January 5, 2016
Founder, Mindful Games Institute LLC
Nothing is possible until someone imagines it and believes it is possible.
Some people, when imagining the coming New Year, especially if they have been listening to the news and pundits, may be imagining a 2016 with more anxiety and worry than ever before. Imagining all the things that they don’t want to have happen but believe will, whether on a global, national or personal level.
When we are imagining a future that we don’t want we are feeling that fear and anxiety right now, even though what we fear has not yet happened. When we hear topics like the climate, the economy or race relations, we prepare ourselves for the worst, keeping ourselves in a constant state of stress. We are in survival mode where fight or flight seems to be our only option which blinds us from seeing alternative possibilities that are more preferable. As a result, decisions we make are not about moving toward a future we want but away from a future we are afraid of.
And Being afraid of our future is the worst of traps.
You can’t run from a future you are afraid of and fighting it is futile.
How do we get out of the trap?
The key is to spend more time imagining a personal future that you want to live and believe is possible and less time imagining a future you fear.
The hope and excitement of what that experience can be opens the door to creativity, new ideas and many more options to making things better. You are at your best when you are moving toward things you prefer. You tend to enjoy the process as much as the accomplishment. This is living. This is thriving.
Just imagining it makes it more possible.
Most of us are not trained or practiced in imagining a future we want. We have been told to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, but the preparation for the worst strengthens our belief that it will happen. Our belief is often stronger that things will go wrong than that things will go right. This may be the reason why new year’s resolutions don’t last past February. Wanting to get in shape, quit smoking or find a better job has our focus more on what we don’t want, what we believe is wrong with ourselves or life that needs to be fixed. We get worn out.
Worrying about something has never protected anyone, it has only had their experience be uncomfortable. This focus on believing in the worst is a habit that can be shifted.
Here are some things you can do to get back into practice of looking towards a future that you prefer.
- Make a list of what you want your future to be like.
- Be mindful of what beliefs you have around what you want by the level of excitement you have for what is on your list.
- Focus on the items that you feel the most excited about and start to imagine, just for fun, how things will be in that future. How will it feel, what would you be doing. Do this for at least 5 minutes.
- Practice believing it is possible, even if you don’t know how to make it happen.
You have now just spent 5 minutes not worrying or being afraid of your future and instead feeling good about it. Both are valid ways of imagining and nothing is possible until someone imagines it. What do you want to be possible?
After you have experienced being excited about your future, imagine what the world would be like if everyone was excited about their future.
Now, keep imagining it and start believing it is possible.