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#28 - Clues from the Future

With last week’s tip, “My future is now?” we envisioned a possible future by going there in our minds. For the neuroscience fans among you, research has shown that with visioning, we engage our neo-cortex to seek answers from our imagination. Visioning helps us bypass the messages of fear and doubt firing off from other parts of our brain that are scanning for danger, trying to keep us safe. The good old fight or flight response is still appropriate for running away from large forest beasts. However in daily modern professional life, fear and doubt often translate into stuck in neutral.

Once the juicy clues are released from our powerful imagination, we can and should use logic to organize the messages into concrete actionable strategies, i.e. buckets of activities that build momentum towards your desired future state.

First, let’s look at the creative clues. Here are some great examples from Future Backtracking experiences with four of my wonderful clients:
  • J’s clue: In my future vision, I didn’t wait 5 years. I started now to build my business. That’s how I got to the future. I chose not to wait!
  • P’s clue: I realized I was doing one thing in that future that I’m already doing now. These seminal papers and presentations are the key to my career growth and sense of satisfaction, and fulfilment!
  • C’s clue: It was warm and the sea was close by all year round, although I wasn’t always in the same place. I realized I’ve been making this happen in an ad hoc way for years, and now I’ll look for more permanent solutions.
  • L’s clue: In my future vision, I’m in a small organization with a large scope for action. I have my own team and we’re having fun doing important work. It’s not the same organization I’m in now. Time to make a move!
Now that you know what to do, it’s time to move forward. Single mindedness helps. For these four clients, they identified one strategy to focus on.

J found a name for her future business and is registering it.

P found time to work on the exciting presentation and is planning to present at an upcoming conference.

C made inquiries about long-term rentals by the sea and is talking to a financial planner to make this happen.

L did a network map of all her contacts, particularly in small organizations and has started a round of meetings.

One of my favorite quotes is from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do one thing that scares you every day.” Often times, I find that the scary step is not necessarily a big one, but one that I blew out of proportion in my own mind. Sounds familiar? So start with one first step, any step, and yes, one you may be afraid of, because it has the potential of unlocking the door to your future reality.