Have you ever sat down at the end of your day and thought, ‘Wow what an amazing day!” Recently, I had just such a wonderful day. Picture if you will, a day filled with fun, laughter, productivity and inspiration. A day which wasn’t devoid of anything negative, but was relaxed. It led me to think about how to create more days in my future that could be just the same. And not in a follow the same template with activities kind of way, but in a truly feeling kind of way.
Challenging age old advice
The idea of not reacting to circumstances and instead responding is often taught as a way to have a better life or at least a better day. Over the years, I’ve found great wisdom in this commonly shared advice. However, my intuition indicated there must be something more. This brought me to the idea of designing my day. Not necessarily planning moment to moment, but instead deciding how I want to feel at the end of the day. Deciding how and what I choose to focus my energy on, or give my attention to. In other words, getting ahead of the circumstances.
Meanwhile, this isn’t just some hopeful or wishful thinking. It has actually been studied and published reports proving it to be true can be found. For example, the below quote is from a 2010 study on manipulating optimism through imagining a positive future. The results were significant, if you’d like to read the report, here is the link.
Imagining a positive future can indeed increase expectancies for a positive future.
Peters, Madelon L. , Flink, Ida K. , Boersma, Katja and Linton, Steven J.(2010) ‘Manipulating optimism’, The Journal of Positive Psychology,
5: 3, 204 — 211
Challenge: Imagine yourself a better future
Of course, at times, there will be things that come up that are out of the ordinary and in those situations, responding is always the better option. But I’d challenge you today, or the next morning after you read this, to go over the events of your day and DECIDE what the outcome will be. Imagine the best possible outcome and go from there. Practice this technique until you see results.
One tool to start your visualization or imagination practice is to use meditation stories such as the one below: