We can imagine our ideal summer holiday next year; we can imagine ourselves looking incredible in a swimsuit, lounging around in the sun with a cool drink, surrounded by laughter. We can visualise ourselves looking our best and living our best lives. But if visualisation is so easy, why can’t the majority of us imagine our lives in ten, twenty or thirty years time? Why can we plan a holiday next year, but not plan for the rest of our lives?
Most People Have No Future Vision
Hellen Keller said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having physical sight without long-term vision.”
Many people live their lives disinterested in their future. Sure, they hope they’ll have a more beautiful home, go on a few more holidays and see more of the world. They may even hope for a promotion, a pay rise or a proposition of Linkedin by another company.
Most people have a lot of hope for their future but no vision for it. They imagine good things happening to them, the things they want to happen, but they never visualise the process of achieving these things. They condense the concepts of happiness and success into an idealisation. In this ideal world, good things happen to them, as though they’re rights of passage.
Hoping for the future you want is as fruitful as playing the lottery every day of your life in the hopes that you’ll win the jackpot. Everything you want out of life may come about by sheer luck, but the odds of it happening are 139,838,160 to 1.
Most people are either too complacent about their future to consider working towards it or too frightened to think about it. These kinds of people hang out in the same social circles, repeat their daily routine week-in and week-out, crash out in the evenings on social media and spend their weekend burnt-out, bored and unproductive. Unfortunately, people become so complacent because it’s easier to focus on what they want than what they need to do to attain it.
The Power of Visualisation
Short-term visualisation is easy. It’s not that difficult to imagine what you are capable of tomorrow or next month. You know what your skills levels and capabilities are right now, so envisaging what they’ll be in a few months isn’t strenuous.
Long-term goals, on the other hand, aren’t as effortless to imagine. Visualising who you are and where you want to be next year or in the next couple of years requires extensive visualisation skills which can be emotionally draining.
Imagining the future can be intimidating. An ideal future self can feel off-limits and undefinable. People struggle to imagine what skills, abilities and contacts their future self could have, nor can they presuppose where they’d be, what their finances would be like or what relationships they’d have.
Visualising your future self is tricky, but necessary. The future you won’t have new skills, contacts or an incredible lifestyle if present you don’t conceptualise goals. The small steps your present self makes today are entirely responsible for your future self’s outcomes, so there won’t be any positive outcomes unless you envisage the and create a plan to turn them into reality.
The only thing holding you bac is your limited visualisation skills. If you can only see yourself working the same job next year, hanging out with the same friends and maybe going on a few holidays, then that’s all your future will be. Life-changing growth and development require a vision which reflects what matters most to you in life. Look at your life in the grand scheme of things and ask yourself what you can do in the short-term to build yourself towards your ultimate goal.
“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp”.– Robert Browning
Crafting Your Future Vision
I’m not saying that you can’t plan a holiday next year or dream about your new house renovations, but you need to know that your future is so much more. You have one life to live, so make it count: make an impact and ensure your present self is more occupied with serving your long-term future rather than your immediate future.
You need to be able to see the kind of life you want to live to live it.
You have to see the kinds of people you want in your life to have them.
You need to see what you’re capable of to motivate yourself to become capable.
You must be the change you want to see in the world to make it happen.
Stop holding back on your visions, goals and aspirations and stop striving to live you’ve always had when you can live the life you’ve always wanted. If you believe your ideas for your life are too big to be possible, they never will be possible.
Your life vision defines who you want to be and what impact you want to make in the world. It defines what you want to be known for and who you want to influence and inspire. Today is the best day to become the person you want to be, so start thinking big and stop living small.