There is great worth in being able to imagine your future and the wonderfulness that you hope it will hold. It is the epitome of positive thinking to be able to envision yourself exactly where you want to be in the not so distant future and look forward to it. And a great method to be proactive in getting there is to make a plan, give yourself a deadline, and hold yourself accountable.
To help you do that, we wanted to share a great site called FutureMe.org that allows its users to write letters to themselves and have the letters emailed back to them on a date of their choosing in the future. When I heard about this site, I immediately thought of those time capsules that you bury when you are in elementary school or that one middle school assignment where I was supposed to write a letter to myself and be all deep and stuff. Back then, I was never self aware (beyond being worried about whether I would react to someone trying to make fun of me that day) or even inclined to think that a message from my past self would have any sort of impact on my life. Thus, I couldn’t tell you what I wrote to myself or if I even took it seriously (I doubt it). Ahhh…the arrogance (and blissful ignorance) of youth.
Although there has only been eight years since I was in middle school (I kid, I kid), I realize that time and my experiences as well as my profession has given me a new view on the value of these kinds of activities. I now see this as an opportunity; an opportunity to express how I feel about my life today and my hopes for the future. It also gives me a chance to be completely honest about my dreams as well as about any discontent I have about my present. I want this letter to be a tool to use to acknowledge the things I want to improve now and a tool to empower me in the future.
Therefore, I went on over to FutureMe.org and wrote myself a letter and this time, I was completely invested. In this letter, I talked about the things that may have made me sad or discontent today and yesterday and the things that I hope will be different on the day that my email will be delivered to me. I talked about where I wanted to be in my career and what type of relationships I wanted in my life. Dear Future Me, I said, I know you are happy and if you aren’t, then know that you can change anything about your life. Your life is never its own prison.
When I get this email in 2015, I think that I will be proud of the woman I am today and if I need it to, I hope that my message will allow me to break free of anything that may be taking away from my positive thinking and happiness. I hope that the words from the 2010 Me will motivate me to identify and change the things that might be holding me back from where I really want to be on that day five years from now. Sometimes, we only need ourselves (and a handy future email site) to remind us of the things we really want in our lives.
So, positive thinkers, if you are going to engage in this exercise as well, I suggest you jump wholeheartedly and honestly into it. Utilize it so that you can purge and acknowledge the present things about your life that you need to change in order to begin the process of becoming the person you want to be when you open that future email.
Go for it! You are the only one reading your letter (unless you make it public, but still anonymous) and in the end, it will help you to become more self aware, at least for today and maybe tomorrow.
p.s. check out some of the public letters. Some are inspiring and brave (some not so much) and I think you will smile while reading them. It’s always so interesting the things people say to themselves when they think no one is listening (aka reading).