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Where we pay attention matters. This includes how we envision the future. If we envision a litany of future difficulties, that’s where our mind will be focused; and if we envision future successes, then we have success on the mind and stand much more open to any opportunities that may come our way. In today’s post, creativity coach Dina Grishin plays with this theme in a piece called “Using Creativity to Create Your Future.”
We often think that life is something that happens to us. But in actual fact, creating a life by our own design isn’t as farfetched as you may think. Your imagination is all you need to create a brighter future in just fifteen minutes. Here’s how:
Your best possible future
Many of us are very skilled at thinking about the worst-case scenario happening and then worrying about it. This exercise uses the same imaginative thinking, but uses that thinking to conjure up the best possible future for ourselves.
1. You can use whatever creative tool you prefer: visualizing, mind-mapping, writing, or recording yourself talking.
Think about you six, twelve or eighteen months from now, whatever timeframe feels right to you, and start picturing a bright future. Think about what life would look like if every decision you made turned out better than imagined. How would your days look? How would you feel? What would you be doing? Really push your imagination and don’t play it small.
Describe that life for fifteen minutes or longer, until you feel truly excited about your vision. Do this exercise as many times per week as you want. Keep doing it if it feels fun and useful. Stop as soon as you feel it becoming a chore. Optional: do a collage or vision board to cement your vision in reality, so that you have a reminder to look at.
Why this works
Our brain doesn’t process everything that comes our way. We would be overwhelmed with data if it did. Instead, it has a filtering mechanism called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) which makes sure we only focus on the things that are important to us.
When we’re focused on all the problems and negative things in our life, our brain thinks this is important, so it directs our attention to more negative things. But when we tell our brain that this new future we created in our heads is now very important, the RAS goes about revealing the people, situations and circumstances that will help us create this future.
Say you wanted to get a new painting studio, but you assumed you couldn’t afford it or it would take too long or be too much of a hassle. This belief would tell the RAS that it shouldn’t waste time looking for a new studio. But if you spent some time creating this studio in your mind and really connecting to this vision, then this would highlight ‘getting a new studio’ as important to the RAS and it would keep a lookout for opportunities. Suddenly we’d overhear someone mentioning a new studio space opening up or we’d click on an ad about an available studio. These opportunities were always there, but they only get revealed when we told the RAS that it was important to us.
Now over to you! Use that powerful imagination of yours to create a brighter future for yourself and watch it appear as if by magic.
You can visit Dina Grishin at www.dinagrishin.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can visit Eric Maisel at www.ericmaisel.com