Often, I’ll talk about how humans can easily get caught up in the present. When we do this, it means bad news because, when we don’t think about the future, we deny ourselves direction. So here is a quick little test I’m borrowing from Jack Canfield to give to you.
Take about 30 minutes out of your day (if 30 is really too many, even 5 or 10 will work, but the longer the better), lie down in a quiet place, and close your eyes. Imagine that you are walking into a party with your friends and family, or maybe with a bunch of celebrities, depending on the lifestyle you want to acquire in the future. Imagine that this party is happening one year from now, and you’re meandering through the crowd, talking about everything you’ve done this past year.
Seems silly? Do it anyway! This accomplishes a few things. The first is that it gets us thinking seriously about the future, but not so far in the future that we don’t know what to expect. The second is that it puts us in a position where we are responsible for things we can change still. Maybe you’re walking around introducing your new book, or you’re walking around telling people about the research you’ve done, or the spouse you’ve met, or the house you’ve purchased. It gets our minds thinking about the fact that we control our future. It’s only a year in advance, so you could accomplish the things you’re talking about.
The third is that it allows us to associate emotions with the accomplishment. It’s one thing to say you want to write a book, but it’s another to be able to say you’ve done it, and feel the pats on the back and the smile on your face and hear the congratulations being passed your way.
When you connect positive emotions to your goal like this, you set up your life in a way in which you’re being pulled by your future accomplishments rather than pushed by your inner will or self-motivation. Being pulled along is always better than pushing yourself along, because it requires less energy.
Talking about the future as if it has already happened also helps you to realize what in our present life needs to change. Maybe you’ll discover that you can’t see yourself being happy in your current position or job or even industry in a year. Maybe you’ll realize that a relationship isn’t quite right for you, or that you need to move out of state or to another country to be happy.
Whatever it is, the things you discover when you take The Party Test should clue you in as to what you need to change. Your present actions and decisions determine where you’ll be in a year. So where will that be?