In these times of rapid, profound change, you can’t effectively plan your future by extrapolating the past. Remember, this accelerating rate of change is quickly rendering many of our tried-and-true ways of doing things obsolete — or at least less effective. Using the past to plan your future is something like driving your car by looking in the rearview mirror!
Under these circumstances, what is the best way to plan for the future?
Author Daniel Burrus, in his author of the best-selling book TECHNOTRENDS, offers some “visionary” advice on planning for the future:
1. Give yourself permission to dream big dreams. As children, we spend a significant amount of time and energy daydreaming, stretching our imaginations. As we get older, however, our schools, work and culture tend to drive this creative spirit out of us. In Burrus’ opinion, it’s time to crank up the dream machine once again.
2. Think ten years out and plan back to the present. This non-linear technique forces us to break away from our natural tendency to overlay the past onto the future, and focuses instead on helping us make wild leaps of imagination. Our conventional, habitual pattern of linear thinking, Burrus carries us step by step, from problem to solution, is suspended. In its place, Burrus explains, a bunch of pictures — visual images, the raw material of dreams — begin popping into our heads. “Images are the roots of the imagination” he adds. “Visualize your future. Visualize your goals.”
The images and pictures that Burrus describes come from the subconscious mind, which records all of the information we feed it, digests it and reassembles it in new combinations — the raw material of ideas. It usually serves these ideas up to us as hunches or flashes of intuition, often in pictures or images. It’s then up to us to interpret these mental pictures.
3. Finally, when thinking and dreaming about your future, Burrus suggests that you refrain from judging them immediately. After all, many of the so-called absurd ideas of the past have gone on to become successful products and services of today. In times of rapid change, what was impossible yesterday may be eminently possible today!
So let go of your past and give yourself permission to turn on your dream machine!