Last year around Christmas time there was one defining week which changed the course of my life. I had a well paid a job in London designing dresses, a happy and supportive group of friends, a family who loved me and had finally passed my driving test in preparation for moving out to work in L.A.
In the space of a week I found out that my L.A visa application had been cancelled due to changes within the company I was working at, I had to move out of my flat and had an overwhelming feeling that things needed to change, in essence I was unhappy. I felt as though I was treading water, working hard but not making any progress, not building towards anything, i’d gained a few pounds and had lost sight of my own personal goals, dreams and aspirations.My Mum has always been a HUGE inspiration in helping me to collect my thoughts and get back on track whenever I have “a wobble”. It was during this one defining week that she gave me some of the BEST advice I have ever been given. Advice which, if you’ve spoken to me over the last year I’ve probably tried to impart, I can’t stop banging on about making lists!
The advice my Mum gave was based on a technique she had used for years with groups over her successful career as an I.T Professor. The Future workshop is a technique which was developed by Robert Jungk, Ruediger Lutz and Norbert R. Muellert back in the 1970s. It enables a group of people or in this case an individual to develop new ideas or solutions to problems.
A future workshop is traditionally adopted to help people who have little experience with the processes of creative decision making, for example Children or Youths. However, in this case it was adopted and modified by a very confused Me to work out what the heck I was doing, what my dreams were and how on Earth was I going to achieve them?
Here’s how it works (and believe me it really does work, you can tell by my face!) :
Find some alone time in a quiet place where you are free to cry (I was a blubbering mess during the critique phase!), giggle, smirk focus and truly think. Remember nobody else has to see your list, this is purely for you.
1. What is wrong with my life? Critique phase: Spend 20 minutes writing down the problem (s). What is wrong with my life? what makes me unhappy? what do I moan about everyday? It is important not to feel guilty about moaning no matter how insignificant your problems seem, do not feel guilty. So mine went something like, I’m unhappy, I hate getting on the Tube every morning and standing with my face in somebodies armpit etc…
The importance of the Critique phase is to work out what the problem is? identify what is making you unhappy and what areas of your life do you need to change.
2. What do you dream of? Fantasy Phase: Spend 20 minutes writing down your dreams and wildest fantasies. What are your wildest dreams? as an 8year old child what did you imagine you would do when you got older? work out a utopia, draw an exaggerated picture of future possibilities. No matter how silly, farfetched, crazy, impossible it sounds, list everything you’ve ever dreamed of. This is your fantasy. Mine went something like, own a house in the South of France, run a marathon, put on an exhibition, write a book, travel, see Niagara Falls and so on…
The benefit of seeing your dreams captured on paper makes them more real. You have made the first step in recognising them and making them a reality.
3. Let’s do it! Implementation Phase: Spend 45minutes making a practical plan. Chose 2-3 things from your fantasy list and work out ways of achieving them. Say for example, you’ve always dreamt of going to New York, sit down and work out what you need to make that a reality, how much would it cost? how long would you need to save up? practically how could you save money each day? some dreams will need a longer timeline for instance buying a house in the South of France, it may be 4 or 5 years until I save the amount of money needed but without a plan this is unlikely to ever become a reality. Break your dream down into daily chunks and congratulate yourself on each daily success.
Dreams rarely happen overnight, granted there may be exceptions but usually a little planning goes a long way in making dreams a reality. Live your dreams.Stay Fabulous
The Fabulous Times