Inventing a new tomorrow

The world is changing. Regardless, we need to come up with new and more sustainable ways to live our lives and prioritize our resources.

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Imagine your future succes

Imagine your future success and make up a narrative that is so powerful and appealing that you inevitably end up tweaking your habits and your choices accordingly. In my eyes this is how to best create the change you want to see; in your own life as well as in the world.

Imagine your future succes

While the flow of refugees via the Balkan route really picked up in the autumn of 2015 I started writing daily. Not that the sight of the many Syrian refugees at Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, when we visited the Hanseatic city in the early days of November was decisive. Even though I was very affected by the situation and concretely related to it in the writing, the act of writing was more a way of dealing with my own general desperation about existence.

My choice of words may seem exaggerated, but that's how it felt: Like a quiet desperation.

Not that I really had anything to complain about. On the contrary, one could say. Surrounded by happy guests and dedicated employees at the cable the whole summer and with all the time in the world to travel, relax, and dream big in the winter months I was living my own dream of a life as a business owner.

But the fact is that I felt trapped in a daily routine where I could only bring my creative abilities into play when it came to inventing new bad excuses for not making art.

The fact is that I would never have dared to move on the given opportunities if I had not first given myself a new narrative. The fact is, that in all probability I would not have been able to see the given opportunities at all, had I not first created a new mindset.

In the early spring of 2017 I had finished the first draft of my first novel. A manuscript that was both fumbling and flawed, but still would turn out to be quite landmark, changing my way forward.

The third part of the novel is a description of how the I-narrator rediscovers his childhood passion for tinkering with wood and models in a makeshift workshop. In fact, there is a concrete description of how the I-narrator builds a barstool from old scrap wood, which, re-read today is confusingly similar to an actual report from my workshop. Just written several years before I sold the cable park and bought the place (!)

It may look like a coincidence but is of course anything but.

I couldn't see it at the time, but my novel writing was at least as much a visualization exercise as a therapeutic project. I needed to imagine an alternative life path and to see what could be. And once the notion was created, I unconsciously began to act as if that reality already existed.

Much the same phenomenon that is described when athletes and entrepreneurs tell how they use intense visualization, as a training that teaches the brain to spot the possible new openings and short-circuit the old habits.

The stories we tell ourselves are far from unimportant. On the contrary, the stories se tell ourselves are what create reality and push the boundaries of what we can do and what we do.

I never used to take it particularly serious when I herd athletes talk about visualizing their performance beforehand. About imagining future successes and possible mistakes and pitfalls. But I must admit that visualization is a second to none tool when it comes to transforming one's life.

Just to exemplify:

If you dream of being promoted, imagine exactly and in detail what your life and everyday life will look like after you get the promotion. And then act as if you had already been promoted. Make your desicions with confidence and authority as if you were already the superior.

If you want to be in great shape, imagine exactly and in detail what that life and everyday life will look like. And then act as if you were already an athlete. Do or refrain from doing exactly what an athlete would do or refrain from doing in a given situation.

If you want to make a living being an artist, then imagine exactly and in detail what that life and everyday life will look like. And then act as if you were already living that life. Make your choices and use your time as if you were an artist.

Had I not started writing, I might still be the owner of a wakeboard cable to this day, with my annoyance and frustrations spiking in all directions . . . ! Who knows? Maybe one day I had just found myself a normal nine to four job, and like so many others had learned to come to terms with the pros and cons of being an employee?

The fact is that I would never have dared to move on the given opportunities if I had not first given myself a new narrative. The fact is, that in all probability I would not have been able to see the given opportunities at all, had I not first created a new mindset.

Usually we're told to fake it until we make it.

I say: make it as if you've made it.

Imagine your future success and act accordingly; as if you are already successful. That way, you create a self-narrative that is so strong and convincing that it will actually start changing your reality.


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