Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about How to Predict Your Future and Certainty and Uncertainty.Support the show
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Hello and welcome to episode #86 of Eye-Opening Moments where you’ll hear real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. They are moments that can lift your spirits, give you some food for thought, or move you. For the introspective mind that likes to reflect, discover, and find solutions or meaning in a complex life, this is for you. I’m your host Emily Kay Tan. In this episode, you will hear about How to Predict your Future and Certainty vs. Uncertainty.
How To Predict Your Future
If you want to know your future, see a fortune teller, some people say. Some believe in it, while others do not. Still, we want to know the unknown. Try on that fortune tellers know your destiny. Then doesn't that mean your life is predetermined, and you have no say about it? Try on that you can design your future by working on it from the present. Doesn't that mean you are creating what you want for your future? Two opposite approaches can predict your future. Which one is the best? Each has its merits, and you can choose whichever you want. However, there is yet a third way to predict your future.
I have tried all three ways. For the curious and the one who wants quick answers, you can see a fortune teller. They can say some things about your future, but what do you do after hearing about it? You may question its validity. You may not believe it or want to believe it. You choose your own response. You may believe it, and then what?
Even though it has been many years since I first went to a fortune teller, I will never forget the experience and what was foretold. I was skeptical, but I also wanted to know if there was a possibility that a person's future could be told. By giving my birthdate and birthtime, the man used those two pieces of information and looked at my palm and face to tell me about my future. After hearing all that he had to say, I could hardly believe it. I was still a bit skeptical, but I kept the ideas in my mind. I secretly kept track to see if what he said would happen in my future. One after another did happen. A few took less than ten years to happen. Some took around fifteen years to happen. Another few took over twenty years. There are only a few left on my list. Thus far, most of what he said has come true. I couldn't believe they came true, and I didn't want some to come true, but they did anyway. I couldn't stop it.
Because I did not think what I was told would come true, the results caused me to change my perception of life. For the first time, I acknowledged that there are things in life that we have no control over. I wish I had control over everything in my life, but I don't. Since some of what the fortune teller said had already come true, it made me begin to think that our lives are predetermined. I am still waiting to know about a few more, but thus far, what has come true is incredible or hard to believe. The results have left me unable to ignore that there is a possibility that our lives are predetermined.
Even if our lives could be predetermined, we still have some control over how we react or deal with what will happen. As I do want some power in my hands, I choose to say whatever will happen will happen, but I will decide how I will deal with it or react to it.
The opposite of predicting the future with a fortune teller is to design your future from the present. Creating a future from the present could look like new year's resolutions. You say what you want for the future, and begin working towards achieving the goals. For example, you say you want a college degree four years from now, so you do the work to make it happen by that date. In another instance, you might say you want to lose fifty pounds by next year. You give yourself a year to achieve the goal or realize it by the date you choose.
For a planner like me, I have made many plans for the future. Some turned out the way I wanted, and some did not. Many plan or map out their destiny to have some control or say about it.
I planned when I would graduate from college and graduate school, and it all worked out. I planned when I would take my vacations, bought the plane tickets, and arrived at the date I wanted. I planned what I would do during the weekend and followed through to make it happen. I could lay out long-term or short-term goals to make them happen at a future date. That is one way to predict the future. But not all well-planned agendas turn out the way I want. Not all goals designed could be met by the date I wanted. So, predicting the future in this way does not always work. On the other hand, sometimes it does work. That is why many people choose this strategy. Further, it gives you some sense of power or a say about your future.
I have found yet another way. Instead of planning from the present to the future, design from the future to the present. While planning from the present to the future is looking to the future for what you want, planning from the future to the present is placing yourself in the future, at least in your mind, and taking action now. Instead of predicting your future, you bring your future to the present. When you transport your future to the present, you live the future you want. I feel much more power in my hands. I can stop merely hoping that things will turn out the way I want because I can take action to make it happen now. I act like I am living my future, only it is happening in the present.
One of my fortune tellers told me I could be a writer. The result was that I thought it was a lofty idea, but I dreamed of becoming a writer and never did anything about it to make it happen.
As a planner, I attended a seminar and bought a program to help me get started on writing an e-book. It is still on the back of my bookshelf somewhere. Still, I planned to be a published writer in my mind. I told myself that one day when I retired, I would spend my days writing and eventually publishing a book. I had many ideas about what to write and brainstormed even more. I haven't retired yet, so the plan could still be in the works.
Open to new ideas, I learned about "forward from the future." As I understand it, it is working from the future to the present. I said I wanted to become a writer when I retired, so I planned my future life in retirement. I took no real action. One day, it occurred to me that I might lose my memories, health, and vitality, or some other obstacle would block the dream from becoming a reality. It seemed like the planning of it all was a waste of time. And the fortune teller's words did not help me make it a reality. However, when I began to think from the future, things began to change.
In the future, I saw myself sitting at a desk before a window, looking out into trees or nature in front of me. My laptop is on my desk. I choose some soothing rain music accompanied by piano music and click to have it play. I go boil a pot of hot water. While it is heating, I get a cup, a spoon for stirring, and a pack of coffee designed for one individual. With a spoon in the mug and a one-serving pouch of coffee, I am ready to pour the boiling water in when the light from my electric pot clicks to signal it is boiling and ready. Soon I can pour the coffee. I bring it to my desk and place it next to my laptop. I begin writing. Full of ideas stored in my brain for many years, I start typing effortlessly. Feeling full self-expression appearing before my eyes in words, I am engrossed in the wonders of writing. I can't help but smile.
