History of the future

It is easy to presume, on the onset, that history has nothing to do with the future and so we should not bother with it too much in our journeys, individually and otherwise, towards a beautiful future. In a way this is true but not when you take a holistic approach to the issue of time and effort.
Sam Kebongo
Sam Kebongo

It is easy to presume, on the onset, that history has nothing to do with the future and so we should not bother with it too much in our journeys, individually and otherwise, towards a beautiful future. In a way this is true but not when you take a holistic approach to the issue of time and effort.

As Winston Churchill said,’ the further backwards you look the further forward you will see. But this ‘looking’ has to be done within the entire spectrum of time; yesterday, today and tomorrow.

An Indian saying captures it succinctly; ‘look to this day, for yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow is but a dream, but today well lived makes every yesterday a memory of happiness and every tomorrow a dream of hope. Look well therefore to this day’. 

Simple logic; yesterday leads to today and today leads to tomorrow. With this flow through time and space, it, then, holds true that actions of yesterday that are today’s historical ‘facts’ complete with the accompanying consequences and repercussions. It is also logical to say that what you do today will shape tomorrow not only for you but also for your environment. 

History is taken very seriously. People with great historical heritage look at themselves with pride. A conversation with a native of Greece, Rome (Italy) or Egypt would attest to this.

Proud and/or conscious as it makes us, the past is just that…past! Egypt, Greece and Rome, today, are but a pale shadow of their former selves (in fact, sometimes it is difficult to imagine the present inhabitants as scions of those great people!) One problem though, history refers to the past

But from history lies a great insight. That we can shape our destiny; that we can create the history of our future. We must and we will, really. All our actions in the present time will shape our future and that of our environment.

To borrow from the Bible; we will reap if we sow (ipso facto, we will not reap if we do not sow). This is why a lot of us plan and all that. But that fact is that this goes over and beyond planning. This is all about implementation and networking. It is what you do with the plan. 

So, how do we make history of the future? First you must know and define what the desired future looks like. As Einstein would say, “...imagination is better than knowledge...” To imagine here means thinking in pictures, rather than in words. Dream it, imagine it, daydream it even! Then you need to draw a road map from where you are now to the ‘heaven’ that you have dreamed up for yourself. What happens when and by whom? What is the objective of the action and how does it contribute to ‘heaven’ and over what timeline? Most crucially, what needs to be done immediately?

Sounds like the famous SMART objectives? Yes, here too, everything is specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic and time bound. So they are very similar but, here, the focus is on the implementation of the activities and building on the resultant consequences (results). You could say it is the achievement phase of the objectives with a measure of ‘madness’ and eyes on the prize.

Four things; one, it is more sensible to tweak your history towards the future instead of just reading the past, because unlike the past where you have no control, with future history, you are the centre of the universe.

Two; with proper focus and determination, it is not only possible but will happen sooner than you think. Three; you will most likely make mistakes and flunk. But it is in the falling and rising that you learn and grow.

Four; It might not be easy but it is possible. Look well to this day and to the history of your future.

Sam Kebongo teaches entrepreneurship at Rwanda Tourism University College. He also is a Director at Serian Ltd that provides skills and business advisory services consultancy.

sam.kebongo@gmail.com

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