Are You Sleepwalking Through Your Day?

Yesterday in my Leadership Through Service class, I took my students through a vision setting exercise called “The History of Your Future.” The activity is credited to Rick Krug. You can watch his Ted Talk here: History of Your Future.  Rick, along with myself, is a member of the John Maxwell Team and has graciously shared his material with the group. Here is a brief summary of how it works and an explanation as to its effectiveness.

Step 1

Start by asking students to put themselves ten years in the future.  So the year is 2026 and they are 27 or 28 years of age. Imagining themselves ten years in the future, have them write down all of their accomplishments. Get as detailed as possible about the jobs they have, the people they married, the children they had. Don’t allow them to write things such as “I hope to work in a school.” Instead they might write “I am a highly recruited teacher working in a top school district in Illinois.”

Step 2

When they finish writing their accomplishments, I say the following: “Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. You should be very proud of your efforts. You have all become amazing people.” I then ask them this: “Thinking about ten years ago (2016), what were the steps you took to become so successful today (2026)?”  Now the students are required to write down all of the steps they took, such as graduating from high school and going to college. They might also include: going to all of their classes, making new friends, asking better questions, reading personal growth books, etc….

Step 3

What I immediately saw was that the students did not write down things like skip classes, give up on life, or be lazy. All of the steps they wrote down were positive habits to help them fulfill their vision ten years from now. We continued to break it down year by year so that they were able to paint a clear picture of the future.

After taking the students through the exercise, each and every one of them was excited about creating a highly detailed, mental picture of a preferable future. Each student yearned for something more from life. They each came to a realization that their dreams of the future will only become true by changing the habits of today. Rather than sleepwalking through their day, the students were awakened to the idea that they needed to plot a course and execute it themselves in order to succeed.

Here is what others have said about the presentation:

“This activity helped me put my goals and wants into view. It helped break down these things into smaller, doable steps that are easier to achieve.” – Sam I.

“From this activity I realized having small goals for every year will help me achieve bigger goals in the end.” – Priyanshi Z.

“The history of your future activity was a really good way for me to take a step back and have a perspective in life.” – Artha D.

“I want to steal it all!” – Jeff V. (Buffalo Grove H.S.) after observing 10 minutes of this presentation.

If you are interested in working with this activity or getting more details, check out Rick Krug on youtube or connect with me.

Leading Through Service

@Josephdbush

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