Soon I brought that future scene in my mind into the present. I have a desk with a window in front of it and trees in front of my window! I have a laptop. Let me go make the coffee. Let me find that rain and piano music! I write. I write. I write. The ideas are flowing just as I had envisioned them. My smile is bigger than when I imagined this scene. I have brought my future into my present and made it a reality. The fine details had me see it as real. Visualizing each minute speck made me feel the possibility. Seeing and feeling it, I brought the future into the present and made it a reality!
I am not in retirement yet, but I am now a podcaster and published writer with some books to my name. Writing is a form of self-expression and a way of sharing with others. Giving hope, insights, and perspectives in overcoming challenges for myself and others has been fulfilling. It has given me more joy and gratification than I ever imagined. Besides enjoying a dream come true, the ultimate satisfaction is knowing I had a hand in moving my future to the present.
Past generalizations did not help forward the future dream. Just thinking about it did not do it. Dabbling in things related to writing did not do it. Others telling me I could do it did not bring me into action either. All those things could not move me into action; I felt like a hopeless dreamer.
Like trying on a shirt, if this one doesn't fit or look right, try another and another until you find the one that works for you. You could try seeing a fortune teller, psychic, or astrologer to predict your future. You could be a planner of your life and plan out your future from the present. You could live your life from the future by bringing it to your present. I know they all work to some degree because I have tried them. What works best for me is knowing if I can have a hand in it or if I can do something about it. Others may want to know without action, which is also a choice.
Having done all three, I still do all three. I want to cover all the bases for predicting my future. And they all work to some extent. However, the feeling I get from each is different. A fortune teller makes me feel helpless in designing my future, but it reminds me that I cannot control every aspect of my life. Being a planner helps organize a life that seems surrounded by chaos and brings hope, clarity, and purpose to my life. Opened to bringing the future into the present, I find excitement and action to realize what I want and put it in the NOW. I rejoice, knowing I have some power in my hands to determine my future. I can also delight in knowing that there are also many surprises left to amaze or astonish me.
Certainty and Uncertainty
I wanted to be certain I got into college, so I applied to many schools.
I wanted to be sure I would not be kicked out of my home, so I bought a home of my own, so no one could say I didn’t belong.
I wanted to be certain my boyfriends would not abandon me, so I tossed them out, and they never had a chance to do it.
I wondered why I wanted certainty. Was it simply to know what would happen or to have control or power over my life? Was it to ensure I got what I wanted? Did I want guarantees? If I wanted guarantees, why did I want them? I want to feel safe and secure. Who doesn’t want that?
Companies give warranties to give us assurances about their products. They know we want some guarantees, even for a limited time. People make promises to make you feel secure or to say that you can trust them. Contracts for jobs, loans, and homes are written, so both parties know what to expect. Now I am convinced it is not only me wanting certainty, but everybody wants certainty!
I beg to ask, why do I still want certainty? Because there is so much uncertainty that shocks us, disappoints us, and pains us.
I was certain I would live in my country forever, but circumstances led me to move abroad. I was certain that someone would not cheat on me if someone truly loved me, but my boyfriend did. I was sure that best friends don’t lie to each other, but one of mine did. I was confident that I would be a teacher forever, but no.
My certainty appeared based on preconceived notions or my inability to see the future. I never thought I would live outside my country, but looking to begin a new chapter in life, I found the need to go far away. I never thought the love of my life would cheat on me because I believed in the power of love. I knew that when I loved someone, I wouldn’t cheat on them and expected the same from the other person. I thought best friends tell each other everything and would be honest. That was my notion of best friends, but I learned that not everybody felt the same way I did. I thought I’d be a teacher forever because I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. But with exposure to other things of interest, I found myself engaging in other endeavors.
With certainty shattered by uncertainty, you want a return to certainty. Perhaps it is because it is a place of familiarity or comfort without the fear of the unknown or unwanted results.
Shocked and devastated by a cheating boyfriend, I moved abroad. I never saw myself living in another country, but I did it. These two unforeseen events shattered my world into pieces. I was broken and knew not how to put all the pieces back together. They couldn’t be reassembled. Uncertainty took over certainty.
Uncertainty, a place of discomfort, began to be an undiscovered positive place to be.
Since what was certain could no longer be reliable, uncertainty came to live at the forefront of my world. This occurrence forced me to live in the present. The past trapped me into false assumptions, and the future was undetermined. All that was left was the present; my only choice was to live in the here and now. Experiencing its value is appreciating each moment that is all too fleeting. Without the past and future, there are fewer worries of wondering and pondering. All that is left is living in the present.
In the present, there is no tomorrow. I am left feeling like each day could be my last day. So, I live. I traveled every time I had vacation time. I had fun at every chance I got. Whenever I bought a bag of Lay’s sour cream and onion chips at night, I’d sit down and eat a whole bag in one sitting. My first thought was that I was doing something terrible or unhealthy, and in the next moment, I’d tell myself that if I were to die tomorrow, I’d die happy, enjoying my bag of chips and doing what I wanted.
Amazingly I enjoyed a carefree and worry-free life for five years. And then the desire for certainty snuck up on me again. However, now I could acknowledge that when I wanted certainty, it was me feeling insecure and wanting security. And when uncertainty was present, I’d tell myself to be with it. Be happy with the surprises that it brings. Be thrilled for the mysteries that it brings. Surprises and mysteries enrich our lives, so uncertainty mixed with certainty is good!
Key Takeaways: Though we cannot always predict the future, there are three ways we can ensure what happens in the future.
Though I wanted certainty in the face of uncertainty, I learned it was my insecurity talking. Since we always have some uncertainties, we can see them as surprises and mysteries.
Next week, you will hear two new real-life stories called Another Side of Fear and The Traces Remain. If you enjoyed this episode of Eye-Opening Moments, please share it with others, support the show by clicking on the link in the description, or go to www.inspiremereads.com and leave a message. Thank you for listening!