Forward Looking - By Jerry Black

Jennifer Hester |

In United States business law “Forward Looking” by definition is:, a forward-looking statement or safe harbor statement that cannot sustain itself as merely a historical fact. A forward-looking statement predicts, projects, or uses future events as expectations or possibilities. Precedence can also lend credence to forward looking statements. 

In accounting a Chief Financial Officer may make certain “forward looking” statements followed or preceded by certain disclaimers in order to mitigate potential liability and yet they are given for the purpose of providing optimism or appropriate expectations. 

I’ve been thinking about this concept for a few weeks now and I’m prepared to make some forward looking statements (FLS) without fear of reprisal, with great anticipation and only with minimal disclaimers, though some of the disclaimers may be quite important. 

Certain premises are necessary to set the stage for my forward looking statements (FLS): In science there are first principles. Here I offer First Premises. 

Worldview affects every life decision and Worldview affects every financial decision.

Everything affects everything else and there is no such thing as a purely life or financial decision.

FLS 1: I am looking forward to 2017. It will be another year of challenges and opportunities. I will be somebody new because of who I will have had to become to achieve things important to me. I am somebody new today because of the challenges I overcame in 2016. 

FLS 2: Because of the challenges and opportunities of 2017, what I Know, Believe and Do will be challenged. 2016 was such a year. Disclaimer: If I don’t maintain a long term perspective I will probably make some bad short term decisions and if I make decisions with an eternal perspective in mind I will possibly make better temporal decisions. Disclaimer 2: I will be a fool if I don’t seek counsel when faced with challenges and opportunities – For the wise man is he who listens to counsel and the way of a fool is right in his own eyes. Prov. 12:15

FLS 3: It is likely my number of life years ahead will be greatly less than those behind me. I turned 60 last year. Assuming good health I may have my most influential and impactful years ahead. Disclaimer: If I don’t remain intentional about those remaining years I will not be as influential or impactful.

FLS 4: God will be good to me. Disclaimer: There may well be times I won’t understand His goodness or appreciate His sovereignty but will seek nonetheless to accept it. Hopefully I will listen well to understand well.

FLS 5: I will leak in 2017 and if I leak too much I will be empty. Accordingly, I will seek to stay full of ideas and principles that keep me filled and headed in the right direction. I see good messages, good teachings, good fellowship, good community in my future. Disclaimer: Things happen. That stack of great books may not get read but I remain committed to at least the first 66 most important. Disclaimer 2: This world is full of noise, distractions, lies and deceptions. Therefore, I must remain wise and be prudent. A foolish man ignores peril to his detriment. 

FLS 6: I think I am going to hear some really cool stories in 2017. And I strongly suspect they all will be true stories. Some of them will be yours. That’s exciting to contemplate. 

FLS 7: Legacies will continue to be a matter of choice. Disclaimer: Think about that. 

FLS 8: Our Republic will continue to face challenges. Disclaimer: Everything rises and falls on leadership. Leaders are not perfect. Good leaders will have a clear vision and will lead under authority. Our culture faces challenges. How we deal with them will be our choices. The same is true for how we lead our families, churches, companies, organizations. 

FLS 9: Virtues will continue to trump values. Disclaimer: If values trump virtues things may not go well. All virtues are values but many values are not virtues.

FLS 10: My heart will be where I put my money. Disclaimers: 1) Giving is the only antidote to materialism and 2) it prospers me not to raise my standard of living but to raise my standard of giving. 

FLS 11: Focus will remain important. Disclaimer: As in photography if the light isn’t good the image might not be good. The light I’m attracted to will affect my focus. My camera is exceedingly good at fast focusing but if the light isn’t good it doesn’t matter if I focus manually or auto-focus, the image will usually not be sharp. If my life focus isn’t good the results can be imperfect. My best photography occurs when I arrive at a place and think (focus) about what story I want to tell. And when challenges occur, will I focus on the Slough of Despond, The Hill Difficulty or The Celestial City? How I see my circumstances remains a function of my worldview. My best photography has also occurred when I’ve persevered. Being the first to arrive or last to leave has helped. It has been said it’s rather saintly to persevere. 

FLS 12:  We all will continue to have the 5 F’s. Remember: The First Premises above?
Here’s a corollary. We all have the facts of our lives; we have families; we have faith, we have finances, we have feelings. Disclaimer: How we think about these 5 F’s is either integrated or disintegrated. 

So, there you have it. 12 Forward Looking Statements. Make it a great Year in 2017.