Ep #221: Possibility and Imagination
When talking to most kids, teenagers, and young adults you will notice that they are very future focused. Their lives seem very exciting, they are going places, and they seem to have wonderful momentum.
Once people get over the age of 25, get a job, possibly get married and have kids, there seems to be a trend toward using the past as reference instead of looking toward the future.
One of the most important things that I talk about to my students is the idea that anything is possible for their life now. And that the reason why they may not be believing in their future is because they are trying to build their future by drawing on references from their past.
In this episode, we revisit the concept of past focus vs future focus and dive deeper into the power of using your imagination to create new possibilities in your life.
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What You will discover
- What stops most people from reaching their dreams.
- Why it’s impossible to create new things in your life by looking to your past.
- Why something is not impossible just because you haven’t done it before.
- How to believe something you don’t yet believe.
- How buffering prevents you from creating new possibilities in your life.
Featured on the show
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Well hello, my friends. What an amazing week I just had. I just got done teaching my in-person coach training, and I have to tell you that every time I teach it, I think it's the best class, and then I have another class and it's like, other level. And I will tell you that this class for sure was off the hook. We had over 20 instructors there, which was amazing, and so many incredible students who were so willing and eager, and we just had such a great time and my staff was amazing. It was just off the hook. I loved, loved, loved it.
And it was really nice because the way that we set it up this time was I just came and taught and then I left, so I was like, really energized by the whole experience, I just felt like every day I had more energy than the day before, and I'm feeling amazing. So if you were there, I love you so much, that was so awesome. So exciting.
So if you are interested in becoming certified as a coach and if you think that sounds amazing and even if you're terrified, please come to thelifecoachschool.com and hit on certification and find out how you can get certified. It is by far the best certification on the planet. Hands down.
Alright, today we're going to talk about possibility and imagination. And this is actually inspired by some of the work that I did in the in-person training and talking to all of these potential coaches about possibility for their life. And one of the topics that I teach is past focus versus future focus, and it's a really important topic and I kind of took it to a whole new level as I was talking about it.
So in the podcast before, I've talked about past focus, I've talked about future focus, I've talked about how important it is to be future focused. And I want to kind of reiterate all of that here and then tell you how to utilize it.
So on the very basic level, most people are very past focused once they get over the age of 25. When you talk to most kids and you talk to teenagers and you talk to young adults, they're very future-focused, their lives seem much more exciting, they seem to be going places, they seem to have wonderful momentum.
And I think it's because we have plans for most people's future from that age on. And then once, you know, you get married, you have a couple kids and you get a job, there seems to be this trend towards starting to then use the past as a reference instead of using the future as a reference.
When you think about possibility and impossibility, you can see how different it is in a child's mind versus in a grown adult's mind in what they're envisioning for their life. So one of the really important things that I talk to my students about is the idea that anything truly is possible for their life now and the reason why they're not believing in their future is because they're trying to build their future from their past.
And the material for you to build your future is not in your past. The material to build your future is in the future. And I know that that seems crazy, but I want you to think about possibility. I want you to, in a very simplistic way, imagine all of us in a cave together and now we have houses. And now we have roads, and now we have cars. At the time, when we were all in a cave together sitting around a fire, those things were impossible. Those things didn't exist yet. So how did those things come into existence?
We couldn't have referenced our past to create those things, we couldn't have looked to well, what have we done before, let's do more of that because had we as a species done that, we would just have more caves. We would just have more fires. We wouldn't have homes.
So that's kind of a simplistic way of looking at it, but when you think about it, those ideas, those inventions, the way that we evolved, that all came from our minds. Human ingenuity. It came from our imagination. We imagined something better and different than we had and then we went about creating it with no reference to our past to be able to do it.
