Often times, when we find ourselves in the unknown or unfamiliar, we default to “conventional wisdom”—a generally accepted “truth” about how things are that is put forward with a great deal of confidence. In the old maps of Europe, for example, cartographers would draw in the details of the known areas of their world but out beyond what had been explored, they drew what was the conventional wisdom—beasts with serpent bodies roaming the lands with the words There Be Dragons written on top. Though we no longer draw dragons into our maps, we still too often allow the dragons of conventional wisdom to dictate how we perceive and face the unknown.
In designing our lives, conventional wisdom would tell us to start exactly where we are and work our way forward, one small step at a time, towards our desired end. For example, as a student the usual practice is to focus on the grades, then the requirements for a degree, and then on getting a job that will “pay the bills.” The process is one of incremental improvement. Trouble is, a transformation in life, as with a transformation in business, requires a completely different approach. Rather than dragging along to incrementally improve our lives, which usually just produces more of the same, we will need to imagine, create, and live in in a boldly different way by:
working backwards from the future, not forward from the present.
In your Life Design work, before any change happens in the external world, you must design the transformed future you want first in your inner world. Working backwards from the future in this way gives you multiple points of view. It helps to broaden your vision of what you see as possible which affects how you live our life and the decisions you make in the present. If you look towards the future of who you want to be and what you want to accomplish and work backwards from there, all of a sudden the goal isn’t just about a grade or a job, it’s about seeing how what you’re doing now fits in with your life aspirations. It becomes about seeing how your talents and passions can be intentionally used in a variety of ways, turning your life from a never ending to-do list into a meaningful quest.
In this year’s Asterisk posts, this is exactly the process we will be taking you through. We will cast aside conventional wisdom that dictates we incrementally improve our lives and instead intentionally design your life using Starizon’s 6-I’s of Experience. Because as written about in Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore’s Experience Economy book, personal transformation is the ultimate Experience and the highest application of Experience principles (but more on that later). By the end of 2017, you will have a clear vision of the transformed life waiting to be brought to life by you.
And the first step to creating this life is to …
begin with the end in mind.