How to Find Your Future (with the help of Google)

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know your future

The internet is like a time capsule. When something is created and put on the internet, it’s there for everyone to see at any point in the future.

If I googled your name, what comes up? What’s the story that the internet tells about you, your work, and your life?

Maybe I’d see some blog posts you’ve written. Maybe I’d find some photos of you. Maybe I’d see your social media profiles.

Search engines show a snapshot of your past.

But imagine with me for a moment if you could google your future.

What are the things you’d want to find on the first few pages of search results?

  • Books you’ve written
  • Podcasts you’ve been interviewed on
  • Organizations that you’ve worked with
  • Albums that you’ve written and released
  • Tools you’ve created
  • Positions you’ve held
  • People you’ve helped
  • Something entirely different

What would they be?

We often get caught up in big questions about what we want to do with our lives and what we’d do if we knew we wouldn’t fail. You’ve been asked those before, haven’t you? So often they’re too big to be helpful. They leave us overwhelmed and frustrated.

It’s more helpful to focus on details and work backwards from there. It’s more helpful to imagine, if even just for a moment, the kind of search engine results you’d like to create.

Try it:

  1. Search for your name and see what comes up.
  2. Open a document or journal and draft a few ideas.
  3. Put them in search result format:
    Site title: Page title.
    Website url
    160 character description of what’s on that page.

Don’t get lost in the details or overwhelmed by the possibilities. Just connect to your desire and dream about what you’d like to create.

You don’t need to worry about being literal and exact here. The point is not that these are the exact things that you should go out and do. The point is that these things are the type of things that you want to create. These tell you something about who you are, what you want, and what your work in the world is.

Share one or two of your future search results in the comments.

Dan Cumberland is on a mission to push you into the places meaning, life, & work intersect. He is the author of The Meaning Manifesto. Read more about him here, and connect with him on facebook and twitter.

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