Posts Tagged ‘Time Travel’

Self-Perspective Using Mental Time Travel

mental time travelIf you’re sitting in the present, you’re sitting in a good place – you’re more mindful of what’s going on, more aware of your thinking, and more thoughtful of your actions.  But there’s one thing sitting in the present can’t provide, and that’s perspective.  To create perspective, to understand the hows and whys of your journey to the present, requires reflection on the past. But to self reflect without distorting the image requires separation from your present.

Here’s an idea to create separation – an exercise in mental time travel where your past becomes your present and your present becomes your future.  It goes like this: Set your mental way-back machine for five years ago, turn the crank and jump back to a five-years-ago present. From your seat in your new present (your past), erase your future (your present) to open it up to unlimited possibilities.  Now, imagine a future (one of the infinite possible futures) that is identical to the one that actually happened. (But remember, you don’t know it happened, so it’s only a potential future state.) Okay.  You’re now ready to mint your own perspective.

From your seat in your new present (your past), ask yourself three questions.

If your imagined future (your actual present state) came to be:

  1. How would you feel about your relationships with your friends, your community, and your family?
  2. How would you feel about your health?
  3. How would you feel about the alignment between your actions, values, and passions?

With your answers in hand (and I suggest you actually write them down), use your way-back machine to jump forward to the present present. Sitting in the present (the real one), read your answers (written five years ago) to the three questions above.

How do you feel about your answers?  What do you like about your answers? What makes you uncomfortable? What surprised you? Write down your answers because that’s the unfiltered perspective you were looking for.

Now the valuable part – two final questions (write down the actual answers):

Taking guidance from your newly self-minted perspective:

  1. Going forward, while sitting in the present, what will you do more of?
  2. Going forward, while sitting in the present, what will you do less of?

If you are sufficiently intrigued (or confused) to try the exercise and find value in it, please pay it forward and share it with others.

And don’t forget to repeat the process every year.

Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
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