Is There a Future? Plan On It!
by Paul Barrett

The following is a reprint from the text of Financial Wisdom. Although this was written over a dozen years before 9-11, it more applicable today than it was then. Finanial Wisdom is based on principles. Principles endure the test of time.


An excerpt from the book Financial Wisdom:

The future is unknown. You cannot see it; you cannot touch it. You can never be certain it will exist. It is unknown.

Humans, not unlike other animals, seem to have an instinctive fear of the unknown. Like a turtle without its shell, man, the creative culmination of the cosmos, stands helplessly unclad against the passage of time and its enigmatic future. Although this primeval fear of the unknown is generally buried deep within the subconscious mind, it will often surface when one is faced with decisions involving the future. This irrational fear can and will trigger avoidance mechanisms, cause apprehension, and cripple action. People with a fear of the future seldom face reality!

Those people with a deep subconscious fear of the future never get started in life; what's more, they never achieve their goals. Ask yourself, how do you view the future? Do you see it as frightening and confusing or beautiful and promising? Like all things in life, your perception of the future will be determined by the way, in which you view tomorrow.

If your viewpoint is optimistic, tomorrow will be a day you wait for with happy anticipation. Optimists will see a silver lining in every cloud of despair; they will paint a rainbow over every stormy sky. Pessimists, on the other hand, will cower over the thought of tomorrow and the uncertainty it brings. With each passing moment pessimists will see doomsday quickly approaching. Every frightening headline and each report of bad news will strike terror and fear into their trembling hearts.

In effect, where the future is concerned, your outlook on life will be determined more by your own personality and perception than those circumstances surrounding youĶ

One thing you gain by being optimistic in the face of the unknown is peace of mind. Another benefit gained by remaining positive about the future is the potential to shape your own destination.

Without carrying this idea to metaphysical extremes, use common sense and answer these questions. If you were to act under the presumption that the world was deteriorating economically, socially, and morally, or if you believed that doomsday was just around the corner, what would be your chances of becoming financially secure? Would you take the time to plan your future? Would you save a portion of your income for future investment?

Common sense tells us that pessimists are extremely insecure; they harbor a deep fear of the unknown. It's very unlikely that pessimists would place a vested interest in what they believe to be a hopeless future.

Now juxtapose the above situation with that of an optimist who believes in the future of his country, the world, and above all, his own abilities. Of these two types of people, which would you expect to have the greatest chance of future success?

Now do you understand why we need to plan in spite of darkness or impending doom? Don't be fooled by your own emotions into joining the bandwagon of despair. Don't change your viewpoint with each new headline. Don't live your life in fear of the future. Don't delay plans in response to a fear of the unknown! Learn to become a stable and confident person able to face the realities of the future with confidence and optimism.

Think about how often you viewed the world as a beautiful place in which to live. Then your emotions changed and, like a passing cloud, the world took on the appearance of a planet filled with misery and suffering. This is human nature! It is true, the world changes. But on a daily basis it changes much less than the feelings and perceptions of its billions of inhabitants.

In truth, the world is an unusual blend of good and bad, beautiful and ugly, life and death. Each minute, each hour, each resplendent moment we live can be filled with either joy and pleasure or pain and misery. For the most part, it's your choice; reality is often what you make it.

Stabilize your emotions and learn to be rational. Don't panic. Don't stampede towards the exit just because someone yells fire. Keep your eyes open and your mind alert. Learn to face the future without fear.

Before you give up on the future, it would be wise for you to abide in the following bit of wisdom: WITHOUT A BELIEF IN THE FUTURE, YOU CANNOT PLAN. WITHOUT A PLAN, YOU HAVE NO DIRECTION. WITHOUT DIRECTION, YOU ARE LOST. The wise are not lost; they have direction. They believe in the future and make plans today.

Future Uncertainty

How many times have you heard a preacher deliver a sermon claiming the world was about to end? Or how many times have you heard an economist predict that our economy was about to collapse in a deep and dark depression?

The truth is, there's often justification in their stories! That's right, many times the points they make and the conclusions they draw are very realistic. A person would have to be either blind, ignorant, or both, not to realize the world is becoming much more complex; and, along with this diabolical complexity it's also becoming increasingly more unstable. Economic collapse and World War Three have become distinct possibilities for the future of mankind. Time may very well be running out!

Many preachers and ministers are preaching that this may be the generation that witnesses Armageddon. If Armageddon were to arrive, there would be no chance of survival; our fate would be in the hands of one mightier than us.

It's important to face the potential reality of future events, no matter how horrible they may seem. But how do we prepare for a grim future? How should we conduct our lives in the face of such horror? My advice is to believe in God, have faith, and go forward. To face the future you must be courageous and strong and, above all, you must never worry about something that hasn't happened.

Don't escape reality face it. Don't go through life with an unconscious fear of the future. Be prepared. Make plans. And should tomorrow turn out to be a bright sunny day, you will find yourself one step closer to reaching your destination!

If you feel that the anticipation of an uncertain future is holding you back from making personal and financial plans, the best remedy is to avoid worrying. Each generation had predictions that it was to be the last. If the end is near, your real concern should be your spiritual relationship to God. If you are standing right with your creator and the end is near, then so be it let it come.

The wise know that to be fearful of the future in any way will hinder your actions today. I believe if you plan and live your life right, the future will take care of itself. The men and women that move forward in times of uncertainty are the brave and faithful. They invariably become the leaders and winners in life. So break the shackles of fear. The future is bright and beautiful it is filled with the promises of God.

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