For each of us, whether it be in business, in a relationship, or our lives, what’s going to happen next occupies a large portion of our thinking. We are always trying to anticipate and plan the next move, the next decision.

How often when we’re at a crossroads, do we wish that we had the foresight to know what was going to happen next? As humans, we massively overthink in this area, always planning, looking at different options and outcomes, maybe trying to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ or vice versa. No matter the area it occurs in, we are always trying to outthink it. It never once occurs to us that whatever is happening is precisely what is meant to occur at a particular moment in time, be it in our lives, relationships, or business.

How often have you missed an opportunity because you were so busy planning or preparing for what was coming next that you forgot to pay attention to what was here right now? We all know that the future is important, but life doesn’t happen in the future, just like it doesn’t happen in the past, life takes place right now at this moment, and if you don’t stop your planning and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Having a plan for the next steps is, of course, important, but it is more important for life to have flexibility and not be so invested in that plan and its steps to fruition, to the point of missing the fun of it. Not always predicting brings new experiences and opportunities into your path.

The funny thing is when you are a small independent business, you tend to look always at the future, ie. the next step. If you’re part of a big corporate firm, often you’ll find that your focus is on the immediate requirement and less so on what happens next. Objectively speaking, it should be the other way around since the corporates have the resources to weather turns in the market and often as small independent businessmen and women we don’t. But in practice, it is us that are forward-thinking. It’s us the small entrepreneurs that are looking for trends and cues that will show us what the next big product or the next service will be; then, we should be onboarding and selling.

While in many ways the big corporations are sitting back resting on their laurels, it’s up to the ‘stand-alones’ that are planning the next steps because we have to survive. The advantage we have is that we have the agility to swiftly switch products and trends if we see the market shifting as we start to see the future take shape. We’re lean enough to adapt speedily to meet it, the lumbering behemoths that are the market leaders cannot follow suit as swiftly.

The future is our flexibility, but the present is where we will find it. We just have to learn to look beyond the surface.

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