Okay, so yesterday I suggested you need to forget about S.M.A.R.T. goals and instead let yourself go and daydream. Come up with the most exciting vision of what you want your life to become–that’s the whole idea behind Future Pull.
Your vision has to have several key ingredients for it to become the powerful Future Pull that you want. It has to be yours and yours alone; it has to be something you believe is possible and that you believe you are worthy of, and it has to be unconflicted.
Meet those conditions and you will find that it becomes effortless to move towards your vision. Frank Lloyd Wright said, “The thing always happens that you really believe in and the belief in the thing makes it happen.”
Creating your Ideal Day may happen easily or it may take you a period of time. Don’t force it. Start by allowing yourself to daydream. Let your imagination go and visualize what your life would be like if you were living the life you were born to live.
Close your eyes and let yourself see how a typical day would unfold in your future ideal life. Start from when you first open your eyes in the morning. Look around and clearly see the room you are in. What do you hear? Do you hear birds singing? A nearby creek bubbling over the rocks? Or perhaps a rooster’s cry wakes you up. It’s your life to create.
What do you do when you first wake up? Are you filled with excitement? Do you jump out of bed and immediately start your day? Or do you stretch and relax for a while before you get up? Do you have a partner lying beside you? Or are you alone? Do children run in and jump on your bed to wake you? It’s your life to create.
As your mind’s eye moves through your day, pay attention to the details. Where do you live? What do the rooms look like? Where do you work? Who do you work with? How do you spend your work day? How do you feel as you interact with your coworkers and the public? What skills are you using? How does the time flow in your Ideal Day? What about the evening? How do you spend it? Do you have a hobby that allows you to express your creativity? Do you work out or perhaps take a jujitsu or zumba dance class? Do you spend the evening with friends at a restaurant or entertaining them in your own kitchen? It’s your life to create.
As you follow your future self moving through your Ideal Day, pay attention to the feelings you experience. If you feel any hesitation or discomfort or doubt it might be an indication that the details are not authentic. Remember, you want this Ideal Day to be yours and yours alone. Not a day that is imposed on you by someone else’s expectations. It should fill you with joy and optimism.
When you’ve clearly seen your Ideal Day in your mind, it’s time to record it. There is a very specific way to write it out.
First, write it in the first person. So you would say, “I wake up early to the sound of the ocean waves breaking on the beach outside my home.” Or, “I meet friends for lunch at the local bistro and we sit and enjoy our salads and chat for a couple of hours.”
Second, write it in the present tense as though it’s happening right now. You would write something like, “I am working out intensely while my personal trainer makes sure that I push myself and give it that extra push.” Or, “Now that it’s eleven o’clock at night and my guests have left, my husband and I clean up the dishes and go hand in hand up to bed.”
Third, describe the details. You might write, “My office is large and airy and uncluttered and I have a view of the city from the floor to ceiling windows.” Or, “I enjoy driving my Toyota Avalon along the highway, window open and the dog sitting in the back seat enjoying the breeze.”
Another option is to write it out as though it’s the end of your Ideal Day and you are writing in your journal. Or turn it into a letter that you are writing to a friend telling them how your day went. The important thing is to make it real, make it vivid, and make it as though it is happening or has happened. You are creating your future reality.
One final caution: Don’t let ‘what’s possible’ limit your dreams. Let your imagination go free. Mike Dooley, one of the teachers on The Secret, and author of Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic, refers to the ‘cursed hows’. Don’t let the ‘cursed hows’ muddy your waters. Just picture, as clearly as you can, the life you would create if you had no barriers, no limits.
One of the most inspiring people I spoke with about how she made her dreams come true was Zenovia Evans. Zenovia grew up in ‘the hood’ in New York City. Her mother was a crack addict and abandoned Zenovia when she was just a baby. Her father was a good man but uneducated and lost. He wasn’t able to provide Zenovia with much structure or direction as she was growing up so she ran the streets with all the other lost kids. But Zenovia was different—she had dreams and she believed in them. In fact, Zenovia still has the loose-leaf binder that she made when she was young. She would write out exactly how she wanted her life to be when she grew up. She’d make lists of her goals and add to it as new possibilities were revealed to her.
When Zenovia graduated from high school, she left for Atlanta and never looked back. When I spoke to her she was just a week from her twenty-ninth birthday, an attorney in Colorado and the author of the E-book series, J.D. Lifeline: A Law School Guide for the New Legal Economy. Zenovia still writes out her Ideal Day and goals. In fact, she writes them out in full every day, in longhand, on a yellow legal pad, adjusting and revising as she fine-tunes her vision.
There’s a good reason for writing out your Ideal Day in long-hand. When I talked to Barbara Schiffman, co-author with Camille Leon of The Exhilaration Effect, Building the Courage to Take Your Leap of Faith, she told me that the process of hand-writing forges new links in the brain, making whatever you are writing more believable and more achievable. So rather than sitting at the computer typing out your Ideal Day, try writing it out in your journal. Then, every time you have a new idea, or an even more exciting detail that adds to the realism, write it out again.
The visualization process is crucial to the Future Pull process. That is how you create the reality up ahead in the future that pulls you in the right direction. I suggest that you make it part of a daily practice. Each day spend some time—ten or fifteen minutes—clearly visualizing your Ideal Day in all its glorious detail. Use all your senses. Hear the birds, smell the coffee, feel the smooth sheets when you first wake up. Talk to a friend as you take a stroll in the park, smell your partner’s cologne or aftershave as you dance, hear the thwack of the golf club hitting the ball, feel the breeze on your skin as you skim the waves in your future sailboat.
Are you ready to day dream? Go for it! Spend some time in the future, fully enjoying the life of your dreams, and then record it on paper. Do one or do several, it’s your life to create.
Tomorrow, more details on how to create and use your Ideal Day.