Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a PDF version and other notes.
If you’re new to Daily Prompts, you may want to start at the beginning of the series here.
Year______ Month_______Day______Consecutive Practice Days_____Missed Days______
Gratitude: (The PDF below includes lined entries for your journal practice)
Looking back over the years of studying self-help books and success gurus, there’s one aspect of traditional goal-setting that I’m happy to abandon. It’s the idea that the present me, at this very moment, has any clue about what “future me” wants five years from now. If I’m on a path of exploration and growth within myself, and I live in a world of constant change between infinite variables, how in the world could I possibly know what will make me happy next year, let alone five or ten years down the road?
I bring this up because I don’t want you to get too hung up on creating the perfect Vision for your future. We’ve been taught that tenacity for a goal is one of the most valuable traits you can acquire. I can think of another much more valuable trait: adaptability.
When we set a concrete goal (This is the thing I want to achieve, by this date, and in this way!) we’re making a decision for our future selves. You are literally trying to put limits on yourself. When you decide on something, you kill your alternatives (suicide, genocide, de-cide), that’s what a decision is. It’s not just saying “yes” to the thing you’ve chosen, it’s also saying “no” to all of the potential alternatives.
So the blogs, and the books, and the motivational speeches, all tend to preach the virtues of setting a concrete goal and being stubborn enough to stay the course until it’s achieved. Do or die!
Do or die? I’m not thrilled with those options.
Instead of limiting our future prospects to the unpleasant choice of “do” or “die”, let’s try a different approach. Let’s look forward to the future with senses of wonder, curiosity, and hope.
As we begin to develop the daily practice of writing out our Vision for the future, we don’t need to even try to remember what we wrote the day before. Every day you’re a new you. Let this current version of yourself have a little fun imagining what the best possible future could look like. Allow tomorrows’ version of yourself to have a crack at it from scratch!
This opens your mind to the possibilities of the future. The Lyceum Method is meant to encourage personal growth and development. This re-imagining of the future each day is not meant to create a vision that is set in stone. We’re not trying to pin happiness to a future outcome (just go ahead and start practicing joy now- it’s ok). Seeing a fresh Vision for the future each day is a tremendous opportunity to learn more about yourself.
Patterns will emerge. You’ll begin to see that even though you write about different versions of your future each day, there will be some common themes that bubble to the surface, again and again. This is a clue to what you really value and desire.
I’ve also found that, over time, I’ll see what was once a consistent desire begin to fade. At some point, it actually gets uncomfortable to write about it because I come to realize that what I wanted in the past is no longer what I want. More on that tomorrow…
For today, add to your vision a bit. Write about how you want to see yourself in the future. Are you super fit? Are you more energetic? Are you leading a crusade or are you enjoying the quiet solitude of a reading nook? Both? Write about your dream location, who you’re with, and how you would like to see yourself in the future.
Vision: (The PDF below includes lined entries for your journal practice)
Daily: (The pdf version below contains three lined pages for your daily journal)
The above is an excerpt from the upcoming The Lyceum Course Journal. We will be releasing it here for free as a Daily Prompt blog post. If you would like a physical copy, we will link to it here once it is released.
I realize a daily journal prompt on a blog is a little weird. This is how I would suggest using it: Open your favorite note-taking software such as Evernote, copy and paste this post into it, and write your daily entries there.
Download a PDF version of this post here. Feel free to print it out, or access it through a PDF editor where you can type in your daily entry.
Collaborate With Me!
This post series is a first draft of the future book. If you have suggestions, comments, or see errors, please reach out so that I can make the final product more valuable for you and the rest of the community. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!