A friend of mine shared an interesting exercise. It's called ‘future writing’ and is one of those activities requires us to scope out the limits of our hopes, dreams and ambitions for a period of time. Let's say five years. Here’s what you do: write as freely, confidently and honestly as you can for a short period of time about all the things you want to achieve; your ambitions, objectives, aims and dreams. Don't limit your thinking and record the wonderful life that could be yours. Capture everything.
Affirmations like this are pretty much the standard stuff of positive psychology, right? Here’s the interesting bit. The activity then requires you imagine what might happen if you were to take no proactive steps at all towards making these goals reality.
You’re to consider that, for an extended period of time obstacles, perhaps of your own making, prevent you from doing anything purposeful or useful towards achieving your goal.
Then you’re to consider what your life might be like as a result, and record what you see. Tough love, huh.
Some time ago now I was wrestling with the business of quitting my full time job to give writing a go. Amidst all the psychological noise, one signal came through loud and clear. It was this: if the alternative is carrying on like I am for another twenty years, there is no decision. I have to do it.
Negative visualisation has its place.