When I was a young woman with small children, just starting out in my career, I felt confused about my direction and what I wanted to do.
One day, I was frustrated and feeling lost. So I went to visit my friend Barbara. I spilled out my confusion to her.
She listened for quite a while and then said:
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in ten years. What are you doing? What are you wearing? Where are you? How are you feeling?
She told me to just let an image come to mind and not to worry about whether I thought it was possible or not. Or how I’d get there. She didn’t want to know what I was doing, just what I looked like and how I felt.
It didn’t take long before an image surfaced. It was a message to me from my mind’s eye.
I was boarding a plane — actually standing on the tarmac next to a plane with steps. You know, the kind the president boards. I was wearing a bright red, tailored jacket with elegant black pants and nice heels. I was carrying a serious looking leather briefcase.
I was on my to someplace where real, professionals were waiting for me. I was feeling confident and clear.
That was it.
A simple, well-defined image that had nothing at all to do with the jeans and food-spotted shirt I was wearing at the time. It was far from my Birkenstock sandals, and did not include the two small children who were waiting for me to pick them up from school that day.
At the time, I had no idea what I would be doing that would have me flying around the country looking professional.
But sometimes today, when I’m at an airport, briefcase in hand, with my red jacket packed and black pants in my suitcase, ready for my keynote speech the next day, I think of my friend Barbara who helped me conjure that image so many years ago.
I wonder how much that early image in my mind has shaped who I am now.
Picture This: Where Are You 10 Years From Now?
Conjure an image of yourself ten years hence. Don’t think too hard about it. Just be still for long enough to let an image come. What do you look like? Where are you? What are you wearing? How do you feel?
If you don’t like the image you conjure, let another one emerge. You don’t have to do anything with these images except to notice them and let your internal self decide whether that’s a place you truly want to go.
Share your conjuring experiences in the comments below, or conjure yourself over on Facebook and leave your comment there.