And for some reason, we don't evaluate the world like that. When we talk about the world so many clients, when I talk to them about what's possible in their future, they want to know how to do it now. They'll say, "I want to create this new thing in my life that I've never been able to create before." And I'll say, "Why don't you do it?" And they'll say, "Well, I've never done it before," as if that's a reason not to do it. And then they'll say, "I don't know how to do that," as if that's a reason not to do it. And that stops most people.
Now, imagine us back in the cave. Let's say, hey, let's design something better than this. Let's design better shoes, let's design better fires, let's create better caves. Had we thought, "Well, we don't know how to do that, we've never done that before," or, "We don't have a reference for it, we better just stick with what we have," we wouldn’t be here. I wouldn't be looking at my iMac as I'm recording this. I certainly wouldn't have a microphone.
Everything, when you look around - like I look around my office right now and I look at the crown molding and I look at the desk and I look at the carpet and I look at my dog bed, and I look at the plug for electricity, all of those things came from our imaginations. Isn't that amazing? Those things came from our brain. They existed first in our brain and then they existed in reality.
And when they existed in our brain, and I'm talking about our brain like, human's brains, we didn't know how. How did we figure out how? By doing. Now, that's in the big context of humanity, but I also want you to apply that to the smaller context of your life and those results you want to create that you've never created before.
I want you to imagine the result you want to create that you don't know how to create yet, that you've never created yet. Don't let those two things be a reason not to create it. If you can imagine it in your mind, if you can believe in it, if you can stick with it, then you can create it. And even if you don't create it, you having had the imagined future, you having gone after it will make you evolve beyond where you are now.
If you do nothing because no one's telling you exactly how to do it, if you do nothing because you've never done it before so you choose not to believe in it, you will simply create more of what you already have. You will keep referencing your past for the raw materials to create your life and you will therefore simply just recreate what you already have.
And when you look at most people's lives, that is what they do. You will talk to them in 10 years and nothing will have changed. They may have rearranged some ideas in their life but everything is pretty much the same because they forgot to start looking into their future with their imagination of what is possible.
And you have to think beyond what is possible because what is possible? How do we know what's possible? Most of us reference our past or reference something we've already done or something we're capable of or something someone else has done to decide what is possible. Is it possible to create the iPhone when we're living in a cave? Yes. Right?
The imagination, the idea of it that was impossible at that moment became possible because we evolved towards it. And that is how you have to think about your own life. Let's take the example of your weight. So many of my clients come to me and they'll say, "I want to weigh 175," and I'll say, "Why not 135?" And they'll say, "Oh, that's impossible." And I'll say, "Why is it impossible?" And they'll say, "Because I've never done it before. I've never been able to lose that much weight."
That doesn't make something impossible just because you've never done it before. And in fact, thinking about impossible in a different way is what I encourage my clients to do. I encourage my clients to go after the impossible because your brain will tell you that it's impossible but of course it's impossible, you haven't done it yet.
The iPhone was impossible until it was created. The whole time they're creating the iPhone, the whole time they're creating the car, the whole time right up until the point it exists, it's impossible until it exists. Right up until you weigh 135, it's impossible. So when you know that, you start making friends with impossible. You start making friends with your imagination. You start making friends with bigger goals, and then you ask yourself how to do it and you have no idea, and the way that you figure out how to do it is by doing it.
You figure out, I'm going to try this. Where do you look for what to do? Your brain. Your brain will say, try this, that won't work. But you got to try it and then you figure out why didn't that work. That's how you learn and then you try something different. Why didn't that work? Oh, that's how you learn. Why didn't this? Try something new. Why didn't that work? Why didn't this work? And eventually, as you're learning by doing, you end up creating.
That is how it works. We forget that, yeah? We're like, well, Google should know how to do this, and often times Google does know how to do it. But sometimes Google doesn't know how to do it because it's never been done before. Then what do you do?
I can't look on Google how do you make 100 million dollars as a life coach. There's no WikiHow for that. You know how I'm going to do it? By doing it. How are you going to do it? Remember the model. Your thoughts create your feelings, which create your actions, which create your results. Your thoughts create your results. If you want to have a result that you've never had before, you have to think a thought that you've never thought before.
And you have to think it and you have to commit to believing it. So I was talking to my students and they said, "Well, how do you believe something that you don't yet believe?" You commit to believing it. When you find the thought that you need to have to get the result that you need to create, you may not believe that thought yet. But you can commit to believing it, you can strive to believe it, you can start taking action from it, you can start visualizing it, you can live as if it is something you believe.
If you've noticed with me on this podcast and with me in Scholars when I'm teaching those of you who are in Scholars, I'm always talking about when I make 100 million dollars. I'm always talking from well, when I'm talking to my team, when we have enough clients that we're making 100 million dollars, we're not going to be able to do this or that. We need to start building our infrastructure so we can manage that well.
I am living from that future result. I am making decisions from that future result. I'm identifying myself from that future result. Who am I in that moment when I see that amount and how do I make those decisions and living from that place? What am I thinking? What am I believing? How am I acting? How am I feeling?
All of it in order to create that result. Remember that everything that you think can be your reality. It takes impossibility in order for something to be possible. When you first imagine that impossible thing, that is the beginning of making it possible. When you think about a possibility, you have created something that didn't exist before. It's a thing now.
Here's how I want you to think about it for you. When you think about yourself at 135 pounds, you have created a possibility in your future. Your future only exists in your mind and you have now created something in your future that wasn't there before. The way Dan Sullivan says it is your future is your property. You get to do with it in your mind whatever the - you want. I bleeped myself there, right?
My future is in my own imagination. I claim my future. I am a woman. I am the highest paid life coach in the world because I'm an example of what is possible. I've created a school that has no competition. We over-deliver at such a high level. We teach tools at such a high level that we're not even in the same arena as any other life coach school. That is my future. That is the future that I own and that is the shared future, and that is when you start getting really powerful because not only do I believe in that future but everyone who works for me believes in that future. So many of you all believe in that future.
So now all of a sudden, we're all believing in an idea that came from my imagination that didn't exist before, and now it exists. So if our life is an interpretation of the world, it's the way we interpret our past, it's the way we interpret our future, and it's the way we interpret out present, then what we make things mean, we're actually creating that reality. So when we use our imagination to create our future, we're also thinking thoughts that are creating emotions that will drive our actions.
Now, I don't want you to think that this is some way far off skill that you've never been able to tap into. You tap into it all the time. Right now, you can imagine what you're going to do tomorrow, and you can believe in that with a huge level of certainty. You're probably going to wake up in your bed. Probably going to get up, you're going to get yourself a cup of coffee, you're going to go to work. You're pretty confident.
Now, you don't know that that's true. But you're committed to believing it. It gives you a sense of certainty and security. Maybe for some of you, it gives you a sense of dread. For some of you, it gives you a sense of excitement. But it doesn't really exist because it's your future. It exists as an idea that you live into.
Some of you that have savings accounts are believing in that future, that have SEP or IRAs or 401Ks. Life insurance, all of those, you're believing in that future that doesn't yet exist, and you're living from it. If you only do what's already possible, you will be drawing from your past and you will be creating it again. I cannot overemphasize this.
If it's a brand-new possibility, you won't know how to do it. You won't know exactly how you're going to get it done. You may have ideas, you may have plans, but more important than your plan needs to be your commitment to that end result because then when your plan doesn't work, you have 50 other plans you can try.
So many of us want to create a possibility in our future, but we want the security of knowing the plan. But then when that plan doesn't work, we give up on our futures. We want directions but where do the directions come from if it's never been done for us? What worked for someone else might not work for us. So if we're committed to the result more than we're committed to the plan, we will get the result many more times often.
Because we will quit when the how doesn't work. But if we're committed to the result, we just learn from each how that doesn't work. We just learn the next step and what we need to do next in order to create that idea, in order to use our imagination to picture that future that we so deeply want.
