No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.
~Alan Watts

We are often brought in by clients to help them with strategic thinking and future planning. We partner with them, create a safe space, and structure a day (or a couple of days) for them to have the important conversations they need to have – often the ones they’ve been avoiding. We help them sketch out their blueprints for moving forward to achieve what they need and want to achieve. They – not us – are the experts in what they need to achieve, what they need to discuss, and how they need to move forward.

But before they dive into the future, we help our clients connect with their “now.” Building a clear picture of where they currently are as a leadership team, department, or organization is essential to map out how to move forward. They need to know where they’re starting out to find their path forward. In other words, they need to live in, and own, their now.

The same is true for our coaching clients. They often come to us either weighted down by their current situations or stressing about the future they want to build. We quickly point out that they need a clear picture of their now – not one clouded by misperceptions and frustration – in order to make forward movement. They also need to live in their now – own it, embrace it, be realistic about it, make the best of it – before they can make plans for a future different than today.

We need to understand our now – and to accept it and live in it – in order to map out how we want to move forward. Often, we can get so caught up in how we want things to be better or different. We can imagine our future and create a vision for our organization, but, again, if we’re not also rooted in the present and how things currently are, we won’t be able to create valid plans to move ourselves, or our organizations, forward. We need to know our starting point to map out our path.

We need to understand, face, and live in our now in order to make plans for the future – especially plans that are actionable and potentially achievable.

How have you lived in the now to move forward for the future?
Please leave a comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

If you want to live now and create a better tomorrow, contact Robyn at

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