Written by Yoga Nesadurai, Partner at Supertrends Institute
I wanted to be a geologist! Yes, I LOVED geography in school. I aced the subject all through school. And I was lucky to live in different countries growing up. My geologist mind was so intrigued by the different lands and how they were formed. Why were some places so arid, like the little village we lived in, in Nigeria. Whilst others were prone to flooding – the East of India.
My father’s role as a drainage and irrigation specialist was to build canals for the farmers in Nigeria and mitigate flooding in India. I was so keen to know what lay deep below my feet and how mountains were formed. They still intrigue me. I think that is why I love the outdoors. I am a geologist at heart.
When I told my father that I wanted to study geology at university, his immediate reaction was “you want to be on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean drilling for oil”. Back then geology and oil were closely linked. I won’t go into details but suffice to say I did not go on to study geology. I sometimes have a sliding doors moment (from the movie, Sliding Doors – where Gwyneth Paltrow faces 2 scenarios), and wonder what it would have been like if I had gone down the geology route.
Besides geography, I loved mathematics and physics. My next option was engineering. So, I went onto study engineering and made choices and decisions accordingly. I believed from a young age that life is what we make of it. I have no regret and call upon the geologist in me when needed.
When we are young, we want to be a train driver, fireman, policeman/policewoman, an astronaut and more. The possibilities are infinite. And then we grow up. We succumb to our cultural norms and thinking – other people’s thinking. We are influenced by our parents, teachers, peers, community and more.
I am currently reading Dan Sullivan’s book, The Gap and Gain, and this quote got me thinking. “A lot of people have other people’s brains: their parents’, their teachers’, their mentors’—whoever’s telling them how they’re supposed to be. You don’t really have your own brain until you set your own goals and appreciate your own specific experience”.
This resonated with me. It really got me thinking. I am presently living in my family home. It has a lovely garden which was my late father’s favourite space. He spent hours there. I was with him for some of those hours. I learnt about certain trees and how to harvest their fruits from him. I learnt his way of doing things.
I recently caught myself doing things the way he did them. It was only when I stopped to think that I realised I was NOT thinking about what I was doing. I was cutting the fruit the way my father did. It was his thinking. I paused for a moment and wondered if there was another way to extract the fruit. I was trying to extract jack fruit from its shell. Not the easiest of fruits to handle. There is a trick to it, and I was using my father’s trick. But then I looked at the fruit and studied its design and figured out a hybrid method (my father’s and mine) to extract it. I felt rather clever with my discovery.
So much of what we do is based on other people’s brains. Not a bad thing. But how much could we gain or enhance if we stopped and thought about our thinking? And that’s why I created future-proofing you. To inspire you to think about your thinking. And to use your future self to create the future YOU WANT.
I won’t be working as a geologist soon, but I am being my future self as much as I consciously can. Getting clear about my future self was/is key. It is an ongoing process. The geologist in me will keep me curious about the things around me and when the time is right, I may even enrol in short courses to enhance the geologist in me.
- Who is doing your thinking?
- Are you striving towards YOUR goals?
- What about your future, have you envisioned your future self?
Your moment is now.
Yoga Nesadurai, Partner at Supertrends Institute