Saturday, December 29, 2007

Step Into Your Future

What if you could step into your future, experience your success, and look back on how you got there? What if you could do a dry run or walkthrough of your future accomplishments and actually feel your results? In Brilliant Nlp: What the Most Successful People Know, Say & Do, David Molden and Pat Hutchinson write about a simple but effective technique from their Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) experience, that you can use to visualize your success.

Visualize Your Success
You can use this technique to set a realistic timescale for your goals and to see how well-formed your outcomes are. Molden and Hutchinson write the following:

"Find a quiet space where you can visualize the journey of achievement. Mark a space on the floor to represent 'now.' From this space walk to a point on the floor a particular distance away to represent the time you think it will take to achieve your outcomes. Stand on this point and look back to 'now.' Spend some time feeling what it's like to have achieved all your outcomes.

Next, walk a little further into the future and turn around. Look back to 'now' again and visualize what you did to achieve your outcomes. Make sure your internal language is in the past tense. Once your mind has grasped the idea that you have already succeeded, visualizing what you did as opposed to what you have to do is a much more creative, insightful and far less stressful process. It's very powerful, and great fun too."
Key Take Aways
Here's my key take aways:
  • Do a dry run of your future. Mental simulation is a great way to do rapid pattern matching. Stepping through your future and asking your mind how you got there, puts your mind into a resourceful state. It goes into problem solving mode. You might be surprised at the results.
  • Incrementally render your future. You can frame out your future and gradually add detail. Framing out your future will help you figure out the big rocks before getting stuck in details. You can add detail over time.
  • Iterate on your future. Doing multiple dry runs might be better than getting stuck on trying to figure out too much. The more you do it, the easier it will get and the more you'll think of.
  • Pay attention to surprises. Maybe the grass isn't greener on the other side of the hill. Maybe it doesn't feel like you thought it would, and you really want something else. Maybe you find you're missing key skills or abilities. Use the experience for reflection and consider whether you really want another path.

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