The business of looking from the future
By Yoram Yahav.
I have recently received many requests to write about the “Light House” and the business of “looking from the future”. I thought that I would revisit something I once wrote since it responds directly to the question – What it is all about!
I speak to them in my office, on long airplane flights, during cocktail parties and even while walking at night…… Ever since I started to talk and lecture about this new strategically oriented envisioning process and its importance in defining and supporting one’s dreams – friends, colleagues and clients have been approaching me every day with new revelations and new ideas.
It is quite remarkable how many of us are so lost in the web of goals and the search for the things that make us tick. I have written about these issues in the past and received literally thousands of responses. Working with the envisioning process which involves “looking at everything from the future”, is so loaded and unusual, that I thought it would be worthwhile to add a few more words.
In today’s world we often move at a pace too fast to comprehend. Knowing exactly where we’re headed with the goals we set for ourselves, both personally and career wise is not always clear. That’s why, defining one’s vision is like building a light house to which we can navigate and use as a constant land mark.
One of the most difficult exercises that I sometimes recommend to people who approach me, is the process of standing unclothed in front of a mirror for thirty minutes and looking directly into your eyes. It is only you looking at yourself, without any distractions except your thoughts and reflections. The process is often a humbling one that can bring out the deepest fears, anxieties, hopes or aspirations, and though it may sound like a simple enough process—even boring—few people are able to complete it.
The very few that dare and complete the exercise are amazed at how such an obvious and “easy” task they perform every day, can bring about a new type of awareness and expose them to new feelings never experienced before.
Interestingly, I find a correlation between this exercise and the process of defining your future through the envisioning process. In my many conversations with executives around the world, I quite often challenge them with real exercises which reflect the “AS IS” (as opposed to the “SHOULD BE”). I warn them ahead that it is an extremely difficult process and though they do it on their own with no one overseeing them, their egos and insecurities get involved… For some reason, defining the “As is” and later on defining the dreams, from a point of view of what and where they want to be, is difficult for most human beings.
I strongly believe that the physical process of defining one’s futuristic photograph, mission and goal (by the way, these are three different concepts that get confused in the corporate world), is an extremely productive process that ultimately serves personal dreams. I will venture even further and say that in most cases, should a person enter this kind of process and describe the future, with attention to the smallest details, it has a better chance of materializing.
To those of you, my friends and colleagues, who I was able to convince to go through one of these processes, I want to say thank you, because through you I was able to grow as well.