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The purpose here is to let your imagination free and describe a surreal future that has no limitations — a future where you have successfully solved your problem and achieved your objective. Simply allow your imagination to create an ideal picture of the reality you would like to experience without this problem or problems in your life.
This step is important because it helps you to create a vision of the future without getting lost in the details that will crop up as you work through the visual thinking process.
Imagining an ideal reality in this way will also help you to better piece together a plan of action that will allow you tackle the problem/s you are currently facing. The reason why this works so effectively is because it helps you to focus-in on what’s most important and critical to your desired outcome.
Let’s now explore this sub-step in a little more detail.
Your Desired Reality
Here, you are outlining your desired reality — a desired reality with no problem and an ideal solution in place. The most important thing to keep in mind, is to clearly state what you would like to achieve. At the same time you must also consider the downside of this reality. However, don’t spend too much time analysing it, but rather keep it in mind, because what you WANT may not really be what you REALLY want or what is best for you in the end. Ask yourself:
- What specific outcomes would I like to achieve?
- What is my ideal vision of the future without this problem?
- How will things be better once this problem has been resolved?
- How will things look and feel once this problem has been resolved?
- What specifically will this solution give me?
- What specifically will it allow me to do?
- How will this solution transform my life, career or business?
- What will I or will my company become as a result of implementing this solution?
In addition to the questions, consider the possibilities. Imagine a world full of possibilities with the problem no longer a concern and completely out of the picture. At this stage it’s important not to limit yourself with how you will go about achieving this outcome, what it could cost you, who needs to approve it, etc. Simply ask:
- If I had unlimited time, money and resources, what would the ideal solution to this problem be?
Costs and Losses
Now consider your costs and the potential losses that could come about as a result of achieving this desired reality. In the end there may not be any major downsides, however, it’s important to keep them under consideration. Ask yourself:
- What will I potentially lose if I achieve this desired reality?
- What sacrifices must I potentially make?
- How will it affect my life?
- Am I willing to accept these costs? How will I deal with them?
- How can I potentially turn these losses into gains?
- What skills may I potentially need to acquire?
- What other options are there?
- How must I prioritize things to get this done?
Finally, having acquired the answers to these questions, you must now decide whether or not this reality is what you really want.
- Now that I am clear about what I will be working towards, do I still want this or would I prefer something else?
Your objective here is to acquire the motivation you need to propel you forward towards your desired reality. This is the pleasure part of the pain and pleasure principle. Ask yourself:
- What am I likely to gain by reaching my desired reality?
- What value will be created once this desired reality has been achieved?
- How much value will it add to my life?
- How will this outcome add new value?
It’s important to consider how this outcome (solution to your problem) will add future value to your life or business. Use this information to paint a vivid picture of this desired reality.
How can I visualize this?
Integrated into this stage is a set of visual thinking techniques, strategies, tools and processes that you can utilize to help you visualize your thoughts on paper or in physical form. These techniques will be revealed and integrated into each stage along The Path over time.