Hey, Sister, What's It Like Over There?
A big tenet in the personal development realm is goal setting. Nothing wrong with that. We need something to give us a sense of purpose and direction, so by all means, set them.
Then there are strange folks like me expounding the virtue of creating your future self. The main theme of future selfing is to magically project yourself ahead 5, 10 or twenty years into your life. Then you're to describe your activities and what you've accomplished.
Now, I know what you're thinking, you can't even decide what you're having for dinner tonight so how on earth can you see that far into the future and know what you're wearing, doing, saying, smelling and eating? [Yes, I ask my clients to do this mind-bending exercise]. Of course, I get the look of unease and a tiny bit of fear as they request clarity on how to do this and I understand why.
We are fluid creatures constantly changing our minds and preferences. We see something new and our attention and desire follow suit. One day you love polka dot jumpsuits and the next day you're a huge fan of only skinny jeans. Or you're set on becoming the Chief People Officer for a biotech company and by the weekend you've decided you'll become a master gardener growing exotic varieties of garlic.
We jump around and find it difficult to settle into any one particular lane because we find it hard to focus on things we don't have experience with. You don't know if you'll like being the CPO of the biotech firm and all that it entails. And as cool as garlic gardening may sound, is it truly all that it's cracked up to be? How to can you know?
The answer is simple.
Go find someone doing what you eventually want to do or living the life you hope to live and ask them what it's like.
Invite them for a call, coffee, lunch etc. and question what their days are like. What challenges and problems do they solve and what effect do they have on outcomes and the lives of others? Find out if they experience joy in their days or not. Dive as deep into their life as they will allow. This information will help you plan your future or more importantly if you want to spend time going in a particular direction.
As for me, I'm dumping all things that no longer serve me as I make room for future-self Pamela. She's one helluva firebrand with discerning tastes, who enjoys polka dot jeans, writing quirky narratives from her balcony view in Capri while sipping yet another latte wondering with a sly smile what took her so long to get here.
What about you, where will you be? Who will you ask to help you decide?
Need assistance creating your future self? Download this free pdf template of powerful questions to get you started. Click here.