People often tell me they can’t get clear on what they want. What I tell them is that they’re making it too hard. The process of creating a new vision of the future is something each of us does all the time. How? Because we live in a world of polarities and dualities, when we experience lack, stress, or traumatic situations, naturally we begin to dream about what we want based on what we don’t have. As an example, if you have a job you dislike, you observe what you don't like (past) about your current and previous jobs and imagine what you would like (future) in your next one. This is an evolutionary process and how people begin to change and evolve over time.
I tend to think that most of us do have a clear vision of what we want, but we’re actually afraid of it. And so the real challenge is engendering the dream or vision. The way I see it, there are four main impediments to creating a new future:
- When it’s time to dream of a vision that’s bigger than our current reality, we can’t see beyond that first step of taking care of our survival needs, for instance—I need a car, I need to pay my bills, etc. This causes our attention to remain focused on the immediate rather than casting our dream far enough up the river of time.
- Because we can’t take care of our basic survival needs, we have difficulty believing a new future is possible. Why then would we dream of anything bigger? It’s because the cocktail of chemicals derived from the hormones of stress causes us to narrow our focus on matter and objects in our immediate world (that’s where the danger and threats are) and we stop thinking about future potentials and possibilities. And so doubt begins to clog the vision.
The familiar hormones of stress we are living by cause us to view our future through the lens of the past. Have you ever prepared yourself for some future worst-case scenario on the assumption that if anything to a lesser degree happens, at least you will be ready and can live through it? When we’re in survival mode, nature has taught us that it’s not a time to create—it’s time to run, fight, or hide. Why dream of anything bigger if we can’t get past our current self? This leads to stagnation and resignation.
- Knowledge and information. If we’re not taking the time to contemplate what we want, to write things down and learn new information, then how do we know what’s possible? If we’re not filling our brains with knowledge, then we won’t know the dream job exists—or that we can have an out-of-body experience, heal ourselves of disease or chronic pain, or create something out of nothing—and therefore, we’re not even aware of the possibility. Knowledge and information are the very raw materials of creation.
You’ve heard me say knowledge is the precursor to experience. Put in other words, knowledge is the foundation that allows us to dream bigger. The more knowledge we gain—the more we read or learn about people who have done what we’re setting out to do—the more inspired we are to make the possibility become a reality.
From Knowledge To Action
Here’s the thing; if you’re not taking steps towards the future you are creating, then you don’t believe it’s possible. End of story.
We only make choices in alignment with our future when we believe that it can actually happen. This is when we start to move from the known into the unknown. At this point in the creation to reality process, it’s critical to dissect our old thoughts, feelings, and beliefs so that we fully understand they are based on past experiences. Why? Because most people tend to think and feel within the biology of their past memories. As a result, those thoughts and feelings create attitudes, attitudes create beliefs, beliefs create perceptions, and perceptions create our reality. If our thoughts and beliefs are based on implicit memories (subconscious programs that fill in our reality) of our past, then there’s a strong probability that we’re missing out on new possibilities. Not only can we not see those future possibilities, but our brains aren’t even wired to see them.
So the knowledge we gain in this process becomes the very footprints of consciousness and serves as the raw ingredients to think, feel, and contemplate in new ways. This contemplation begins a neurological building process whereby we’re essentially rewiring our brains, causing synapses to fire in new patterns and combinations. Whenever we make our brain work differently or in a new way, we’re literally changing our mind. That’s because, according to neuroscience, mind is the brain in action.
When we think in new ways we begin to turn on the frontal lobe—the brain’s creative center. When we ask questions like…
- “What would it be like to have a great job?”
- “Who do I have to be in order to create a loving relationship?”
- “What would it take to travel the world?”
…our frontal lobe sends signals across the brain, selects existing neural networks (based on the knowledge we’ve gained and the experiences we had) and seamlessly pieces them together to create a new level of mind. When this occurs, we now have a new intention or vision of the future. With the intention locked in our frontal lobe, the new thought becomes a new possibility or potential in the quantum field.
Being Moved By Your Vision
A certain percentage of people will embrace an elevated emotion and thus be inspired by their vision of the future. In that moment, from a biological perspective, their brain and body moves from living in the past to living in the future. Since thoughts are the vocabulary of the brain and feelings are the vocabulary of the body—and how you think and feel creates a state of being—once they move into that new state of being, the clear intention combined with a heightened emotion begins to give the body a taste of what’s possible in the future.
When we start to embrace a new possibility, it’s common that we’ll begin to write down our goals (the future experiences we want to have) and decide what choices we need to make. We then begin to review our thoughts and contemplate and rehearse the behaviors we’re going to demonstrate. Just thinking about and reviewing what actions we’ll take naturally leads to the experiences, and once the experiences begin happening they create emotional states. It’s the consistent process of creating these new, elevated emotional states that begins to biologically change the self. This is how we move from the old self to the new self.
What I tell my students is this: the bottom line is that if you’re serious about creating a new future, then you better be engaged in the process of creating a vision of the future, because if you’re not, then that just means you’re more in love with your past than you are with your future. It’s that simple.