The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine – Mike Murdock
Have you ever tried to figure out your entire future? I bet you drove yourself nuts!
It’s impossible, you can’t figure out your whole future because it’s uncertain!
We are biased toward the future because we think we’ll be the same. You’re a work in progress that thinks you’re finished! The person you are now is as temporary as all the people you have ever been.
I also hate how the gurus just ass-u-me that we know exactly what we want in our distant future.
Nearly every personal development book, post, and video addresses how to achieve your life’s purpose. But what if you don’t have that one true calling?
Emilie Wapnack would call you a multipotentialite and encourage you to pursue all of your interests.
What if you don’t have a vision of what would make you happy in the future?
Dan Gilbert would slam research and anecdotes in your face. He would prove how your psychology will synthesize happiness for you no matter the situation. And synthesized happiness is just a good as authentic happiness, if you don’t believe me watch the video. Of course, it only works when you’re not agonizing over alternative realities.
But what if you do know what you want?
By the time you get it, you’ll likely find that you’ve changed! After all that work, what if you don’t want that anymore? It has happened to me.
You won’t be you 10 years from now, just as you were a different person 10 years ago.
More science from psychologist Dan on that one:
And what if dreaming is actually a waste of your time?
If you’re not happy with your present, why in the hell should you start worrying about the distant future? Worry about the present.
Your present is all you’ve got and that’s where you need to focus your energy, not 1, 5, or 20 years from now, but on today and tomorrow. You’ll never understand any two days better than those two.
When you don’t know where to start or what to do next, do what’s right in front of you.
Make your present day as awesome as it can be under the current circumstances, and then use that to empower any major changes you feel you need to make.
My extreme frustration with trying to come up with my one true purpose and writing several 5 year plans that never really made my life better has led to this new exercise on future planning.
I call it the perfect present.
What is your perfect present?
1. Lil Picaso
Gather your markers, your googly eyes, load up Photoshop, get ready to use whatever creative outlet you’ll have the most fun with.
It’s time to connect with your inner artist. We all have little creative geniuses inside us dying to bust out, but school beat them out of us. School taught us to sit quietly, raise our hands, follow the rules, and conform.
There will be none of that in this exercise.
2. Barney Badass
Rock your imagination like your favorite dino. Don’t deny it, you know you like him!
Think about today, last weekend, and the past year. What were some of the best days you had? What made those days stand out? What would have made today better? Where do your values play into all of this? What is missing?
Dream-up the best day you could possibly live tomorrow and on the next weekend day. Even think of some changes that you could make within the next year to improve your day.
3. Draw What You Feel
Not what you see.
We connect much more strongly with what we can see, than what we write down. I think that’s because it’s easier to represent our emotions in a drawing than in black ink with a white backdrop.
And according to this chick, we get the most power from what we paint.
Patti Dobrowolski also states that we must fill in our perfect day with color and emotion to get our brains to emit good feeling serotonin and oxytocin from this exercise. You must visualize yourself in the drawing. Her exercise was the inspiration behind this post. It’s slightly different than this one, but by all means watch her video! It’s good.
4. Art Gallery
Now it’s time for permanent change. You’ve got to find a place to hang your beauty. For this to really work, you’ve got to look at it and feel it everyday.
And don’t be ashamed of your art. At least you’ve got the guts to make art which is more than can be said for most!
Plus look how ugly mine is.
Now you have a realistic future you can work towards, you’ve got some direction. For some things your image will be enough to keep you focused but others you may require some habit creation to make them stick.
Either way, this incredible map will direct your journey through the dense forest of life.
And when the day comes that you’ve made it to the top of that mountain and created that perfect present, you can thank your map for its guidance and promptly design a new one.