Tool For Tuesday: How To Predict The Future

How can you predict the future? How can you predict what someone else will do?

By looking at what they’ve already done. Look at your boss. She (threw you off there, didn’t I?) criticized you yesterday and the day before that. You can predict that she will criticize you today.

The neighbor who said good morning to you yesterday will say good morning to you today. The neighbor who never says hello–the grumpy one walking his German Shepherd–won’t say hello again this morning.

It’s like “The Truman Show” but it’s your life. Seeing what happened yesterday is the best way to predict tomorrow.

The spouse who says you’re just an OK cook will not say you’re a terrific cook even if you whip up a veal cacciatore worthy of Julia Child. The ex-spouse who gave you a hard time about money will always give you a hard time about money. The parent who hasn’t yet given you what you think you need will continue to not give you what you think you need.

I don’t want to try to fool myself into thinking things will be different and then be surprised, disappointed and shocked when they’re not. You know what I want? The clarity to see reality.  If I see the past and present clearly then I can predict the future. I can be prepared.

The only thing that you cannot predict is your own behavior—if you decide to change, that is. You are the only person you can change. If you change one little thing, then all bets are off and the future is as huge as the sky.

Tool for Tuesday: You can predict the future by looking at the past.

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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