I almost titled this, “The post in which I get real.”
Because here’s the thing: It’s easy to write a post targeting X reader about Y project. It’s simple to write a cookie-cutter article sharing five steps toward accomplishing Z. Seriously, after 800+ articles and dozens of books, I can do that in my sleep.
But today, I just want to be real.
A few months back, my Lean In Circle did an activity. To start our monthly gathering, we watched a TED talk called, “Draw Your Future.” In it, Patti Dobrowolski discusses the power of drawing out your future (hence the title) and why seeing your future is so much more powerful than just dreaming about it—which, let’s be honest, many people stopped doing a long time ago. Instead, they brace for the future, telling themselves, “Someday, when [insert thing that is never going to happen], my life will be better.”
But back to Patti. She says to draw your current state and desired new reality, then assigned three action items to get you there. I took her challenge. Here is what mine looks like:
See me? I’m at my desk. Money and time are closely related. If I’m not at my desk, I’m not making money. There is limited passive income associated with my current reality (though there is some).
But don’t I look peaceful? I am. I have a fantastic career with even more fantastic clients. I get to help people accomplish their dreams!
My current reality, though, shows my family on the other side of my door. You can tell they’re eagerly awaiting when I finally get off work, smiling in anticipation. There is a wall separating my work life and home life. If I stand up from my desk, I stop making income for our family, so I’m tied to my office while they wait, and wait, and wait.
My desired new reality involves twice the income in half the time. I’m working with people one-on-one. I’m also getting the opportunity to help crowds of people—small or large—and impact multiple people at one time. In my desired new reality, I will still be at my desk writing part of the day. I am born to write. It’s in my bones. But my desired new reality shows a multifaceted work-life blend. See the airplane? That’s my husband, daughter, son, and me jet-setting to parts unknown for months at a time. In my new reality, I continue to work remotely for parts of the year (writing a book, most likely!) but do so from somewhere really, really cool like Phuket, Thailand.
My new reality shows me jumping (not sure why I don’t have hair there). That’s to indicate movement. My new reality includes lots of physical activity—at least double what I’m getting now. Instead of squeezing in 30–45 minute workouts 3–4 workdays a week with long runs on the weekends, I’ll be exercising a minimum of 60 minutes a day. Exercise is an investment in myself and my business (productivity! alertness! focus!), and in my desired new reality, I’ll be able to make that investment almost every day.
Now, my three action items. First, schedule a vacation. Done, though it’s not a family vacation. I’m committing here and now to get that on the calendar as soon as possible. I will also be traveling to an incredible location in October (more details on that soon).
In addition, I have sought consulting work and am currently working on crafting an exclusive experience that utilizes my talents and the talents of a few close colleagues (again, details soon). The third item? I didn’t fill that out. I struggled to give language to what I need that third step to be.
I know what it is now: spend a month or more abroad and bring my work with me. (And yes, more on that soon.)
I have this picture on my wall. It’s not my best piece of art, but in five minutes, I was able to draw out my current state and desired new reality, which has been a catalyst for a number of business decisions. Because I am living intentionally, working with clients and on projects that align with my own desires, I’m able to give more of myself to them. That might seem counterintuitive, but it’s not.
Drawing my future has allowed me to create my future. To craft my reality. That’s powerful stuff.
Here’s my challenge to you:
- Watch the video.
- Create your own drawing. As I’ve demonstrated, it doesn’t have to be beautiful.
- Share it with me in the comments, Twitter (@stacyennis), on LinkedIn, or by e-mail. I’d love to be accountable to each other to achieve our unique desired new realities.
Thanks for letting me get real. Now it’s your turn.
P.S. I’ll be sharing some seriously exciting news with my colleagues, friends, and mailing list within the next several weeks. If you’d like the inside info, please scroll to the top of this page and subscribe.