Do you anticipate or do you react?
I heard this question recently on a podcast and it got me thinking. Leaders are really good at anticipating future issues. Everyone else follows and reacts.
Read any book about anyone who has been successful in business, and you will see that they saw something about the future and then acted on that to lead their company to success. What looks obvious in hindsight was actually a great job of anticipating the future.
What if we used this skill in our everyday lives to lead a better life?
What if we learned to anticipate problems we may have at certain stages in our life and took steps to avoid them?
What if we anticipated problems our children would have at certain ages and talked to them about them ahead of time so that they could make good choices?
Learning to anticipate what could happen in our lives would make us better leaders of our own lives.
This has borne out in my own life. When I anticipated that many married couples grow apart when they have children, my husband and I took steps to stay close—we talked at dinner, went out on dates, and generally worked at staying close to each other. Now, almost two decades after our first child was born and we are empty nesters, we are still married and enjoy each other’s company.
Before we had children, we knew that I would stay home to raise them. I anticipated that being home full time with children without a professional outlet would be a recipe for unhappiness for me, so I started a communication consulting business and took on some part-time client work. I also became a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor.
Although we cannot anticipate every eventuality, we have to learn to at least anticipate and plan for the obvious—we need to become leaders of our own lives.