Let’s pretend that the current global economic conditions have no effect on us whatsoever. Let’s pretend, while we’re at it, that regardless of who is president, what tax laws may benefit us or harm us, or if anyone else in the world accepts us for who we are, we can create an ideal future for 2017 and beyond.
Look back at 2016, and, in spite of any disappointments or shortcomings, and regardless of anything we may still feel is lacking in our lives, see the successes of the past year as proof that we are able to make good things happen. Even if those successes seem insignificant or have not improved our overall status and the satisfaction of our lives, assume that they happened because there are forces conspiring for our greater good, even if logic tells you it is a pure coincidence.
Go even further now, and take those successes and project them into 2017, we will increase those moments ten times. What would your 2017 look like?
Yes, this may require you to suspend skepticism. It will definitely require you to abandon cynicism.
I will warn you that a voice will creep up, and it will say, “Earth to [insert your name here]. You’re dreaming, again. Don’t waste your time. You have earthly duties to tend to…bills and…cleaning…and yard work….and errands…”
On and on, it will try to interrupt, but you are in control, not that voice, who we will regard as “Norm.”
Norm makes sure you are consumed by your duties, and he is not all bad, because he reminds us of who we want to be for people and what we need to do in order to be that person. Sometimes, however, we need to tell Norm to shut up. Once he is quiet, we can spend more time in deeper evaluation of who we want to be, who we are capable of being, and what we can DO as the better versions of ourselves.
Also, science has proven that imagining your ideal future is not a waste of time, and in fact has an impact you can SEE in your physical world. I am willing to wager that your heroes would most likely advise that if you have any inkling of greatness for your life, even if it seems relatively simple, that one of the MOST important things you can spend your time doing is imagining that greatness.
Take an inventory of your top 12 highlights of 2016, one in each of the following categories (borrowed from Vishen Lakhani’s Code of the Extraordinary Mind). Then make a new list for 2017 with the same categories, and write what you imagine the corresponding moment from 2016 would be like if it were increased ten times.
- Love Relationships
- Environment (Home, or anywhere else we spend a lot of time.)
- Health and Fitness
- Intellectual Life
- Spiritual Life
- Creative Life
- Family Life
- Community Life
My favorite: In 2016, I was finally able to take a FULL week’s vacation with my family, including my brothers and cousins, disconnected from social media and e-mail.
In 2017, I would spend ten weeks disconnected.
Norm has already started in with his negativity, telling me that it is not viable. I mean, that is about two-and-a-half months OFF of work! If you are not from the US, this probably does not seem so outlandish.
So, if my mission is to prove Norm wrong, all I have to do is ask myself how that could possibly happen, and a magical thing happens – another part of my brain starts filling in the HOW. Let’s call her Hope. When I ask Hope how I could possibly make this happen, she lists the following:
- Move to a country where 8-10 week holidays are standard
- Hire and train a staff of people to take the torch and carry on my mission
- Create residual incomes that work on autopilot so I make money while I sleep
- Win the lottery
- I could write off, or at least justify, some of that time and use it to write a book
I could actually implement most of these, if I decided my WHY was stronger than my WHY NOT.
Please share your favorite(s.)