Not just for Dads

Intentional Influence – Thoughts for Leaders and Fathers…and anyone who knows some!

How a letter to yourself could change your life…

The website “Future Me” let’s you write an e-mail to yourself, that will be delivered at a specific point in the future. That’s a great idea, because if you are anything like me, you have good ideas, great intentions, lots of motivation…until you get busy…get distracted…forget.
By sending yourself an e-mail NOW about something that really matters to you, you will actually receive that reminder sometime in the future when you are…well, busy, distracted and in need of a reminder.

Another way to help you stay on track, or help you understand what you personally define as success in your life, is something called “the 7-year-letter”.

In this simple exercise, you write a letter to a close friend or family member. The twist is that you imagine yourself 7 years from now and that you havn’t had contact with the person you are writing to in those seven years. Tell them where you are, what you are up to and what happened in the past 7 years, if you could CHOOSE the results. Be specific, add as many details as you can think of:
Are you married or single?
What are the names of your kids? How old are they?
Where do you live? What type of accommodation?
What jobs have you had,  what’s your position right now?
What kind of things are you involved in outside of work? Sports? Clubs? Teams?
What have you accomplished? What are you proud of?
What went wrong in the past 7 years? What are some of the things you would rather not mention (but will, for the sake of the excercise)?

By writing this letter as if it were 7 years from now, you are forcing yourself to think ahead, to look inside, what is really important to you.
In some way, you are putting yourself in your ideal setting, without the restrictions of time, money or opportunity. You are creating a “dream scenario”.

But it doesn’t stop there:
The next step, after you have written the 7-year-letter is to review it frequently and use it as a map. It’s NOT like a navigation system. It won’t tell you what step to take next. But it IS like a map. It shows you where you want to be. Now it’s up to you to figure out how best to get there…one step at a time.

So in review:
– Take some time to think about where you want to be 7 years from now in life.
– Write a friend or family member a letter, imagining it is seven years from now.
– Frequently review the letter, as it will give you a good idea of what success in life is, by your own definition.
– Use the map (the letter) to help you make small steps towards that future situation.

A friend of mine did this simple little excercise and it changed his life!
I have done it and I am excited, how it has worked for me so far.

Will you take the time and be brave?
Let yourself dream of where you want to be in 7 years and then start writing…it might just change your life, as well!

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