The process you shared seems so simple, but I’m totally stuck! I have no problem with the past and present parts, but when I am trying to vision the future I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall. Help! ~Janet
Janet, thanks for your question about the steps I shared to find your purpose. It is so common to get stuck when we try to envision our ideal future. Years of living at the bottom of our to-do list has convinced us that we must sacrifice our plans for the good of others. Our own self-sabotage has made us believe we don’t have what it takes to pursue our biggest dreams. We merely exist in mediocre, instead of reaching for magnificence, because we get bogged down in the overwhelming how to do it instead of trusting our intuition that we are created and gifted for something far better. Also, our present life is often too frenzied to even find time to be still and allow our creative mind to dream. All it takes is a little nudge and some time for visioning, and your beautiful future will burst forth in vibrant color!
Try this for visioning your ideal future.
Plan some quite time when you can get away from distractions and spend time meditating and reflecting. Imagine yourself at 90-years-old. You are in a place you have loved to visit, or have always wanted to visit. This could be in a cabin in the mountains, on your favorite tropical beach, or simply in a rocking chair on your back porch. You are supremely happy and at peace, as you have lived a fulfilled life. You have accomplished all of your goals and have left your mark on the world.
Now record the date for your 90th birthday as you begin, and write a letter that you will leave for your great-great-grandchildren and future heirs. In vivid statements, tell them about your life so they can get to know the person you have been. Another option is to picture yourself in a “wisdom circle” with other 90-year-old women, sharing your life stories. What will you tell them? What are your greatest accomplishments in life, and how did you impact others? Essentially, what is your legacy?
This need not be an entire autobiography. Highlight your greatest achievements, including those you have not yet accomplished. You will find that writing in past tense helps you define your legacy without restraint; without the burden of wondering, “How on earth am I going to do that?” Writing in the past tense gives you the confidence that everything you write has happened–just the way you wanted them to–as you look back over a life filled with rich experiences and meaningful relationships.
Here are some questions to get you started:
- What are the highlights of your life up to this point? Consider milestones like graduation, marriage, birth of your children & grandchildren, and your career. Write brief descriptions of these times.
- Looking forward, what are the highlights you will have over the next 30-40 years? What will be your most important accomplishments? Will you have traveled? Will you have owned a successful business? What will your close relationships have looked like? What are you most proud of as you look back over your life?
- What do you want to be remembered for? What values and special gifts will people associate with you?
This is a time to dig deep, and let your passions surface. No holding back! You’ll find your past and present “life highlights” will be connected to your ideal future by your life’s purpose because it is simply who you are and what you were created to do.
I’ve had clients tell me that this one exercise changed their lives. I hope it does yours, too!
I am looking forward to “talking” with you here on 1010 Park Place. Please ask me any question and let me know how I can serve you best!
Want to ask Susan your most intimate questions and have her address it in a future blog post? We keep everything anonymous, so ask those bold questions, ladies!