There is so much advice on the interwebs about how to manifest what you want… make your dreams real… create your life on purpose. All of the magical language ✨
The problem is: what if you're not really sure WHAT you want? Or what exactly IS your purpose?
The fact that you're reading this blog suggests that you have some idea of both of these things, of course, because most people in our community are already doing meaningful work. But with the emphasis on clarity as essential to realizing the vision, you may want to be even more specific about your purpose and vision for your work and life.
That's why I'm writing this. I found two really great resources which I have referred to multiple times in my own journey toward creating my own work and life.
I'll dive deeper into both of them.
Revealing Your Purpose
I have mixed feelings about the whole idea of “finding your purpose.” Mostly, I'm concerned it puts us into a “get it right” mindset, when really I think our purpose is in action all the time: we are living and learning along our own unique journey. I know that's not very satisfying, but that's how I see the purpose of our lives. We are meant to experiment, learn, grow, love… experiment, learn, grow, love… in a swirl over and over.
When people talk about finding your purpose, I think what they really mean is: revealing what you are uniquely meant to contribute in this lifetime. That is really useful to be able to articulate, so I think it's worth learning and revealing.
There are a zillion books and videos on purpose, but this one is so straightforward and has such a satisfying outcome that I keep coming back to it. While I think it's just a starting place where you then want to ask yourself how it fits with other ways of knowing (for example, the thing you are expert at may not be the thing you really want to do… it may have been proximity, necessity, or some other reason that you became expert at that).
Here's that purpose TEDx talk by Adam Leipzig: How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes.
Why Visualizing Your Future Self Is Valuable
Visualizing your future self is about creating a clear, detailed picture of the life you want to lead, the person you want to be, and the goals you want to achieve. This can help you:
- Clarify your goals: When you can clearly envision your future life, you can identify the goals that will help you get there. Rather than just setting arbitrary targets, you can create a roadmap that aligns with your long-term vision.
- Stay motivated & Inspired: When you face inevitable setbacks and obstacles, visualizing your future self can help you stay motivated and focused.
- Make better decisions: When you have a clear vision of your future self, it can be easier to make decisions that support that vision. You’ll be able to assess opportunities and weigh them against your long-term goals, rather than just reacting to short-term desires.
How to Visualize Your Future Self
Visualization is powerful. Setting yourself up to be immersed in the experience is ideal. Here's how:
- Create a quiet space: Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can focus without distractions. This could be a room in your house, a spot next to the creek in the woods, or even in your car. What matters is that you can close your eyes and fully immerse yourself in the visualization process.
- Relax: Take some deep belly breaths and release any lingering thoughts as much as possible. Wiggle your body around to make yourself as physically comfortable as possible.
- Visualize: Close your eyes and imagine meeting your future self somewhere safe and lovely, where you can talk and share ideas. Ask any questions you want to ask of them. Notice what they are wearing, how they carry themselves, what energy they are bringing to the exchange. Close by asking them to share with you anything else you might want or need to know. **Note: not everyone actually sees images in their minds. It's perfectly normal to simply get feelings/a sense of them and translate the messages from there. Trust yourself and what comes from this, whether there are images, feelings, just a sense or anything else.
- Make notes/Journal: To make the visualization even more powerful, write down what you saw – or draw, create a vision board, make art, write a song… anything that helps you feel fully connected to your Future Self.
- Plan & Act: Once you have a clear picture of your future self, make a plan for setting onto the path toward that vision. Take one action from that plan to make it real and get momentum.
There are many visualizations you can draw from online, via apps, etc. Here's one of my favorites, on Insight Timer by Chelsea Pottenger.
What you want matters.
Between connecting with your purpose – the contribution you are meant to make in this lifetime – and learning from your future self, there is so much clarity, confidence and sweet action ready for you. This is the starting place for not only your greatest work, but also your most wonderful, richest life.