The future need not be an extrapolation of the past

August 3, 2018

I meet several coaching clients who are upset with their past and present and see a bleak future ahead of them. They seem to draw a trend line extending from the past to the present and going on into the future.

A future can emerge out of ‘nothing’

This is typically when I work with them to reimagine a new future, a future that can disrupt the trend and emerge as if out of nothing.

We need to imagine the future as an island with no connections to the mainland made up of the past and present.

Leave the old and tired bags behind

It is important not to carry our old and tired bags into a new and exciting adventure. We need to imagine the future completely separately and decide what actions are needed to make this island a reality. This is not easy and usually, my clients find it difficult to imagine reaching the new destination without the old and tired bags. However, once they understand the merit of doing so, the journey to the new destination suddenly appears exciting.

Island and the mainland – the connection

Once the imagination of the future is complete, we begin connecting the island with the mainland consisting of the present through bridges to see what changes we need to bring about from now on to take us to that future.

In my case, I had planned my move out of corporate life for about a year. In the run-up to the decision, I had already re-imagined my future in clear detail – the kind of work I will be engaged in and my kind of customers and clients. I had already met people from my ‘future domain’ to get a good reality-check of my plans including the scope of this kind of work in the industry.

Regarding my writing, I had already imagined what shape my writing will take and the genre of writing I will be specializing in. I had imagined creating a website to extend the reach of my writing.

Once I quit corporate life, all I had to do was to put the plans into action. Except for a couple of wrong turns that I had to quickly correct, the plans have worked out very well.

I believe that a future can come out of nothing and does not need to be an extrapolation of the past and present.


Do you wish to reimagine your future? I can help you. Write to me at [email protected]

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