July 23, 2010

Imagine! The Joy of Backward Thinking!

Imagine that it is the year 2015 and you are in a courtroom. You are well dressed but your feet hurt. You are there to finalize matters with creditors at your bankruptcy hearing. Huh?!? How did THAT happen?

Imagine that it is the year 2020 and you are in a courtroom. You are well dressed but your feet hurt. You are there for the final dissolution of your marriage. Huh?! How the heck did THAT happen?

Take a few moments to consider what events most likely happened in your near future as the building blocks to the disastrous outcomes above. What could you have done to prevent these things? What is well within your control that you maybe neglect or get too busy for that may  prevent such dreadful outcomes.

For many of us, looking backward is easier than looking forward. I suggest you use this exercise to look back from your future. This is a great way to rethink your own behavior before it leads to disaster. The beautiful thing about this backward/forward vision is that you can utilize it to prevent failures and also to get you closer to your desired goals. 

Imagine that it is the year 2016 and your are writing the tuition check to your kid's college of choice for a full year. Today, you have enough in the college savings account to pay for a tank of gas. Visualize how you get there in just 6 years time. You can still do this, you have 6 years!!!!

Imagine the day you retire from the career you love. Visualize the hobbies and travel that can become your daily life. Now is the time to plan that future.

Companies routinely use this backward thinking in their strategic planning for future growth. See the goal and work backward, planning the action steps, resources needed, etc... to get them there.

The next time somebody accuses you of backwards thinking, say "Why yes, thank you!".

Mary Rogers

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mary,
    this reminds me of the visualization techniques they taught us at Zingtrain last year. Love the looking backwards angle though, will try it out this week. Thanks for sharing!