Take a moment to think of where your future thoughts have been traveling to even today. Have you imagined the perfect golf shot? How will you respond when you meet that special person? What will you do when you win the lottery? What fills your mind when you are contemplating your future?
Although we find great pleasure in imagining our futures, studies have shown that the enjoyment of the fantasy is greater than the reality of it when we arrive. This is due to our desire to embellish the positive aspects and diminish the reality of what it will take to get there. Additionally, we may not be accounting for the other circumstances that may arise in the meanime.
For instance, my client Henry told me how much he had looked forward to when his teens would have moved on to college. He had been planning how he would turn an extra bedroom into his private den, and he and his wife would have been free to travel more. However, when the time came for the last child to leave home, his elderly parents needed his assistance. Shortly after gaining their new found freedom, Henry moved his parents into one of the recently-vacated bedrooms, curtailing many of his dreams of the future.
Even if these alterations occur between our fantasy of the future and the reality of it when it arrives, it is still healthy and valuable to create a picture of our desired goals. Especially those that are more closely tied to our personal achievements and less dependent on outside circumstances.
In the Journal of Sports Sciences, a recent study of the use of imagery by injured athletes concluded that "the implementation of imagery alongside physical rehabilitation should enhance the rehabilitation experience and, therefore, facilitate the recovery rates of injured athletes."
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Sourced from by Mary L. LaBay