Rehearsing the Future

Did you know that you can “try on” the future, just like you try on a pair of shoes or suit of clothes? Did you know that we all rehearse the future with our thoughts?

When architects make drawings of a building, they are helping people imagine exactly what that building will look like. The more precise their drawings, the more completely they can “see” the building. Freud compared thinking to a military general, moving miniature figures over a map before sending troops into action.

This is exactly what you do when you use visualization and imagery to project yourself into a future situation. You say to yourself, “Now how do I want this to turn out?” And then you very carefully, very thoroughly, imagine yourself behaving in ways that are most likely to bring about that end-result.

The more anxious you are about the situation and the greater your fears, the more important it is that you control the kind of rehearsing you do. If you don’t take charge of your thoughts, you may be imagining the worst possible consequences. What you are really doing is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are literally programming your subconscious, and you will behave according to the picture that is dominant in your mind.

What do you want your next sales presentation to look like? What is the end result you want? Parents, help your children visualize what this next school year looks like. Prime their eagerness to learn by helping them visualize success in all of their subjects. Help them take charge of their fears, and learn to take charge of this part of their futures.

When you control your thoughts, you do control your future. Make sure you focus on and imagine what you do want, and not what you don’t want. And remember, the more rehearsing you do, the smoother the final performance will be.