I read an article recently about a man who gives talks on imagining a bright future, for us and for the world. It was inspiring and made me reflect on the power of our imagination.
Imagination is a gift we all have. From being very young, we create stories in our minds: fairies living at the bottom of our garden; a whole world made of lego; our future lives as an astronaut or an explorer.
Then we are taught to ‘face reality’ and deal with the day-to-day, and we become infected by the often depressing or distressing stories we are fed by the media.
In ancient times, people would sit around the fire in the evening and tell stories about heroes and grand adventures. It was a way of inspiring them to live their lives to the full.
Nowadays we watch the news, documentaries, dramas, about crimes – it doesn’t feed our positive imaginations and depresses our belief in possibilities. Yet our imagination is still there, ready to be used to our advantage.
I’m reminded of when I first came across the concept of visioning – imagining a positive future. I loved the idea and set to, writing a story about the home I would have, the type of work I’d be doing, the friends I would have etc.
I then forgot all about it until three years later when I was moving house. As I was clearing stuff out ready to move, I found the notes I had written. And I was moving into that home I had described and doing work I loved. It wasn’t a 100 per cent match, but a surprising amount of my story had come true.
This imagining the future is not an exercise in wishing: ‘I wish I could be fitter,’ etc. It is about making a leap forward in your imagination to 3,4,5 years’ time: ‘in 2026 I am…, I have…’ It’s about living that future in your imagination.
By painting a picture for yourself of how you want your life to be, you gear up your unconscious to notice opportunities to create it for real. It has to be vivid: see things, hear the sounds, feel the sensations, put in details. It’s fun to do. And to make it more powerful, write it down, revisit it occasionally, read it through again, add more.
Our ability to create our own lives is underestimated. We can all imagine a brighter future if we choose to.
The man in the article is imagining a brighter future for the world and asking people to do the same. We can all do that as well, but let’s start small and imagine a brighter future for ourselves.