I often lead sessions where I ask participants to envision their desired future in 5, 10 or 20 years. Almost without fail, I get an incrementally different version of today, a work promotion, a new dwelling, maybe a new relationship. It’s difficult for the brain to think in leaps; it’s wired more for incremental steps. In the absence of a clear destination, though, its quite likely that your life will “drift”. You will drift into interesting career opportunities and relationships. You will surely accomplish something meaningful, but the likelihood of accomplishing all that you want, or under your terms, will be more limited than if you bring intentionality to the journey.
First Assess Your Current Reality
In preparing to create your own vision, it’s critical to begin with an honest assessment of where things are today – your current reality. All of us have a sense of what’s going on inside and around us: what’s keeping you at a job you’re not crazy about; what triggers your late night refrigerator raids; what your intimate relationship “feels” like at this moment. Many of us do not, however, think about those things systematically; that is, within the same context.
Further, we may not think about them often enough. Perhaps you, like me, think about the area of your life that is giving you the most discomfort at a particular point in time. You then turn more attention to complaining about and/or fixing that part of your life. Once the issue has resolved itself (which never happens) or you have fixed it, your attention shifts to another area of your life that demands immediate attention. You are careful not to look back to the previous area for fear that some untended remnant of the previously dealt with problem will reappear.
But I am going to propose a different approach, a periodic and more holistic analysis of your life’s landscape. Things change. It’s important to look at your life’s situation regularly because the changes often occur without our pausing to understand their implications, as well as potential opportunities afforded us by these changes. The Assessing Your Current Reality Worksheet provides a template to begin looking inside and around you, and then make some notes about the current reality of your life. Avoid listing overly broad answers—drill down as much as possible so that the answers are meaningful for you, and specific enough to allow you to refer to them as you begin constructing your vision.
For more information about assessing your current reality, identifying a compelling person vision and creating a roadmap to get you from one to the other, tune in to the May 18 episode of DJ and Da Bear: Keeping You at the Top of Your Game. As always, let me know what you think and what topics you would like us to focus on in the future.