Mapping out what we want to experience, create or achieve is important in making it happen. Sometimes it’s loosely outlined in a daydream or mind movie. Other times we get down to the nitty-gritty as in a business plan. Whichever process you prefer, taking time to envision your life’s dreams, goals or desires is worthwhile.
Often our initial plan is the most idealistic path to success. It’s a scenario of what you imagine would happen if the world spun according to your dictates. But, life has a way of not following such structured steps.
Well, a useful practice is to consider how to navigate the worst possible obstacles and still achieve your goals. Chances of the zombie apocalypse ruining your family’s summer vacation are slim. But, what happened if at each turn you face an overwhelming obstacle.
What would you do? How would pivot? Where would you adjust your plan?
Think about it. Seriously.
Pretending that everything is going to unfold perfectly sets us up to be unprepared at best or delusional at worst. The simple act of contemplating the least desirable options and how you’d respond helps to exercise your mental creativity, emotional sobriety, and prime your system to act more efficiently under pressure.
In his book Mind Hacking, Sir John Hargrave outlines the research behind this type of mental exercise. In an academic setting, students were split up to test the impact of visualization. Ones that practiced simulating how to tackle obstacles successfully in addition to visualizing the desired outcome scored higher grades.
Now, this is not a practice of becoming a pessimist. This is more like sober brainstorming. So many times we compound our trials because we just didn’t see a better way to proceed. We bull onward when instead if our field of perception was bigger, we’d adjust and bypass the distress. Often our hindsight reveals such detours.
This exercise helps you better navigate challenges and discover hidden shortcuts. Seeing more in your imagination helps you see more opportunities in your reality. Greater vision leads to greater action and greater success.
So, in considering your next goal, dream or desire, what is your plan B?