Ten Minute Writing Exercise -
If you think you don't know what you want for the future, think again. Your subconscious knows more than you think. Ten minutes, a pen and a paper will act as a crystal ball for your ideal future in five years.
Print these instructions do the exercise and then share your future surprises. It's fun and it works! This is a nonstop writing exercise. The key to having this work is that you write NONSTOP for ten minutes. It is a stream of consciousness exercise that will awaken the creative right side of your brain. If you 'think' too much, it will NOT work. No one will read what you write, unless you want them too, of course. So, don't be self conscious about the letter itself. When you are ready, put on an alarm for ten minutes. You will be writing a letter to someone that would be interested and supportive of your accomplishments. The letter will have a beginning, middle and end. Here are the steps of the exercise. You may want to print them so you can glance at them while you are doing the exercise.
1. Date the letter today's date. 5 years into the future. Dear.. (whoever you want)
2. You are writing about your ideal future day. It will have a Beginning, Middle and an End.
3. Beginning: Wake up and using all of your senses, notice what you see, smell, taste, touch and hear. This will awaken the creative side of your brain. Are you living in a new place? Driving a new car? Drinking coffee? New lover, more kids? Etc.
4. Middle: Next, you have your ideal day. What are you doing? Who's with you? Where are you? Are there special technologies that you see? A new place? New people? How do you KNOW that this is ideal? What is satisfying about it?
5. End: Next, someone comes up to you and congratulates you on your amazing life and accomplishments. You thank them and they ask you "What was the biggest thing that you had to overcome to get to this point?" You answer them and then end your day with a celebration. You can celebrate any way you want, with anyone you want. This is just a fun way to close down the exercise. Once you have completed the exercise, read what you wrote. Any 'ah has' or surprises? What would have to change in your life today to move you toward this future? What did you have to overcome to get there?
I use this exercise in groups as well when I'm doing organizational strategic planning. People do the exercises together and then we talk about the common themes and patterns to create a common organizational vision. It works like a charm!