First of all, I am only giving you my point of view on how to plan life and how to achieve success. For those of you who have different ideas about what the Future is, and how to work with it: it is quite possible that you are right and I am not. Because this Future... you see - it is YOUR Future. Not mine. You deside.
No, I am not going to discuss philosophy.
I am going to talk about events that we set in motion by our actions, events that somewhere "behind the events horizon" form the future we want or the future we do not want but always - the future we deserved.
If the brick falls on your head, it doesn't matter how talented you are... was. But if you do things right then you would have a helmet on your head when you were walking at the construction site, would you not?
As I already mentioned in Introduction to NLP article, any of our thoughts affects our physiology.
However this approach, no matter how logical and simple, does not explain it all.
Let's do it in terms of the Time Line (see Introduction to NLP), the imaginary line that connects our memories so that we can find them fast. I am going to use some hypnotic language here, but not a lot.
Imagine it - just for this explanation - as a line on the ground going from left (past) in front of you (now) and to the future (right). And of course at any time you are free to walk this line, to re-live events of your past or future (this is part of so-called reimprinting technique by Robert Diltz).
Now as you watch this line, you might notice "dark", "uncomfortable", "unclear" or somehow else forbiden areas. Painful, unpleasant memories, that's what they are. There are also grey areas, that have little or no energy, flat, boring.
And there are areas that are full of light (if you are a visual, but it is a skill and anyone can learn it) or full of energy or whatever YOUR time line has. Memories of the time you are comfortable with and the time you enjoy.
And as you begin working with your future, you might discover, often to your surprise, that the events on your time line - both in future AND in the past - can be rearranged! (more details in Habits Management article and in the eBooks). You make a little change and the wave of some kind runs from "now" to the future, washing away dark areas, illuminating areas that were so powerless and flat before and making your life longer and happier.
Nice trick to develop positive attitude, but it is just the line on the floor...
In the How to set goals to make them a self fulfilling prophesy? class we will do some work with the time line. "A little", because the Time Line Therapy is a very powerful thing. A nuclear bomb in the world of NLP techniques, so to speak. And as any technique, it works fine only if you know why you need it. Same as with Hypnosis (see Introduction to Hypnosis and Hypnotic Inductions articles). It is UNBELIEVABLY easy to put people in trance - but what to do next?
To do A LOT (as opposed to "a little") about the use of time line, read the Introduction to NLP article, as in addition to how to achieve goals part, you may need a better understanding of what is it you REALLY want. NLP is the right tool.
So it is not enough to have the ULTIMATE TECHNIQUE FOR CHANGING THE FUTURE. It is also necessary to know what to change.
I remember a nice little movie (a fantasy) where the Earth starship landed on some remote and not very civilized planet. And humans were (of course) stupid enough to talk about their technology - a bit. So the local "bad guys" decided, that they need the "source of infinite power", and they have stolen the nuclear reactor powering the ship. Did they benefit from it? No, because there is no use for that kind of "infinite power" in the bronze age society. But they sure created a lot of trouble.
So it is not enough to have the technology (a time line). We also need to know what to change, which goals to set, and what are the future events we really need.
There is a saying that "if you don't care where you go, then you probably are not lost". And this saying is perfectly applicable to most of the people - they are not lost, no. They are just... not clear on where and why they go. MOST of them. Of us.
So if we want to learn to affect our future, we need at least to decide where are we going. To learn how to achieve success, we need to define what success is, first.
This is another thing that I am working with in the Working with the Future: how to set goals to make them self-fulfilling prophecy Tutorial - how to make sure that the goal that you are planning to achieve is YOUR goal.
How many times you heard it - "you must be a good boy (girl)". Or "a single woman after 30 cannot be happy". Or "all men are..." (OK, I am not going there). These are beliefs, values and GOALS that your friends, enemies, total strangers, authors of books that are long dead, government that has no business doing it - someone gave you. And you are going to live YOUR life and create YOUR future using THIS?!
Why some people have all they want in life and others don't? And it has nothing to do with the money they inherited - as the matter of fact some of the rich people can be quite miserable - and loose all their money in process. And some poor people can be quite the winners - and it doesn't take them long to stop being poor, too.
As one of the most profound claims of the NLP (see Introduction to NLP article) is that "what one person can do, any one can learn, too", so should we be able to become successfull, all of us? What are you saying? Who is going to clean the streets? OK, you got me here. I do not know.
However it is true that being able to set and achieve goals - something also known as how to achieve success is not that much of a mystery - it is as the matter of fact, a skill. And it is possible to learn it - if you are willing to do it.
What do I mean - if you are willing to do it? Why would anyone possibly refuse to be successfull?
Because habits and philosophy of successful people are very different sometimes from the habits of the "normal people". How so? Let's consider an example. In the Introduction to State of Power online book I mentioned a very powerful technique of using positive affirmations. It goes like this - if you did something right - COMPLIMENT YOURSELF. Many people read this text. But how many did it? How many recognized that it is not a promotion trick (feel good, dear reader) but a real life powerful idea that can make a difference even if you do not do anything else?
You see, they are not only different, those habits of successful folks, they are also weird sometimes...
Unless you consider habits of unsuccessful people from the same point of view just to discover that they are weird, too. And it is OK as we consider it something "normal".
The "Working with the Future" is a set of techniques and tricks - yes, tricks that you can use on yourself in order to manipulate - yes, manipulate - your future in a good way. A positive manipulation. Because you see, we manipulate ourselves and others, we ALWAYS do. When you think that you "will never have enough money to live a life you want" - you are manipulating yourself into being poor. You are CONDITIONING yourself. And guess what - when (not if - when) the opportunity presents itself, you will not use it, because you "know" that it is not for you. "My plan for life does not include it"... Well, CHANGE THE PLAN!
While the guy who believes in his great destiny will see this oppotrunity at once - and jump on it. And he might win. What are you saying? Slim chance? You are right. But how often do you think the oppoptunity of a lifetime presents itself? I would say - based on my experience and on my friends - about twice a month. Are you ready? Are you?
In the "Working with the Future" I explain how to turn your goals into a self-fulfilling prophecy. You set them. You may forget them later (I would suggest you to set goals you do not forget, but it is not the point) and they are getting achieved anyway. Because they were set properly.
Is it a MUST? No. You can still achieve your goals without it. Same way as you can get to work without a car. Just takes more time and efforts. And when you arrive - you are already tired. But when you know how to set goals, when you develop positive mental attitude, when you learn to see the future you want - then the future events will "just happen". And it feels great.