Friday, November 20, 2015

Journal Prompt

Write a future biography.

"If you don't know where you are going, you are going to arrive there anyway." I don't know who originally said it and I'm not sure I'm quoting them accurately. It's a meme I saw somewhere, probably on Facebook.  But, goodness gracious, it's true.

Drifting through life is very easy and comfortable. There isn't really anything wrong with it BUT (and there's always a "but") it's not juicy and exiting. It doesn't make you shiver with delight. Those things only happen when you reach for impossible things.

I recently sat in a circle of people who had each written one-page future vision statements. They had been invited to write about themselves 5, 10, or 15 years into the future. Some found it almost impossible to do. The future was just a dark mystery and they couldn't think of anything. Others had detailed plans and had obviously been thinking about it a lot and were glad of the opportunity to share all their dreams and goals.

And then there were two or three who said some form of "This is all a fantasy. None of this stuff is going to happen." All of the people in this category wrote about wonderful things. Interesting job, children, comfortable home, loving spouse, etc. Impossible, empty dreams?

Let's pretend.

Let's pretend that those impossible, empty dreams could actually happen. What's that like? Why do you want that stuff to happen? Why won't it happen? What's stopping you? How do you get around those obstacles?

It's true that there really are barriers that are impossible to get around. Women in their 60s can't become police officers. Men who are 5'10" tall will never play for the NBA.  However, there are ways to punch holes in barriers that will let some of your dreams come true. Women in their 60s can do volunteer work at the police department. Men who love basketball can organize an amateur team.

My grandfather wanted to live on a farm. Unfortunately he had a very well-paying job in the outskirts of Los Angeles and farming wasn't an option. So he farmed his yard. He had the most beautiful flower gardens and lawns in the neighborhood. It satisfied his soul until he could retire and buy a real farm.

There are ways to make dreams come true. There are always ways to get closer, further down the road, within reach of whatever makes you laugh with pleasure. But if you don't plan how to get there that happy life will not hunt you down. You have to look for it yourself.

What do you want your future to look like? Write it down and get really wild. Ask for the moon and the stars and maybe you'll find your dreams and they'll be covered in stardust.

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