It’s happened by using a technique I’ve used many times both on myself and clients. It’s such a simple thing, but yet powerful. Here it is….are you ready? It’s the technique of looking at what the ideal is in any given situation.
Here’s how it works. If you are unhappy with your job, imagine what your ideal scenario would be:
What job would you love? What type of environment would you want to work in? What type of people would you want to work with? Or do you prefer working on your own?
What would you most want?
The trick is to engage your imagination by imagining that you have a blank canvas, anything that exists now does not have to exist in this future ideal scenario, unless you want it to.
What about your ideal place to live? What would your ideal partner, friend, colleague, employee or companion be like?
Ideal Week = Ideal Life
A great application of this technique is to design your ideal week. To do this you need to sit down with paper and pen and write in day by day, Monday to Sunday how you would like your ideal week to look, in an ideal world.
You will be surprised at what you come up with. Most people are. The first thing I notice is that people are surprised to see on paper what they actually want. Usually people have never actually stopped and thought long enough to discover this. Secondly, as a consequence of this, people are surprised by how achievable it all seems.
This exercise focuses you back on what matters to you. It clears away the debris of what life has bought along and brings you back to designing your life, your work, your relationships in a way that suits you and your personality.
For some, they wish that they could work part time. Once we draw in the days that they would want to work we explore what they would do with the extra time. Others want to carve out more time to spend with friends and family. So we look at how much time would be the ideal and work back from that.
The exercise is useful to uncover what is on your heart. It may uncover interests that have been lying dormant. It’s also useful to help you find a better rhythm to your life. A rhythm that energises you, that nurtures you and that suits you.
Whatever values you have as a person will be expressed in your ideal week. These values will be expressed by what type of work you wish to fill part of that week by. It may be work helping people, or creating something, or organizing something. Whatever it is, your values, what is important to you will be expressed. How much time you choose to spend on the different compartments of your life will also express a lot about what you value most and what priorities are important to you.
The great thing in an ideal week exercise is that you can imagine something that is totally impossible right now, but as soon as you express the specifics it starts to become somehow possible.
Someone who was not a coach, my dear brother, did this with me when I was feeling unfulfilled with life and work. He asked me what my ideal week would look like and all I could do was say; “well it’s not possible as I have a mortgage and other financial commitments”. He persisted by taking me beyond my obstacles and getting me to imagine I did not have these constraints, and then to think what would my ideal week look like? What I described to him then is becoming a reality now. 9 years later I am living my ideal week in so many ways, but also in ways I could not imagine at the time.
It gave me a vision that resonated with my heart and helped me move forward to change everything!
I could give you countless stories of others that I have helped to do the same. One client of mine, who at first struggled with this exercise, calling herself a realist not a dreamer, nevertheless trusted me and started to think about what her ideal job would be. She described it with 5 or 6 weeks holiday a year (unheard of in her part of the world), with a salary that seemed impossible. Once she described the specifics of what she wanted there and then, she was able to actually look at going for it. You will be pleased to know that she did eventually get her ideal job, much to her own surprise!
As believers in a God who often makes the impossible possible, what could we have to lose by trying this in situations where we need more hope.
Luke 18:27New Living Translation (NLT) 27 He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”
Using this technique of imagining what the ideal could be, will change your perspective to believe that the impossible can be made possible. Mix that with intentionally praying, seeking God’s guidance and going for it. You will be amazed at what could happen!
Lets just start
You can start by simply imagining each morning what your ideal day would look like today. Imagine how time you spend with people could be blessed and in what way, in an ideal world. Imagine God showing up and what you would like to see happen. Wow! What a different type of day you will have! You will see how making the impossible possible is part of walking as children of God, serving a God who delights in blessing his kids.