Productivity Thoughts

A Vision of Hope

Today is Life.

Yesterday is but a Memory.

Tomorrow is a Vision of Hope.

Dwelling on the stains of yesterday’s spilled opportunities takes time away from acting today. It is today that matters. It is today that comes to us a few minutes at a time, and which we can have a chance to influence some minor changes in outcome. Yesterday is gone and immutable. Tomorrow is uncharitable in the fog and valleys of un-seeable events. Only today has substance and malleability.

So where does the Vision of Hope come into play? What good is the future if it is unknowable? Since our today actions have consequences, our tomorrows are shaped by what we do today. Our every thought or action will find a reflection in some future moment. The future is where the effects of our daily causes reside. The infinite alternate universes represented by the trillions of potential decisions and actions coalesce into a concrete yesterday the instant we act.

Because our actions of today create our past, if we would look back on our choices and see that we made good decisions, we would also see that our actions were right today. If we would look back with pride or pleasure that our past is as we hoped it would be, then our choices this day should have a connection to that past, but a greater connection to the future. The decisions for today need to be right.

How are they right? They are right if they propel actions towards that wished-for pride in accomplishment we would have upon reflection on the results. We want our future circumstances to line up with our expected past experiences… In other words, our dream of any future is actually a rehearsal for how we would view the past…

Our dreams for the future come about as we think about and visualize what we would see, or feel, or taste, or experience under various circumstances. As we think about these outcomes, we weigh their impact on our future past by some internal balance scale. The counterweight is the cumulative memory of similar events from our past. If this current dream is “better” than the past, we will approve of it. If it is “worse”, then we will reject it.

We can reinforce the positive dreams by re-living them until we can describe our surroundings and emotions with a great degree of accuracy. The dreams become clear and powerful. We have a Vision of how the future might be. If we really like our Vision, it becomes our Hope that this future would manifest itself in our past. It becomes a Vision of Hope.

With a Vision of Hope, our minds begin to appropriate the idea of actually experiencing this dream. We anticipate accomplishing the event. We see ourselves as having done this, and having done it well. We “want” this dream to come true.

Now, the mind begins to look for ways to make it so. We begin to unconsciously measure actions against potential outcomes. If they take us closer, we take those actions. If we see the outcomes as being incongruous with our dreams, we avoid those activities. Our minds subconsciously begin to bring this dream to reality by directing our un-thought actions. If we are not in thoughtful control of our decisions and actions, our subconscious will make us act to bring this dream into existence. Therefore, we need to thoughtfully plan the kinds of things we should do. We need to make concrete plans for our subconscious to work with rather than random opportunities.

This is where the Vision of Hope becomes the essence of life – Today. We can only exist in the Today. We can only remember the past. We can vainly try to re-create the past, but we can never revisit or relive it. Our futures are still the stuff of dreams. Though we can steer towards our dreams, we cannot leap into the future to grasp them. We can only live in this moment, for this moment, for this now. When we act, it is to act in such a way that our dream future is brought closer to reality.

By John Larson

John is an experienced small business owner, management consultant, project manager, and family man. John has been married since 1967 to the same beautiful bride. He has two sons and eight grandchildren. He makes his home in Carlton, Oregon, USA.

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