderlust before I could even
attempt to pay any attention to my studies.

I also realized that the old G.I. bill would pay for my University
after I had gotten out (and it had...and I did graduate).

Anyway...
it was during Basic Training that I really started to
look into the future.

It was precisely this song...Look Into The Future...
(one of my favorites)...which had played over and over
in my head during our long early morning runs in Basic Training.

Basic Training, for me, was a great adventure.

I loved every minute of it.
I knew that I had to search for my passions in life...
and for a way to achieve them...
and in order to do this...
I had to get to know myself by going all out in life...
to not hold back because of fear or pain.

As this song played to me...
the steady rhythm of our pounding boots in the pitch black of the early morning
had matched the rhythm of this song
(and through the most beautiful sunrises I have ever witnessed...
a mesmerizing blend of violets, reds, greens and blues...all giving way to yellows...
everything seemed to be in synch with this song...even the heavens.
Of course...I was matching the music in my head to what I was seeing...
but the effect was still magical :)


All during our runs...
I would be looking at the sky with a smile on my face.
I knew that by looking into the future...I would find my answers.

My goal for the next 4 years...
was to not only discover a prime passion...
something which made me deeply happy no matter
the circumstances of my immediate surroundings...
 it was also to leave childhood behind and to become a man
through the acceptance of challenges without hesitation...
to learn the essence of courage and endurance in the face of fear and pain.

During Basic Training...
I was at a crossroads...
one that would have far reaching effects on my direction in life...
should I have chosen to take the path afforded me by the Army.

I was asked to forgo my initial commitment to the Army of 4 years...
and to instead...attend USMAPS...
 a Military Prep School (in the case for the Army)...
for West Point.

The ONLY reason I was being asked was because of my
initial military test scores (ASVAB).

Had they considered my abysmal grades all throughout my
earlier school years...or had they known of my lack of maturity...
I would not have been considered.

I knew that common sense will only get you so far in life...
and that I greatly lacked in the academic background and
the study habits necessary to succeed in such an environment...
and especially the lack of will to sit in classrooms for endless hours.

I was still greatly immature...and I knew it.

For me to have accepted would have been a grave mistake for the Army...
 and for me.

Only after maturing in the Army did I regret not having studied
much more than I had while still young.

Still, I had made up my mind that I would put myself through University
after I got out.  However, to not have been ready in life to take advantage
of a life changing opportunity because I had lacked appropriate foresight
much earlier in life...is what had stung so much.

This brings me to a very important point.

Although I had looked to the future early in life...
it was of an unrealistic future...
there simply isn't a great market for...
 Dragon Slayers or Wandering Warriors :)

I was passionate about an unrealizable path.

Truly looking into the future involves...
finding a true (and plausible) dream...
a viable path to the realization of that dream...
and being able to synch it to your other goals in life...
as well as being able to make it a monetarily viable option
(absolutely necessary if having a family is also a desire)...
and doing it while young enough to reach it in a timely manner.

This brings me to another crossroads in my life
in which I had to take a realistic look at my goals...
and to put them into synch with my other desires...
or to forgo them.

After graduating from University...
I worked in Japan for 1 year.

I had met my, later to be, wife there.

After I had gotten back to the U.S. ...
I went on a job hunt and I had found, what I initially
had envisioned as, a temporary job until
I secured one in which I had a passion for.

After a few years...
my future wife had visited
and started attending a college in my city.

After years of her going back to Japan...
and returning to visit...
I was faced with the crossroads of life once more.

I was then self studying to be an Airline Pilot...
while awaiting an opening in an academy.

As I was still single at the time...
although I had researched the Regionals...
factored in the time necessary to work my way up to being
a viable candidate for the Major Airlines
(which is in no way guaranteed)...
and how very little money is made as a Regional Pilot for quite some time
in their careers...and the fact that I was already in my thirties...
I knew that the only way I could do it was to remain single
for many years as I lived frugally.

At this point in my, then career, I was making very good money
(many times what a Regional Pilot would make for many years
...and even where the regional pilots topped out at...
I was still making much more)...
and had I great benefits...
including retiring at a very young age with full retirement.

This was a job in which I could raise a family on.

I knew I would eventually want a family.

Would I have taken the Airline Academy path...
I would have had to forego having a family
(while I could live in bare conditions...
I wouldn't drag a family into that existence).

Had I had greater foresight...
I would have seen it as my path in Elementary School...
and certainly by High School...
and worked relentlessly toward it.

No excuse...
I had failed to do that.

Although I had made the right choice of staying with, my then, career...
and having a wonderful son...
I wouldn't have been in that position in the first place
had I looked realistically at my future as a child...
had reversed planned my future starting from my dream...
working back and plotting the path and all of the requirements
involved and conquering all of the necessary objectives
 to achievement of that goal.

In the end...
(thankfully)
I had chosen the long term over the short.

