If you could see the future, do you see yourself slumping over a client file with your heart ceasing to beat just as your forehead hits the desk? Or do you see yourself sipping on a nice glass of wine looking out off a deck at (insert your dream view here), and dozing off with a smile on your face?
I have a secret for you. You CAN see the future. I can lay it out for you in less than 2 minutes.
If you want to know what your future looks like, all you have to do is look at your past. Without some sort of shift, you are on a track to live life on the path you’ve already created.
If you’re always feeling behind and there’s a little panic in your actions at work or home, if you are content as the kind of attorney who lays out a plan for growth and sticks to the plan, if you’re the kind of attorney who works all day Saturday and feels guilty taking half day Sunday off… whatever you have been like in the past is exactly what you’ve signed up for in your future.
So what if you’re 32 years old? Your past is still setting the stage for your future. Is work coming before family? Do you have balance?
And what if you’re 62 years old? You still have a future course that your past has put you on.
If you don’t like what you see, wherever you are in your career, it’s the perfect time of year to start reflecting. Are your work and family habits in the past 3-5 years equipping you to retire or sell your practice at a particular point in your future?
If you did sell or retire, what would you spend your time doing? If you don’t have a bucket list or a project (have you always wanted to fly helicopters, own a boat and drift around the world, spend time in a cabin providing online consulting to new business owners and playing with grandkids?), or some ideas on how you’ll be productive and contribute even after you leave your practice… now is the perfect time to start including those thoughts in your daydreaming and your planning.
Without having these components sprinkled into your planning — your default future is bound to hit you on the forehead at some point down the line.
Chief Operating Officer
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555