Living with a disease like Type 2 Diabetes or obesity affects your life every day in countless ways. It’s no wonder that it becomes a part of your identity.
Even if you haven’t acknowledged that you identify as a person with a chronic disease, it’s probably impacting your thoughts day to day in a way you haven’t realized. And it changes how you think about yourself and your future.
What I want to spend time looking at today is bringing to life the version of you – a future version – who has achieved freedom from their Type 2 Diabetes or whatever health problem you are working to correct.
Consider that you are, in this very moment, a future version of who you were 5 years ago. Let’s imagine writing a letter today from you to the version of you that lived 5 years ago. At that time, what were you struggling with, worrying about, or having to make important decisions about? What about your future was uncertain at that time?
This might feel a little weird, but stay with me. What if you could give yourself advice from your vantage point today about the problems that needed to be resolved back then? Today, you probably have some perspective, some insight into what would work or not work to resolve those problems. What would you tell yourself back then about how you should handle those problems?
Now, let’s flip the question.
There is a future version of yourself that exists 5 years from now. Of course, it’s not guaranteed, right? However, if you are thinking about a future that exists for you, let’s assume that there is a version of you that will be here in 5 years.
He or she has lived to know the outcome of the problems and struggles you are living with right now. They figured out what did and didn’t work. They have perspective on what is actually a big deal and what resolves itself. And they are beyond it, moving on to new and different challenges.
Could you imagine asking that future version of you for some advice? Can you access your future self’s wisdom and ideas? What a valuable resource this would be for you now, trying to figure out what to do next.
The truth is that you can do this exercise for any problem that you have. It requires some imagination and introspect, but you can learn from your future self. It requires just a few steps:
- Bring your future self to life. Really conjure who they are, how they think about this problem, and what their life is like. This is a lot like a visualization practice, and it gives you something that feels real to create. How can you become someone you can’t even describe or imagine? Let your mind create him or her so that they become real to you.
- Find a quiet space and time to consult with your future self.
- Bring your future self specific questions to answer. Here are some ideas: What obstacles did they have to overcome? What had to be handled first and last? What is next best step you can take right now to move you closer to your goal? What are you doing right now that is blocking you from the solution?
- Allow the answers to come. Don’t settle for, “I don’t know.” “I don’t know” is what is keeping you stuck. Write your ideas down.
At first, this might feel uncomfortable. That’s only because it requires your imagination to create something that does not yet exist.
Past versus future focus
Your brain prefers to live in the past, recycling old thinking and old decision-making. That is what is creating your future right now. Your brain likes the past because it is predictable and familiar. This is why we oftentimes answer the question of how to do something new like this: “Well, I don’t know. I’ve never done that before.”
Now, answer this: if you only ever base what you are capable of on what you’ve already done, how will you create anything new in your life? What would it be like if babies never tried to learn to walk because they had never done it before? They never know HOW to do it before they do it. They just focus on the next step: standing up, right? Putting one foot out in front of the other.
In order to create a different future than what you have right now, you will need to first imagine it, and then, piece by piece, construct it.
Many people are only past focused. They mostly think and talk about what happened in the past. They rarely think about their future like this. That’s because they believe that the best part of their lives are over, and that there isn’t much in their future to look forward to.
What if your future could be even better than your past? What if you could create something amazing? Lose the weight, reverse Type 2 Diabetes, set and accomplish a goal that you have dreamed about? Something you have thought was impossible?
This is what living your life on purpose is like. If you allow your life to unfold on default, you typically get more of what you already have. If you want something different, something amazing, it requires you to live intentionally and with purpose.
I help people create transformation by reversing Type 2 Diabetes and getting off their diabetes medications. And that is just the beginning, because the skill you develop when you accomplish this in your life opens up possibility for so much more.
Reach out here if you are interested in what is possible for you: