I once had a dream, about a man. This man was no ordinary man; he was a highly successful man. I remembered everything about him. He had a green shirt, he looked like he was in an amazing physical shape and was well-groomed.
I still remember the food and drinks that were in his fridge, what his house by the lakeside looked like and his driveway, everything. This man invited me to walk down the street with him, which I did. He started telling me all kinds of things that he had learned throughout his life. They were insights that had changed him forever and important life experiences. It was so vivid.
Then, all of a sudden, I woke up. I didn’t want to wake up though. I wanted to stay in this dream forever, learn from this amazing man and be a part of his compelling ‘bigger than life’ lifestyle. I’ve never felt like this before. It was too good. I had to wake up, as it always happens when something is too good to be true. Whether it’s in a dream or in real life, you will eventually wake up.
I was wondering all day long who this man was and why I had gotten this vision. Why was he telling me all these things? What was my unconscious trying to get me to understand? I finally got it at the end of the day: This man is the future me, just waiting for me to become him.
It’s been a while since I’ve had this vivid, almost lucid, dream. My levels of motivation and inspiration haven’t been the same ever since. It feels like it’s completely clear for me what to do: I want to become this man. I want to become this caring, loving, compassionate, self-employed, rich, well-groomed, strong, compelling man. With a green shirt, mind you!
There are NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) techniques out there that attempt to do exactly the same thing as this dream has done for me. Some of them use (self-) hypnosis and others focus more on visualization. I highly recommend that you give it a try and see if you can make visualization for yourself that is as epic as mine was for me. Perhaps, you’ve already experienced something like this before.
In case you’re new to NLP, this product might be the best way to start and learn about NLP. There is one exercise that I clearly remember. It was an exercise from Christopher Howard’s NLP tapes, awesome stuff which I highly recommend. I’ll describe the exercise as I remember it below and add my own advice based on my own experiences.
Step 1: Make sure you are not interrupted during this exercise. Turn off everything that can make an unexpected sound and in case you are living with other people, tell them not to disturb you.
Step 2: First, lie down and relax. If you have any troubling thoughts that are clouding your mind, write them down first, so you can forget about them during this exercise.
Step 3: Just lay still for a couple of minutes. Try not to move at all.
Step 4: Imagine you’re on a beach. You can hear the sound of the waves washing ashore. You can play this video during the exercise if you like:
Step 5: Start writing numbers in the sand and let them get washed away by the waves. You can start with the number 300, then 299, so on and so forth. Obviously, you don’t have to go all the way to 0, just count down until number 250.
Step 6: Then all of a sudden, you will find yourself at the top of a staircase in a lighthouse. As you walk down this staircase, allow yourself to relax more and more with every step you take. Drift off.
Step 7: At the bottom of the staircase, there is a door that leads towards a bedroom with a really nice and comfortable bed with white sheets. Lay down on this bed. Go to sleep.
Step 8: You are now in a dream, inside a daydream. (Inception!) In this dream, imagine what you want your future self to look like. Try to see everything, every tiny detail of your future life. What do you look like? What kind of clothes are you wearing? What does the house look like that you’re living in? This is your chance to design the life you want! It’s like you are playing the computer game ‘The Sims’, but infinitely better. Visualize yourself. Visualize the people around you; your wife, kids and friends.
Step 9: Make your future self talk to you. Your future self is asking you: “At the end of your life, do you want to be defined by the things that you could have been? Do you want to become me? You know what it takes!
Try this exercise for yourself! Turn on some meditation/ relaxation/ lounge music on a low volume. Make sure it is instrumental music, listening and trying to understand lyrics is a cognitive activity that you will want to avoid during this exercise.
“Your life will be what you create it as and no one will stand in judgment of it, now or ever”
In case you have a hard time visualizing your ideal future, try visiting a person that is a big inspiration to you. Or in case this person is famous, watch an interview of this person or other video material. Read biographies. See what their lives are like! Most people already have an idea about what they want their ideal future to look like. They (day) dream about it all the time. But there’s a big difference between dreaming and visualizing!
When you are fully conscious and awake, make your own Personal Mission Statement. Why do you want to become the future self you have visualized? What is your biggest motivation for becoming him or her? Use words that express the true underlying value of that which you want to achieve, and the person you will become!