Future History philosophy

For the past few years I’ve known a fella called Mike Witchell, a sales manager at one of my customers.  He’s one of the good guys, albeit with a dangerous obsession in motorcycle racing at the weekends.

I’ve just come across an old email of his explaining how he runs with a philosophy he calls “future history”.  It’s about writing down where you desire to be in 5 years (or 1 or 2 or 3 – up to you) and then stating the steps you need to take to get there….. then putting it in your diary and just getting on with it. He then went on about “Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines”.

This reminded me of the famous (and mythic, but that’s another matter…) Wharton Business School survey, when in 1958, all their MBA intake were asked who’d written down their financial life goals.  Only a couple had.  And would you believe it, when re-assessing in 1973, they were worth more than the rest of the class combined.

For the record, here are some more of Mike’s thoughts:

  • Change your thoughts and you will change your attitude
  • Failure is success if we learn from it
  • The ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the right answer
  • Cheerfulness is the atmosphere under which all things thrive
  • One of life’s little ironies is that when you finally master a tough job, you make it look easy
  • Don’t ever over promise and under deliver, how about under promising and over delivering?
  • Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute
  • The problem with waiting until tomorrow is that when it finally arrives it is called today
  • Each failure gets us an opportunity to take one step closer to success
  • Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching?
  • Some people are like a wheelbarrow, they don’t go any further unless they are pushed
  • You must break the chains of the past to experience the freedom of the future
  • There is not a right way to do a wrong thing
  • There are many keys to success but one sure key to failure is trying to please everybody all of the time
  • A true friend is someone who is there for you when they would rather be anywhere else
  • Big mistake – insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it
  • Every person is self made but only the successful ones admit it
  • Life can be like a really good book, the further you get into it the more it begins to make sense
  • Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it, so it is with you, you are in charge of your attitude
  • Aggressive behaviour is most often motivated by fear, assertive behaviour is most often motivated by confidence
  • The best opportunity for success lies within the person not the job
  • There is little you can learn by doing nothing
  • The best way of getting to the top is by getting to the bottom of things
  • Some people will find fault as if there was a reward for it
  • It takes less to keep an old customer satisfied than to get a new customer interested
  • A wish changes nothing – a decision changes everything
  • The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future
  • Challenges can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks. It’s just a matter of how you view them.

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jamie@example.com
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