You think no one can see you as you switch off entirely from work and sit staring off into space.
The seconds tick by and that blinking cursor continues to be ignored. Your work oddly isn’t getting itself done.
The people around you are getting on with their lives, doing, doing, doing.
Instead, you’re imagining a cocktail in your hand, pulling your shoulders back to feel that weightless feeling that comes with loving life, as you bask in some deliciously hot sun and smell the sunscreen. People might see you with your mouth hanging open in a trance and think you’re taking a break or being “lazy” even, but being engrossed in a vision for your future self is far from taking a break.
You’ll have the last laugh when your vision for yourself comes true. And this is exactly what happened to me.
“I’m not lazy, I’m time traveling”
A few years ago, a severe case of déjà vu snapped me out of my usual autopilot walk to work when I realized that I’d lived this exact moment hundreds of times in the visualizations I created for myself the previous year.
For a few months, I’d intensely visualized the full experience, the smells, the sights, the excitement of walking to my new job in my new office. I’d imagined my body flooded with sensations of fulfillment, elation, even exhilaration.
The weird part came when we fast forward a year and I’m looking down at my feet in my new heels, trying to walk straight without getting my heel caught on the uneven pavement and looking like even more of a rookie.
I looked up so I wouldn’t bump into anyone and got this frankly ridiculous and overwhelming déjà vu that literally stopped me in my tracks (nearly falling over as I did of course—those new heels weren’t fun).
I felt like I’d been here a thousand times before and that automatic buzz came to my chest again, I must’ve looked like a right lemon as I stood staring gormlessly ahead in the exact place on the exact street that I’d envisioned so many times before. Even down to the smell and the sounds and the sights, everything was exactly as I’d pictured it. I must admit I was a bit freaked out but equally elated that I was quite literally living my daydream.
Fast-forward a few years and I now sit here, writing to you from Bali, two and a half years after quitting my corporate job in London. I flew off from London to Asia and have experienced that exact déjà vu caused by my visualizations many times through my travels. These small, beautiful moments have weaved together the tapestry that is my current life.
Don’t underestimate the power of those moments when you’re completely transfixed by this ideal you. There are three steps to set your vision in motion:
- Select an aspect of your life that you want to improve. This could be your career, business, relationships, family life, lifestyle, health, wealth, etc.
- Select a small aspect of that future life to visualize. This could be sitting at your desk, looking out of the window of your new office, walking down the path to your new beautiful home, the moment that you receive a payment from your first client, holding hands with your soulmate, the butterflies you feel as you wait to walk down the aisle of your wedding.
- Bring it to life. Make it as real as possible by actually visiting the office you want to work in or place you want to live if you can or browse images of similar places and experiences you want in your life. Envision each of the senses you experience in that place. Spend time getting lost in the moment of that place. Where in your body do you sense the overriding emotion of fulfillment, satisfaction, or even achievement? What do you hear, smell, and see?
The idea is to bring the energy back to the present moment so that you can start taking action right away as your mind has already been to that ideal place, so now you just need to take steps to travel there materially.
When you’re in that vision and have fully embodied it, you can look back at your timeline between “future you” and “present you” and float along the path you took to travel there, focusing on the key steps you took along the way and making a note of them.
In this way, you can reverse engineer your vision to give yourself a step-by-step action plan for today. This might just be the most accurate action plan you’ve ever created.
Some words of advice: Don’t quit your daydream.
Alice Merron is a former senior associate within the Big 4 and is now a master practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and transformation coach.