Monday, 10 August 2015

The Power of Looking Forward to...

Normally we feel that how we are in the present and the way we act and perform in the present are the ramifications of our past. It is felt that our past experiences, learning, interpretations, etc. influence our actions and performances in the present.

But in reality, your present disposition, action and performances are not influenced by your past, but by the future you are looking forward to.

A typical example is the moment you plan a vacation and book the tickets, you start feeling different. Your vacation starts from that instant itself.

A typical case study would be to imagine that you are working late in the evening in your cubicle. You have a lot pending emails, phone calls and reports to be made and attended to. Your boss then calls you to his cabin for an urgent work. You reluctantly walk towards the cabin. As soon as you enter the cabin, your boss makes you to sit and takes out a big packet and places in front of you. He then looks into your eyes and says: “In appreciation of your dedicated, hard work, the management has decided to reward you and has arranged for a week long fully paid vacation for you and your family to be spent in Switzerland.”

After getting this acknowledgement and reward, when you return to your desk, the heavy work load under which you were reeling, would suddenly appear to be light. You gain momentum in your work and you are able to complete it at break-neck speed.

As we can see in this case, though there has been no change in the physical environment or the work load, the whole perception and performance shifted ramatically the moment the fully paid forthcoming company vacation was announced.

Now you are looking forward to the pleasure trip gratis and the very thought of that is positively impacting the present and your performance.

Now fast forward to a week ahead. On the penultimate date of your vacation, when you are relaxing in the seven star luxury of a seaside resort, the manager of the resort comes to you and hands over an envelope giving details of the cab which will take you to the airport. The moment you receive the envelope, your mind goes to the future. You realize that you have to get back to your routine, back home. Now this ‘looking forward to the future’ of going back to work impacts the present experience and feelings.

Even though physically you are in the seven star comfort, the very thought of going back to your office to the routine work starts impacting the present.

Both the above scenarios conclusively prove that our present is impacted largely by the future that you are looking forward to. This being the truth, now we can start determining the type of Impact of what we see as the future we are living into by using the concept and distinction of ‘Looking forward to’.

We, as human beings, have a choice as to what future we want to imagine, visualize through our power of choice. Proactively if we can imagine and visualize a thought process that is prospective, hopeful and a bright future, this in itself will enable us to experience our Present in a more invigorating, energetic, enterprising manner, thereby yielding a much better Performance in the present.

This was clearly demonstrated in our country during the first term of Prime Minister Vajpayee’s tenure. A campaign called ‘Vibrant India’ was launched where it was projected that the Government was working towards creating a ‘Mahan Bharat’. This future perception was aggressively promoted and the entire country was shown the future prospect of a Progressive, Prosperous, and Strong Nation.

This impacted positively the performance and productivity of the people at large in the present. The country clocked a GDP growth of nearly 10% consecutively for 2-3 years.

So the performance in the present moment is determined by the quality of the future that we anticipate.

If an organization or individual perceives a bright future in the organization, automatically one is more energetic, enthusiastic, and involved in the present, thereby positively impacting the performances in the Present. Hence this ‘Looking forward to’ concept can be a very effective way of positively designing, creating, and achieving enhanced performance and productivity at an individual, organizational, state or country level. And each one of us can understand, learn, practice and master the ‘Looking forward to’ concept and thereby accentuate efficiencies, effectiveness, performance and productivity of oneself, one’s organization, state or country.

The fact remains that all the enhanced performance and productivity inputs happen in the present.

A similar enhanced progress, performance and productivity of a state occurred during the time Shri. Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. During more than 10 years of his Chief Ministership, Modiji consciously projected and sold a future picture of ‘Vibrant Gujarat’, a program that had a telling effect on the state economy.

He also intelligently brought in the Bollywood Icon, Amitabh Bacchhan as the State Ambassador who projected Gujarat as a State which is beautiful, resourceful, growing and prosperous, and a state of abundance. This projected prosperous vision was sold aggressively through all media as well as through large, well organized, well attended investment meets and conventions.

Huge publicity was given to the pronounced investment promises of Industrialists like Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani of Reliance, Ratan Tata of the Tata Group, Adani’s, etc. Simultaneously, the bureaucracy and the state machinery were made highly proactive and growth conducive. This automatically added credence to the projected image of Gujarat being in the fast track of growth, progress and prosperity. All this ‘looking forward’ mindset of the people stepped up the business investments and industrialization in Gujarat, accelerating the growth, progress and prosperity of the State. Indeed, Gujarat became the fastest growing state economy with some experts stating that the GDP of Gujarat was even higher than of Singapore.

This is another classic example of the effective utilization of the concept of ‘looking forward to’ and its utility, benefit, impact in enhancing the performance, productivity and profitability. Also I see a similar bright “looking forward to” phenomenon occurring with the advent of PM Narendra Modi’s government in Delhi. The people of the country voted this majority government at the centre on ‘looking forward’ to the vision of “Ache din aane wale hain”. The way the central government is proceeding with a lot of meticulous planning, Integrity, decisiveness, etc., I am personally confident that we will achieve a double digit GDP growth in the coming two years. The whole world’s perception towards India has altered for the better and the world is looking forward to India becoming a truly economic power house and marching towards becoming a developed economy. I as a patriotic Indian want to accentuate the positive perception of my country by consciously speaking positive language on the future of my motherland and look forward to my country becoming once again the Sone ke chidiya (Golden land of the world).

I appeal to all my fellow countrymen to do the same and use the last three principles referred to in this book, namely the impact of “Perception”, “Language” and “Looking forward” to propel our country to great heights.

This article comes from my own Book - 'Unleash your Potential'

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About Arunaagiri Mudaaliar

Arunaagiri is an Author of best selling books like 'Unleash your Potential' & 'Jogging for Life Success', an International Sportsman, a Successful Entrepreneur, a widely loved Yoga Teacher and a reputed International Corporate Trainer.