Write a new future today

50 Cent’s favorite rappers are KRS-One and Kool G Rap. Still, he hasn’t patterned his career after theirs. He asks in Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, “What would be the point of that? They were both incredible in their moment, but I’ve always been more concerned about creating my own moments rather than copying theirs.”

In other words, 50 Cent avoided an all-too-common heuristic; he didn’t take their careers and build a future for himself out of it. Instead, while he appreciated their moments, he was constantly assessing what he saw around him and making moves based on his present circumstances. 

He did projects that constantly created new possible futures for him. When other artists bet on alcohol, he invested in Vitamin Water. When he saw music going digital, and the rise of Beats by Dre, he bet on SMS Audio. When he saw the opportunities in film and television—perhaps evidenced by the Marvel Cinematic Universe—he set out to create his own equivalent with his TV show Power and Starz (and took relatively little pay in the first deal).

Futures are not set and forget things. If you’ve created a future for yourself in the past, it needs to stand the test of time; otherwise, you risk your life falling to conceptual stagnation. For example, you’re not doing something because you don’t think that your hero would have done it. Or the opposite—you’re adhering to a rule because you think you heard someone you admire say it.

When you are moving through your life checking the boxes off a list that you—or somebody else—made a long time ago, it’s time to open your eyes back up again. You have the freedom to write a new future today. That means not only setting your sights higher, but also accepting the lessons you learn about yourself along the way.

The simple way to do this is to write your current list out and give each item some more thought. Or if you want drastic change, list out each item, and edit each item lightly, or replace each one with something new. It’s a simple list, but it could be your prototype for the future.

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