As a kid, reading always seemed like a chore. My time seemed better spent making up games in the neighborhood or exploring the mighty depths of my backyard swimming pool. It wasn’t until college that I really began to enjoy reading. Maybe it was because no one was telling me what to read but something tells me it had more to do with the constant snowfall I was experiencing for the first time in Boston.

I started reading about entrepreneurs and their path to success. I was instantly hooked and still am today. Leaving Microsoft, Start Something That Matters, and What I Wish I knew When I Was Twenty are a few that stand out from that time. They probably weren’t written with any grammatical prowess but to me they were inspiring stories about people whose careers and lessons seemed to resonate. I still love these stories and others like it but recently have dabbled in alternative formats.

Today I completed The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. I’m not going to write a book report, as that might have had something to do with my aversion for reading as a kid. But I will say that I was impressed with its structure. The story was told in an elegant manner and the characters developed naturally throughout the novel. The authors had this almost uncanny ability to reintroduce each one right as you were wondering where they might be or what they might add to the conversation.

In the closing chapter there is a paragraph that has resonated with me all day:

The present is simply a reflection of the future. Imagine that we spend our whole lives staring into a mirror with the future at our backs, seeing it only in the reflection of what is here and now. Some of us would begin to believe that we could see tomorrow better by turning around to look at it directly. But those who did, without even realizing it, would’ve lost the key to the perspective they once had. For the one thing they would never be able to see in it is themselves. By turning their backs on the mirror, they would become the one element in the future their eyes could never find.

The future is exciting; it is the master of the unknown. With it will come new beginnings and new ends. It poses new challenges and answers some very tough questions. The entrepreneur books I have read make me hopeful for the future. They make me feel like anything is possible, the world is ours to make the imprint we wish to leave behind. However, our decisions and actions today are the greatest determinant for what is to come. Be present and focus on what you can do today to build the future of your dreams. And most importantly, never turn your back on the present to search for a better tomorrow because you just might get left behind.