And in that moment, our brain will tell us that it's impossible and we will agree with it and we will commit to the impossible. And we will know that we will make it possible and that that is the game is making the impossible possible. What's impossible is something we've never done before and we make it possible by trying everything we can to get it done.
And if for some reason we don't get there, we will be better in having had the dream, in having had the goal, in having had the momentum versus just always referencing our past as an excuse for not growing, for not living, for not evolving. Aren't you glad we didn't all sit in that cave and do that? Aren't you glad we had ideas and human ingenuity? And we had emotions driving us forward that we didn't all just sit in the cave and buffer?
We are at a point in human history where we have to be aware. We are not being driven by our emotions as hard as we have in the past because we have so many ways of buffering them. I told my son today, I said, "Your brain thinks you're having a very fruitful life." I said, "What do you think your brain imagines your life to be?" Because he plays video games all the time. He says, "My brain thinks I'm winning all the time." But you're not winning all the time in your life. Your brain just thinks you are. When you're watching TV, what does your brain think is happening in your life?
Our brains are programmed to drive us forward. But when we give our brain something to think that we're driving forward when we're not, it stops that momentum. When we give it stuff to buffer on, when we give it something to focus on, when we give it another way to win, it stops pushing us. It stops that momentum forward. And we have to be aware enough to know that we're going to stop evolving, we're going to stop picking impossible dreams if we turn to false pleasures, if we turn to buffering as a way to be comfortable because we don't like that nudging forward.
I want to encourage each of you to set an impossible goal for yourself, to imagine a better future for yourself, and to be willing to feel the discomfort that must accompany that. The goal in life is not to avoid discomfort. In fact, in order to evolve, in order to do the impossible, in order to live into our future, we have to be willing to be uncomfortable long enough to not buffer away our lives.
So I want you to think about what is in your imagination right now because it really matters. When you imagine your life, I want you to think about what sacred ground you're on. I want you to imagine all the people that have imagined our current life. They imagined possibilities, they imagined impossibilities and made them possible. And that's why I'm able to flip on a light switch, that's why I'm able to lock my front door and turn on my air conditioning and put a dog collar on my dog because somebody paid attention to their imagination, and I'm so grateful for the humans for doing that.
And I want to make my contribution, I want to pay attention to my imagination. And here's what I want to tell you. What you imagine for your life matters. And it doesn't have to be something that you're imagining for the whole planet. It just needs to be what do you imagine is impossible for you and what do you want to take from the realm of impossibility into possibility?
So let's say you start with your weight like I did and you make it possible to weigh what you want to weigh. And then you start imagining like I did, that you could live in a world without alcohol, without buffering, and then you learn how to do that. And then you start recognizing, wait a minute, I took things that I thought were impossible and made them possible and then you decide you want to make a million dollars a year, which is the most impossible thing you ever could have imagined, and then you make that possible.
And then you decide that you want to help hundreds of people get clean drinking water, like I did, and then you're able to do that because of the impossibilities that you've made possible. And when you get to that place where you understand, wait a minute, I have this ability, why am I dreaming so small, why am I imagining things that are small? I'm going to start imagining things that are bigger. I'm going to start letting my imagination explode with concepts and ideas because now I understand that I am a person who knows how to make impossibilities possible. That is what I want for each and every one of you.
And I want to leave you with one thing. What you imagine for your specific life is not better or worse than anyone else. What feels right and true to you is exactly what you're meant to do. Someone else may be meant to do something else with their life. They may be contributing in a different way. Stay in your lane. Stay focused on what's possible and impossible for you. That is my dream for all of us.
In my imagination, I imagine a world where I look around into all of your eyes and you say to me, "Remember when I thought that was impossible?" Because I am telling you, there is nothing more fun than that. When a student comes up to me and says, I used to think this was impossible and now it's possible, I know for sure that I'm doing exactly what I'm meant to do with my life.
Have a beautiful week, my friends, I'll talk to you next week. Bye-bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.