How to Use Your Past to Predict Your Future

Being able to see the future is an extremely handy tool, but how do you do it? I will of course get to that but first as ever with the Equations of Life Series I start with an equation:

Understanding of the past + Understanding of the Present = Ability to predict the future

If I said to you that we all can see the future, and the future that we can best see is our own, most would say that I was talking rubbish, but I assure you that it is possible, and I will prove it.

Ever seen the weather? If you have you have seen a prediction of the future. But then we all know that the weather report isn’t exactly accurate, in fact, it’s a fair bet that the majority of us know that one of the things you should trust least is a weather report. The question is how do we know that? How do we know not to trust the weather report?

From our past experiences of the weather report, that’s how. So based on our experiences of the past, we can predict the future – which in this case is that the weather report will likely prove inaccurate.

That might not seem like predicting the future, but the principle of the method is the key, so bear with me and let’s keep with it and try something else.

I predict that if a highly attractive man starts approaching women on the street and asking if they want to have sex with him, that the answer will be no – every time. Not just that, if he persists, he will likely end up getting arrested.

However, I predict that if a highly attractive woman starts walking up to men on the street and asking them if they want to have sex with her, there’s a good chance that eventually she will find someone who will say yes.

Do you agree, on both counts? Think about why and where the information that is allowing you to agree or not comes from.

Tonight, I predict that you will brush your teeth, I predict that you will brush your teeth the next night as well, and the night after. I predict that for 99.9% of the people who read this, I have just made an accurate prediction.

So there you have it, I’ve just predicted a part of your future and I’ve not even met you. Again, not a greatly accurate prediction, as I don’t know when you will brush your teeth, nor how. But I do know to a very high probability that you will brush your teeth, and more importantly, I bet you know that you will brush your teeth.

I also bet that unlike in my prediction, where I could only make an educated guess that you will brush your teeth, with no clue when or how, you yourself will know the likely time that you will brush your teeth, as well as the method of brushstroke that you will use, the toothbrush that you will use, the toothpaste that you will use, and much much more.

And you’ll know this based on first, past history, you always brush your teeth at this time and in this way, and second, present history, you know what your schedule for the day is, for the week is, perhaps even for the month is. And you take all this information, compile and compute it and use it to predict your future teeth brushing endeavours.

Predictions of the future are everywhere

Ever invested in the stock market? The prices of companies on the stock market are based on predictions for the future, and the information used to predict the futures of those stocks and shares is the past.

Ever bet on a horse race or a football match? You are trying to predict the future. And the odds you used when making those bets, which are provided by bookies, are based on attempted predictions of the future, and they are created using information from the past.

Though anyone who’s ever invested in the stock markets or has gambled in any way or form will know that it’s difficult to predict the future. The lack of information and the ability to predict unknown variables is the reason.

Why do you think businesses and people prefer investing in people who have proven themselves rather than people who have not? Because they have more information on the proven people than they do the unproven, and so are better able to predict the results of their future employment.

On a side note, this is why if you wish to succeed at anything, one of the most important things you must do is find a way to prove that you can do what you say you can.

The more information we have, the better we are able to predict the future. The reason we struggle with the stock markets, and with betting on football matches and horse races, and with investing in and employing unproven people, is that there are too many variables that make it difficult for us to gain enough information to make accurate predictions.

In our lives, because we have so much information on ourselves, there are less variables – which means we are able to make better predictions for ourselves.

You can use your knowledge of the past to improve your future

Marketing companies exist to predict the future, and their entire ad campaigns are based upon those future predictions. Shopkeepers even as far back as the Roman times stock their shops with items that they predict people will buy.

And what information do they use to try to predict the future? The information they have on you, or us – their addressable market.

Ever bought warm clothes for the ensuing winter ahead? If you have then you have done so because of your prediction that you will need warm clothes – and that prediction will be based upon your knowledge of past winters. So you are using your past to predict and prepare for your future.

And no one knows your past better than you.

Returning to the teeth washing example, why do you wash your teeth? Likely because you don’t want to lose them – I predict that to be the most likely reason. You want clean and healthy teeth, and you have learned through experience that cleaning them each night is the best way to have clean and healthy teeth.

That means you brush your teeth each night because you have learned through experience that doing so will benefit your present and future – i.e. it means you’re less likely to have your teeth fall out.

But what happens if despite you brushing your teeth each night, they are not staying clean and healthy, and yet you keep washing them the same way? What do you predict will be the result?

Statistically speaking, if the same actions are repeated, the result that happened in the past will happen in the future. That is why history repeats itself, over and over, because actions are repeated over and over.

That is how the weather can be predicted, it is also how you can be predicted, from me predicting that you will wash your teeth, to marketing executives predicting what you will buy, to the person who is walking all over you, who can predict that they will be able to keep doing so – because on past history they have been able to.

If you do certain actions, you will get certain results. Life is an endless equation, and if you don’t change the numbers, you won’t get a different outcome.

To change your future, look at your past

If you brush your teeth correctly, they will stay clean and healthy, if you don’t brush them at all, they will fall out. No matter what, this is what will happen, the maths cannot be changed, no matter how much you may want it to.

Let’s say you are washing your teeth and yet your teeth are not healthy and so you go see the dentist. Let’s say the dentist tells you that the brushstroke you are using to clean your teeth is damaging your teeth, and that is why they are not healthy. After being told this, would you keep using the same brushstroke which the dentist has now told you has been damaging your teeth?

Of course not, you would change the method of stroke to whatever the dentist has told you to change it to, the reason being you know from experience, that if you wish to have clean and healthy teeth, listening to a dentist is a wise idea.

So again, you would use the past to predict the future i.e that if you do this you will get a positive result rather than a negative.

To create a better future, we must become our own dentists

While many of us have a dentist to look after our teeth, very few of us have one to look after our lives, meaning what is needed is for people to become their own dentists.

The way we do this is by looking at our present, then looking at our past, and asking ourselves, are we doing the same things in the present that we did in the past – despite those actions in the past leading to negative outcomes.

For example, are we making the same relationship choices – even though making those choices in the past has led to us being hurt or unhappy? Are we making the same career choices – even though making those choices in the past has not ended well? Are we expecting people to give us jobs or invest in us – even though nobody has done this for us under the same circumstances in the past?

Basically, are we doing things the same in the present as we did in the past, despite those actions in the past yielding negative results?

If the answer is yes, then we already know the outcome, we already know our future, and it’s in the past. If we wish to change it, we need to do something different otherwise history will repeat itself.

So the way that we predict our futures is simply by looking at our pasts and asking ourselves are we doing the same things we did in the past. If so, we already know the future. If you wish to create a different one, you know what you must do.

That’s all from me for today, thanks for reading!

Published by David Graham

Sci-fi and fantasy writer, blogger and photographer emanating from the north-east of England.

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