I had chosen to have...
a good woman...one who had become an excellent mother...
an absolutely beautiful and pure hearted son...
a comfortable retirement in which I may spend lots of time
with my son while I am still relatively young...
and the time to pursue my other passions in retirement...
and for the rest of my life.

It is because of my son, Alex, that I had a renewed sense
of faith in the potential for goodness, pureness...
and selflessness in humans.

It was through his inherent...
sweet and kind heart... compassion...
 innocent and pure thoughts and actions...
love of life and of all those in it...
that had given me one of my greatest passions...
 the guidance of Alex...
of being one of his great teachers and guides in life.


My son, Alex, is the greatest love of my life...
and it is because of him...
that I may die without regrets.



So...
while I am a reformed partial fool...
and my life is so very great now...
the far greater path is to realize your passions early on...
by realistically looking into the future...
and pursuing it with whole hearted abandonment.

The real trick is to get a child to look into the future in the first place.

What we have done with our son...
besides giving him the love of learning through
Positive Reinforcement:


  Instilling A Sense Of Time

To truly know this...
 is to know the great beauty, yet the great fragility of life...
and the certainty of death...
forever more...forever more
(sorry Poe :)

To have him understand that life is relatively short...
and that we have but one shot at it...
instills a sense of urgency...
a sense of commitment...
of enjoying his trek...
yet striving to reach the peak of his chosen mountain in a timely manner...
so he may enjoy the expansive views from the top...
before the sun sets.

We have shown examples of this in all life forms...
plants, animals, and people.

I constantly reinforce that it is not death that should be feared
 (barring unnatural and preventable causes)...
but it is in not having lived your life well.

Life is something which should be lived
running toward goals and driven through passion...
and not running from it through fear.

I have also stressed the basic timeline of life...
in years...and in achievements.

As Alex, and I, love to eat...
I have often used the metaphor of a great feast
to that of living life to the fullest.


Only through great planning is the feast well laid out and timed...
and is the meal anticipated with great yearning.

Only through its proper preparation is the food delicious...
and is it savored and greatly remembered.

Only through the effort necessary to prepare this feast...
that dessert may be enjoyed...
the appetite sated...
 and the person is ready to leave the table...
all without any other desire...
but to sleep.


-----------------


The Establishment Of Cause And Effect


We have constantly reinforced that life is the result...
not of providence or of destiny...but of choice...
of what he does or does not do...

not merely what he thinks...
but what he applies...

not merely through the amount of effort...
but through the positive results...

that reality is transitory and malleable...
that our dreams can be made into our new reality
through efficient and effective planning...
through properly guided effort...
 as driven through passion.


I have discussed with Alex...
my failures in life, and how he may do things differently...
of how he may start correctly from the beginning.

I have shown him examples of people who...
either through their poor decisions or their lack of decisions...
have ended up destitute...drug dependent...extremely unhappy...
and because they consistently choose short term thrills
over long term happiness...
how they are keeping themselves imprisoned...
while the whole time...
the key to their cell is in their pocket.

However, most of our reinforcement consists of
 positive examples of those who have led exemplary lives...
the ones who have lived their lives well.

We have pointed out their paths to a great life...
and how he may also reach great happiness in life...
by following their lead.


-----------------



By Having Him Play To His Strengths



The path to excellence in a child's strengths...
is the same for the conquering of his deficits.

By concentrating on what not to do in life...
is to take the mind off of what to do correctly.

By concentrating on the strengths of a child...
the passion for life and learning...
the daily study habits...
the learning of deferred gratification...
of long term over the short...
coupled with success in his strengths...
forms the winning pattern for him to achieve any goals.

He will realize that a winning pattern in one area applies to all.

Alex used to have great difficulty in reading comprehension...
especially in areas involving motives of others.

By consistent and incremental daily studying...
he has gone on to improve greatly in this area.

His pride grows with each improvement
because he already knows the taste of victory
in the areas of his strengths...
and he has the confidence that the same formula for winning...
is the same formula for overcoming any deficits...
that it just takes a little longer.


--------------------


Giving Him Viable Options For Future Professions


By opening a child's eyes to possible professions...
especially ones which are a play to his strengths...
he will start dreaming of his potential life with starry, yet, realistic eyes...
he will begin to look into the future...
with great gusto...
with great hope.

Surround your child with the greats of his chosen passion...
give him the paths they had taken...
map out how his life may also follow that same path...
constantly feed the flame of his passions by exposure
to the professionals of his path...
and of examples of the great happiness they exude...
in how they lead their lives...
and in the necessary lifestyle to lead
in order to achieve what they had achieved.


--------------------


As I have said time and again...
it is DRIVE
that is the single greatest determining factor of success in humans.

Through these fundamental concepts...
the stage for drive shall be set...
for once they have a true passion...
a true goal to reach...
a viable path to its achievement...
there will be no stopping them...
and you will have achieved one of the greatest goals of any parent...
the ignition of your child's main thrusters of his great rocket ship to the stars.













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