A researcher finds that people who imagine themselves older are less likely to engage in … unethical behavior. Hmm. How about using that technique for the opposite outcome on your executive career?
Don’t waste the power of your vision trying to avoid what you don’t want! Imagine your older self in clear detail in order to get what you want!
For some time now, I’ve asked my Executive Coaching clients to envision themselves 10 years older. We talk about that aged version of themselves – discussing the person they would like to grow to be in 10 years. Typically, I document the imagined details of this future self on a single-page “Personal Vision Statement” with some eye catching graphics and an announcement that this document is the “Vision for (name) at age 40” (or whatever age they’ll be 10 years from now). I have my client put this Personal Vision Statement in a conspicuous place, so they’ll see it (and envision it) regularly.
In doing this, I have been operating on the belief (and earlier research) that showed that those individuals who develop a clear vision of what they want to be in the future – and who then revisit that vision with any regularity – are most likely to create exactly that life for themselves. Now comes the Harvard Business Review with an update on this concept of visioning as a method of ensuring future success. Go have a look at this most recent study! An important caveat: focus on what you DO want, not what you DON’T want when visioning the life of your future self!