Starting your week off with a blank canvas.

Journaling, drawing, creating vision boards are not only ways for you to escape your reality – they can be really helpful ways to release chaos from your mind, help you navigate through your thoughts, figure out what you want and how to get there.

Whatever we want to create for ourselves – we need to visualise it, believe it and pen down the steps it will take to get there.

When in doubt, resort to the following practices to help you push forward with future thinking.

What is Future Thinking, and Why Does it Matter?

Future thinking is imagining your desired outcome and going through five stages of thinking in order to get there.

It matters because it helps you navigate through the choas of the world, and implement strategic steps that drive your ambition to achieve your goals instead of feeling overwhelmed thus choosing to not move forward.

Future thinking consists of the following five thinking stages:

Visual Thinking

I have a dream!

This phase is usually based on your dream, and the only thing that differentiates you from moving forward or staying in place is your ambition to take that step vs. The obstacles you will find that will stop you.

Most times, we find the obstacles, make excuses and then avoid.

This is where your dream will remain a dream and you will say “if only!”

In other cases, your ambitions will find a solution and move you forward in your path. This is when you start to reverse engineer and figure out steps on how to get there.

This is a very superficial stage of your journey where you can see what you want, but you are not sure how it could be possible to get there. Often this is where people will place an image on a vision board.

Conceptual Thinking

An idea with no execution remains an idea. The same for a dream.

It will always be a dream unless you conceptualise how you can make this happen. In this phase, you need to define your dream into the below segments to allow your brain to really understand the picture:

  • What
  • Why
  • By when
  • Where
  • Who
  • How

By answering these questions, you will start to understand if your dream fits your ambition, your passion and purpose. How is it relevant, how will it add value?

Scenario Thinking

Take  each of your concepts and turn them into outcomes.

By analyzing these outcomes, you will be able to identify which routes will be the best for you to take and the type of support you will need in place in order to make it happen.

The choice you make will often be the one that has the most valuable advantages or drives value to your passion and purpose.

Strategic Thinking

Once you have selected your desired outcome and how to get there, you will then have a look at your own contributions.

How your own thinking, connections and environment will have impact.

Do you have the resources, knowledge and experience? How open are you to feedback?

This stage of strategic thinking looks at your overall ability to take your desired outcome and place it into a plan to execute.

Self development is crucial here as it will look at your level of maturity and if it fits the required development process.

Design Thinking

Adapting and reacting to the continuous changes in the world to remain relevant.

Through building your steps to your desired outcome, you will test, learn, adapt and repeat.

Do not lose focus here – stick to your vision but be open to the obstacles.

You cannot predict everything, but by understanding possible challenges and setting yourself up for them will help you save time in the future.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

Future Thinking

how to reverse engineer your goal through 5 stages of future thinking