by Jeff Hittner
Making your vision tangible is an important first step towards turning it into reality.
As we experiment our way into building the lives we want for ourselves, we often have a foggy vision of what the future might hold. Even if it’s a specific outcome, we rarely accomplish it when we don’t make it tangible.
Let’s put our imagination to work and cement our future dreams by bringing them to life through drawing. We can start by focusing on the near future (let’s say 3 months from now), but this practice can be applied to any timeframe. When we draw our future, we are using three psychological best practices:
1. Increasing our awareness of what we want and visualizing it.
Elite athletes and top performers across multiple industries visualize their actions. Brain studies have shown that the same regions of the brain that are active during an activity are lit up during the visualization of those same activities. In other words, you could spend three months practicing how to play the piano or imagining in your mind how you’re playing the piano and the same region in the brain would get activated during both.
2. Clarifying what our vision is.
Is there a better way to confront your future than to sit down and try to draw it? So long as that future is in our head, swarmed by thoughts and feelings from different directions, it remains fuzzy. When you put it out on paper, you crystallize it into a more definitive picture in the process.
There are plenty of times when, in the midst of a transition, our future feels completely blurred. But taking this messy combination of thoughts, emotions, fears, hopes, and feelings – and putting it down on paper – can have a profound effect. When we draw what we’re sitting with right now we use a different part of our brain. We get creative. We get symbolic. Emotion pours out and, believe it or not, progress is made.
3. Staying focused.
When a drawing of your next 3 months hangs somewhere in your home and serves as a constant reminder of where you want to transition, you can stay more directed on the path you are trying to walk.
So here’s what to do:
Sketch a point in your life three months from now. This sketch can be literal or more of a metaphor.
You can draw yourself (will you be a successful opera singer?) or a situation that you’d like to see happen in your life (perhaps traveling to Machu Picchu after turning in your notice).
You can draw in stick figures or in rainbows or anything in between. Get creative — the most important thing is to not hold yourself back and draw what your heart desires.
Let us know how it goes! Hearing other people react to and discuss your drawings helps you get more comfortable with and accustomed to your new reality, so feel free to email us your 3-month vision too.