Foresight - Looking Ahead

By Audrey Marlene


For those of you who drive a car, have you noticed that as you drive you are constantly looking ahead, looking behind through your rear view mirror, and looking at both sides through your side mirrors? You do this to avoid accidents, to know when to turn, or when to avoid traffic jams. Notice what happens when you are only keeping you eye just in front of your car and not up ahead. If there is a road block ahead it doesn’t give you enough time to turn of. You will be stuck in traffic and maybe miss your appointment, ending up feeling extremely frustrated. Or what would happen if your kept your eyes straight ahead and crossed an intersection?

So it is when navigating through life. Although we must focus on the present, the now, we must occasionally glance ahead to get some insight for what's up ahead. This ability to look ahead and recognize something that we cannot see is called foresight. With this kind of perception you can envision what you would like to see for yourself in the future and begin to take the necessary steps to achieve it, starting today.

Looking ahead can:

  • Motivate you forward to achieve more success
  • Create a more realistic plan that you can modify as you move forward
  • Gives you time to create alternative approaches
  • Gives you a target on which to stay focused
  • Allows you to be more flexible in your thinking
  • Allows you to be more creative
  • Allows you to make better decisions

    From an optometrist's point of view, shortsightedness is when someone has good vision at close range but has difficulties seeing things at a distance. So it is when we lack the ability to look ahead in our lives, we may be suffering from shortsightedness in our own lives.

    Someone who is shortsighted in their life’s journey may face many roadblocks ahead. The ability to glance ahead allows one to perceive situations and make certain predictions for their betterment. For example, if you are frustrated with your life and you have no idea why, how do you get out of that slump? Sometimes shortsightedness can keep us locked into a vicious cycle of helplessness that leads to frustration. If you are frustrated with your life and you don’t know why, it can help to lose your shortsightedness and look ahead to envision how you would like your life to be. By losing your shortsightedness you are opening your mind to new ideas and thoughts for your life. Once you can envision it then you can begin to plan today to make the necessary changes and adjustments to achieving it.

    Shortsightedness can prevent one from making sound decisions and judgment calls. For example, if you are shortsighted and you are looking to lose weight, you may keep eating unhealthy foods and avoid exercise. However, you have the ability to glance ahead and envision what your life would be like if you did lose the weight, you may be in a better frame of mind to take action and find the willpower to get it done. Good foresight can be enhanced dramatically by our hindsight. Hindsight is having the ability to look back on our past experiences, good or bad and learn from them. By looking back and analyzing those events you are more informed about how to approach situations in the future. When looking ahead you can be more prepared to predict outcomes more accurately based on your hindsight.

    Hindsight allows us to make better decisions. It can help you to avoid certain unhealthy patterns from repeating. For example, if you were involved in a disturbing relationship, personally or professionally, by looking back on what created a strain on the relationship you can have better foresight for avoiding these kinds people in the future. Or if you have had success with a certain type of person in the past and you recognize those qualities in a present relationship you can make faster strides in your decisions to move forward.

    My ability to learn the valuable lessons of my past has given me such strong foresight and this is what helps me in my personal and professional life. I feel that many of my setbacks were all part of my character education, which gives me the insight and perception to foresee things that can potentially happen. I take great pride in the lessons of my past, even though many of them were not pleasant at the time. However, the outcome has given me an invaluable depth of perception that I can use to help myself and share with others.

    And so can your lessons of the past – they can be used to enhance your life in so many meaningful ways by giving you a depth of perception to make better choices for the future.

  • "May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far." — Irish Proverb

  • "In life, as in chess, forethought wins." — Charles Buxton

    # "I didn't want to be so shortsighted as to be worrying about diaper rash, and not taking care of bigger things, like nuclear war." — Barbara Donachy

  • "Plan ahead or find trouble on the doorstep." — Confucius

  • "If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people." — Chinese proverb

  • "When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened." — John M. Richardson, Jr.

  • "It takes little talent to see what lies under one's nose, a good deal to know in what direction to point that organ." — W.H. Auden

  • "The wise man must remember that while he is a descendant of the past, he is a parent of the future." — Herbert Spencer The best way to improve your foresight is to establish a set of goals. Contemplate on how you would like to see yourself at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, or even 80 years of age. Remember it’s only a vision of the future – nothing is set in stone. However, having a personal vision allows your creative juices to flow and you can begin to make choices that can put you closer to achieving the great life you deserve.

    Remember that analogy I used at the start of this article about driving? Now what if you just got in your car and you had no idea where you were heading, no foresight? You would just be driving around aimlessly. There is a strong possibility you will use up all your immediate resources such as gasoline and money because you didn’t have a plan. Think back to a time you took a road trip. How much planning did you put into it? You must have had to plan ahead to bring enough snacks and drinks for the road. You must have left home on time to give yourself enough driving time. You must have had a budget of how much to spend on your trip. Because you had a plan you were able to think ahead and make some good choices.

    Here are some ways you can improve your foresight:

  • Doing more introspective work to discover what you really want of your life.

  • Asking yourself what, when, where, how and why questions.

  • Knowing where you are heading, having some semblance of a plan.

  • Being spontaneous and flexible, yet doing the research before taking a leap

  • Being willing to stretch your imagination even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone

  • Associating with people who can support and encourage you while offering you perceptive insight.

  • Having a hunger for knowledge and continuously learning

  • Having the courage and faith to take chances

  • Knowing a great life coach to check in with when you feel you need it

    As you enjoy the present and live for the moment, don’t ignore the insight and perception a little foresight can add to your success. Don’t allow shortsightedness to stunt your personal, professional or academic growth. Take a glance ahead. It can give you better positioning for achieving the kind of success you deserve.

    To Your Success,
    Audrey Marlene

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