Article: Mental geography
When I say “shape your own future” – it sounds like the future belongs to you in equal measure as the past and present do. However, before this statement comes into play you need to “take a peak” into your own feelings.

When we are talking about the future, it might seem like it is something we cannot understand, feel or own. So, how did it come to “shape your own future”? Its as if you need to shape something that doesn’t belong to you, and only because you are now in the present, and the future is, well, in the future. The past of course, belongs to you, is in you and you depend on it.

Create hope

Actually it should be the other way around – you should be relieved of the past and able to shape your own future. However, in order to do so, you need to understand that the future begins today, not tomorrow.

Tomorrow you need only make sure that your creation becomes reality, but today you need to work on creating the future, creating and pouring your hope into it, using something we call faith.

What you surely need for the future is – hope. Create a reason for hope. There is a reason I said “create hope” and not “have hope”. You need to create it, in order to have it. People usually do something like this: they are hoping without creating their own hope. They create no base for hope to be built on and with that there is no base for hope to be created – it’s empty hoping; it’s hopeless. And then after a while they sit down and wait for that baseless hope to be realized by itself. Sometimes it comes to fruition, sometimes. And it’s only because it wasn’t created, it was gained.

To increase the chance of fulfilling your hope, you need to invest some effort, to create it today. So, to create your own future, you begin by working on your hope.

Base of hope are motives. Simple ones, like the questions “Who am I today?”, “What am I today?”, “How much did I invest in today, in the Now?”. It’s the material we need to work with and build hope for the future. That hope needs to grow so you can jump over “now” and understand the laws of time.

But that is not enough. Even if you create hope right now, what do we tend to do with it? Nothing. We sit and wait for it to come true. It’s as if someone else needs to work for us so that our future is the way we expect it to be. It doesn’t work that way. Creation of hope is not the end of the process, it’s just the beginning – you need to believe in it, in your hope. It is like a child, it needs to grow, change, mature and you need to watch over it, enjoy its growth. You need to feed it, educate it and present it to the world.

And it is exactly that world that needs to accept your future. Only then will the communication between you and the world make your hope come true, and you will achieve true happiness.

Exercise one: • Sit down, close your eyes and relax. • Put your palms on your thighs. Slightly raise your head. • Breathe slowly and deeply for 1 min. Your breathing should be in such a rhythm and depth that you feel the time disappearing. You will also feel your thoughts disappearing and that you achieved absolute balance. • Spend one minute in this state. This state could be compared to “falling asleep” • My recommendation is for you to do this exercise every day in the morning after waking up.  

And now, shape your future.

Exercise one is a first step in being creators of our own future – creating hope and sustaining that hope in life. After that, our future comes true which means we reached the goal we strived towards.  

We can achieve success that we wanted but what do we do after that? My question to you is – now that you shaped and achieved everything you planned, what now? You think you will enjoy it? No.

When you present yourself, your wish, goal and hope to the world, and when the world accepts that, then the world also owns that. Never think you are the one that owns the world.

When we are talking about someone who is “famous” – it is not he or she that are famous, it is the world wanting them to become famous because their creation is accepted.

Your own success will become your greatest commitment. And thus you will stop creating your future, because it is already created. You will become addicted to your own future. Actually, who really needs such a future?  

When I am thinking about the future, I am thinking about freedom, happiness, but not in a passive sense, like thinking about a soft bed or tasty food. I am thinking about happiness as a dynamic form. I see future in changes, in growth. It is important that, when you are forming your own future, you are doing it in such a way that you are never done with your creation.

Begin to shape your future but never finish it, never apply the ending form. Whatever you are considering to be success today, as a fulfillment of yourself, don’t consider it to be the end of your possibilities. It is just a single step. Painting should never be completed. Otherwise, you did a few pieces and they are great. They become the past and then you don’t know what to do because your life’s work is already in the past. What is the meaning of life then?

When you are shaping your future, please, know that it is a constant process, endless. And every success you plan should only be one stop along the never-ending path. Also, please, while creating your future, while you are shaping it with your mind, allow others to be involved in your creation. Beauty is not found in one painting done by one artist. It can be a much better and unexpectedly majestic painting if there are many artists expressing themselves on one canvas called your future.

Allow others around you, those chosen by you, to be a part of shaping your own future. You need to be wise as to not stop them, delegate them, but allow them to express themselves. You can always fix what you don’t like later.

Don’t stop your own future by being the only artist involved in its creation. Bring in those closest to you, time, space, surprise and coincidences. Coincidences are like a space that you always need and can always create a good dish. It makes your path more interesting, more attractive, different then it was yesterday.

You need to shape your “tomorrow” so that it is much more interesting then your “yesterday”.

And, if suddenly your “tomorrow” becomes the same as your “yesterday” – it is most likely because you are the only painter who likes his comfortable past. But that is no future. Here is the second exercise for shaping your own future.

Exercise two: • Sit down, close your eyes and relax. • Put your palms on your thighs. • Breathe evenly. Direct your attention to exhaling. • With every exhale you are changing the space in front of you. You are filling the space with your breath and changing it. Do this for the next 1 min. • Say out loud to that space: “My future is my own”. • Spend another minute filling the space in front of you with exhales. You will feel that the space is enriched with your words. • You will have a sense of safety, self-respect, self-confidence and power. • After that say out loud: “Start”. • Finish the exercise with deep inhale and exhale in the space in front of you. • My recommendation is for you to do this exercise every day in the morning after waking up.

Originally published:“Trece Oko magazine – Mental Geography”, 2016, Februar, Serbia

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