“Determined imagination, thinking from the end, is the beginning of all miracles.”
– Neville Goddard
“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
– C.S. Lewis
I am a child of the 60s and 70s. The Cold War. In school, we didn't just have fire drills; we had bomb drills.
Having recently read a book titled Bomb: The Race To Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, I understand why we had those drills. I also better understand why I was terrified that, in some apocalyptic way, the world was going to end.
Most children have something that terrifies them and that was my terror. As children do, I developed a way to cope. One of my coping mechanisms was to figure out what I could control and, well, control it. I could control me. What I do, how I act, how I interface with the world. It makes sense that my life's work focuses on personal disruption, and helping people control (or manage) themselves, in a world of constant change that doesn’t lend itself to being controlled. That’s been a good thing.
But I developed another coping mechanism that hasn't served me well. To reduce anxiety, I ignored the news. It was too overwhelming. I would flunk the foreign service exam. I tried not to think about the future. It’s hard to create the future if you never think about it.
Over the past several years I’ve been retraining my mind, working to evict ideas and programming that don't serve me, and to think in ways that I want to think. I want to imagine what the future could be and then make that happen. But I do slam up against an ingrained neural pathway. The world is going to end, there won't be a future, why plan for it. I’m not a nihilist. As a person of faith, I do believe that in the END all will be well. That’s the top of that S Curve. But my brain struggles with the lead up to that. Why would I plan for thirty years from now if it won't happen? Why would I make investments for my children's children — if the future is an illusion? Subconscious fears collide with what I want to believe and what my conscious mind tells me is true.
As a consequence, I’m drawn to people who are designing and creating the future. Like Gabrielle Blair who we interviewed for the podcast this week. She deliberately thinks about how she wants her life to be, what she wants her family life to be, where they want to live, and what she wants to build. She's best known as Design Mom—the person who discovered Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper, and started Alt Summit, a conference for creatives. This is the community that helped build Pinterest.
Imagine what you want and work back from that. That’s a muscle I want to develop. I am going to write down my big goals, but I'm also toying with a hack that might help you too.
I’m focusing on creating my day. If I can do that, then I’m creating the future for tomorrow by doing what I visualize for today. It right-sizes the task. I can create the next week, month, year—starting by creating today.
What about you?
What is your experience?
Is there a future that you want to create, but struggle to believe it’s possible?
What could you do today to help bring the top of the S Curve (or the middle) closer within reach?
May you create that future,