Inventing the Future – a.k.a. Daydreaming

Today’s prompt: My favorite quote of all time is Alan Kay: ‘In order to predict the future, you have to invent it.’ I am all about inventing the future. Decide what you want the future to be and make it happen. Because you can. Write about your future now.

I would have had fun with this prompt… about a week ago. Today, it feels like I’m repeating the repetitive stuff all over again (and yes, that recurrence was intentionally redundant).

That said, one exercise this trust30 series hasn’t really walked everyone through yet is the process of visualization, and how that can work with goal setting.

When I thought about the duathlon I ran on the 4th, I envisioned myself finishing the course ten minutes faster than I had the time before. I pictured the clock, I mentally smelled my sweat, felt my exhaustion, the heat, my thirst. I put myself there, and added turning to Brett and grinning, saying “I beat my time by ten minutes!”. I hadn’t predicted that I’d run in with a friend, but I sure did manage to do the rest of that.

For the Indian Springs course on the 25th, I’m doing the same thing. I know the finish line is at the top of a grassy hill. I remember the transition area, the run route, the blur of the bike route. I will finish that course in 2:41 (or faster!) because that’s what I’m envisioning. It’s ten or eleven minutes quicker than last year’s time on that course. It’s four minutes faster than my most recent race (which was 4 minutes faster than the race before that, which was 4 minutes faster than… you get the idea. That seems to be my rate of improvement). It’s a realistic, if challenging goal.

For the Tri in July, I’m envisioning finishing ahead of other people in my class, and finishing before my friends in the du come in so I can cheer them on. For the Du in September, I’m envisioning a 2:37 time (11 minutes faster than the 4/30 race on that course, 4 minutes faster than 2:41) – but I intend to beat that time soundly, since I’ll have all of August to work exclusively on speed. That’s my maximum time – the longest time out I’ll allow myself on 9/10.

This is all Sports Psychology 101.

It also applies to life, particularly for things you expect of yourself (other people are often unknown variables). So, other stuff I fiddle with visualizing when I’m tired of imagining myself huffing and puffing up a hill to a finish line?

I envision my wedding day, the weather, the décor, the overall feeling of the space and the people there. This is useful because I can change out knowns and unknowns, I can play with ideas and re-visualize as decisions are settled into place. Mostly, I visualize myself letting everyone take care of the stuff I delegated to them, and being happy and as relaxed as I can be about the event itself. I picture myself laughing a lot, I feel my face almost tired from smiling. That’s my goal.

I mentally hold my book in my hands a lot. My daydreams are frequently taken up by the storyline, testing out plot ideas and ways to solve problems with my characters. Sometimes, they are the casting process for the film version (why not?). Often, though, they are about flipping through the pages, holding the paperback in my hands, feeling its weight. Sometimes, I sign the books. A few of my mental images are in stopping by the Sci-fi Fantasy section at Barnes & Noble, and feeling a thrill at spotting my name on the spines of a few copies on the shelf.

I’m an introvert. We have “rich inner lives”. Translation: we daydream a LOT. I’m just saying that sometimes daydreams can be put to good use….

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