How I’m Learning to Talk About the Future

In Part One of this post I told you how much I struggled with thinking about, and actually talking about the future, and the things I hope to do, and to create, in the tiny window of time I have here on Earth. Since then (it’s already been about six weeks!), I’ve kept this issue in the forefront of my thoughts and I’ve been trying to figure out how I can make some progress on it. Here are five things that are helping me. They’re simple. You might read some of them and think – “yeah, no kidding” – but for whatever reason, these simple and completely unoriginal ideas are the things that are clicking with me in this fun and scary little growth-and-adventure period of my life.

Here are the five things. I’m going to write about them one at a time.

  • We speak things into (or out of) existence
  • Pessimism will suck the life out of you and everyone around you
  • Everything is an experiment
  • Almost all decisions will move us either forwards or backwards
  • Intention is everything

We speak things into (and out of) existence:

Have you ever looked around and thought about how all of the things that surround you started out as simply an idea in someone’s head? Take a second to look around you right now and think about how amazing that is. At this moment, I’m sitting outside at a coffee shop and there’s a young shaggy haired blond dude with drums and a guitar and some sort of funky synthesizer thing and he’s entertaining us with some of his original music. He’s good! And what we’re listening to right now is only here because he created it. It would not exist without him. He made a thing and he put that thing out into the world. He’s creating.

And it’s happening all the time!

This summer, I had the pleasure of watching the process of creation from start to finish. A person close to me had an idea for an event that would raise money and increase awareness for a charitable cause she’s been supporting for over a decade. It started as a quiet thought one night, spoken aloud: It would be cool if…

And she didn’t have any sort of plan thought out, and really had no idea how she was going to actually make it happen. But the idea persisted, and so she slowly worked through the steps of making the thing happen, just sort of figuring it out as she went along. The result? Over 50 people in attendance, and over $4,000 raised in support of an organization that’s helping our community.

And here’s the cool thing: She put this thought out into the world; she spoke this event into existence. But she almost didn’t, because along the way there were lots of other thoughts that could have taken over at any moment. …but it probably won’t work. …but I’m sure no one will want to come. …but it’s going to be too hard to actually pull it all off. Do you think those thoughts could have gotten some traction had she let them win? You bet. If, at any point, she had surrendered to those words instead, then that event would never have happened.

It’s only logical – if our thoughts and our words have the power to create, then they also have the power to destroy. But what scares me the most – even more than destruction does – is that our thoughts and our words also have the power of complete erasure. If we let those thoughts have their way, they won’t simply try to destroy the things we create – they will make it so those things can never exist in the first place.

That is terrifying.

So let’s choose, instead, to speak the future we want into existence.

 

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