In 2015 if anyone was asked “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” my guess is that not many people would have got very close to answering that accurately at all. Well that is except for the makers of the film V for Vendetta of course. This was actually released in 2005 and is a classic case of art imitating life, or in this example of art foreshadowing life. The film is set in the 2020s in a dystopian world where the USA has been torn apart in a second civil war, and a viral pandemic is ravaging Europe. The plot is centred in the UK where a neo-fascist police state is in charge, ‘undesirables’ are persecuted and executed. Eventually the people rise against this oppression by silently protesting wearing Guy Fawkes masks. In the film masks were worn as a sign of defiance, but today we wear them as a sign of compliance.
There are many examples of art foreshadowing reality. Such as the Simpsons ‘predicting’ a Trump Presidency, and the 1898 novel Futility, which was about an unsinkable ship called the Titan, that sank on its maiden voyage to the USA from the UK when it hit an iceberg. These and any others that you can think of do not mean that they actually did predict the future of course, they didn’t claim to at the time. But how should we think about the future, particularly right now? Is it something random and beyond our control, or something that is set in stone and unalterable, or is it just God’s will and again beyond our control, or is it something that you can influence in the present? Despite how it might seem, particularly this year, I still believe that things in our lives happen for a reason. Although I am prepared to accept that sometimes that reason is that we acted poorly or made bad decisions, individually and/or collectively.
Having the future you want starts by taking responsibility for your life now and by letting go of the past. The past is contextual frame that we carry around with us. Most of the time we think that this defines who we are and what we can become in the future. But we can change our relationship to our past so that it no longer limits our ability to become who want to be. It is possible to let go of negative emotions associated with past events and limiting beliefs that we have about ourselves. If you need to, you can redefine the person you have been now.
The next step is to think about your life the way that you want it to be in the future. To help you to do this ask yourself these questions –
- When do you feel the happiest?
- When do you feel most like you are being you, regardless of what others think?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are your greatest skills, talents, and gifts?
- Who do you want to be in the future?
- What do you want to have in your life in the future?
- What do you really want to do in the future?
Use the answers to these questions to help you to write at least a paragraph about the you that you want to be in the future. Choose a future time scale that seems most relevant to you to imagine, be that three, five, ten, or even more years in the future. Use your imagination, as best you can, to see, hear, and feel the you that you want to be. What will you be doing, who will you be with, what sort of person are you going to be? Let go of any feelings or self-talk that you cannot do this. Hold this image or sense about yourself and use it as a compass setting to guide you in the present. Let this paragraph become your foreshadowing of your future self.
What you then do is take action in the present that is to be aligned with the person that you want to be. Don’t let our times of uncertainty to be an excuse for not moving forward. The future belongs to those who make it happen now.
“It’s not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” William Shakespeare