The workshop leader showed us a chart indicating how long it is estimated men and women will live. Then he told us to subtract our age and asked, “What’s your number? What do you want to accomplish over that time span? And what are you willing to do to make that happen?”
His questions were meant to instill us with a sense of urgency.
I didn’t relate at all.
According to his chart, my number is 20. But if that is when I might leave this planet, I think I want to fulfill my dreams way before that.
The time to act…
Personally I have given myself the number 3.
That’s how long I have to put the foundation for my personal dream in place. Then I remembered my number could be tomorrow, because we never really know how much time we have in this human form we call “Joe,” “Mary,” “Carlos,” or “Jasmina.”
Whereas the number 20 didn’t have meaning for me, it did get me to look at what I was leaving undone and why.
So I guess the exercise was successful after all.
The time to act is now, which makes my number “now.” Yes I know “now” is not a true number, yet as I look at my desk, I ask, “When am I going to clear it?” Tomorrow is not an acceptable answer, but “today” is (as soon as I finish this article, of course).
It’s normal to think you have more time and get caught up in the illusion… “I can always go to that show next week,” or “I can take that trip next year,” or “The dirty dishes can wait. They’re not going anywhere.” Does any of this sound familiar? Ah, yes, always more time, or better yet, you put someone else’s needs ahead of your own.
One of the challenging things about deciding how best to make use of your number (whatever it is and however you determine it) is knowing what is truly important to you.
What is your passion?
I was sitting with a friend recently who is not very happy with her job.
This woman is creative, articulate, intelligent, and has the ability to communicate deep spiritual concepts in clear, understandable terms that people can relate to. I asked her why she didn’t leave her job and build on her considerable talents. She responded that she felt “stuck,” and that this wasn’t the first time it had happened to her.
As we continued our conversation I invited her to pick a date a few years in the future, image what she would like to be doing at that time, and then create a future memory to capture that image and give it life.
Future memory is a term to describe a practice I’ve often followed where you create the conversation (either verbal or written) you will be having in (you pick the number) years hence describing all that you have accomplished. In essence it is asking that you pick a number by which time you will have accomplished your vision. It gives the vision life by being very specific about what those accomplishments were.
And it calls on the emotional energy that comes from having had such fulfilling, gratifying experiences.
I remember when I was first required to do this as was part of my coach certification program. I was to write a letter dated 18 months in the future. At the time I was in between jobs and traveling around the country with no idea of where I would land or what I would be doing. I didn’t want to write the letter, expressed my feelings about being forced to do it, and was told if I wanted credit for the course I was taking, I would complete the assignment.
Unwillingly I wrote the letter and promptly forgot it.
Two years later I found the letter in my files. I read it and discovered that without even focusing on my number of 18 months, I had accomplished almost 75% of what was in the letter…
- I was living in the Southwest
- I owned a house very similar to the one I had imaged
- I was a minister at a church with a high vibrational spiritual energy
- and I felt at home
It was a remarkable demonstration of the power of imaging, being specific, calling on the emotions and excitement that result when you have been successful, and selecting a target date, or number.
I am writing another letter.
I have an accountability partner with whom I will share it. My letter’s number is 18 (months). We’ve also done this exercise at my spiritual home. Our number is 3 (years). I am amazed that in both cases what was imaged and anchored in future memory is already coming into physical reality via expected and unexpected channels.
Bottom line: pick a number, create a powerful, specific, vibrant image, and allow the universe to send you the resources necessary to realize your future memory.