Shaping Your Personal Future

How do you think about the future? Do you look into it and think about what you are not, measuring the distance between what you hoped for or want(ed) for yourself, and where you are? Do you focus on what's missing? Do you think about what you regret or the path you could have taken?
The shadow of U.S. President Barack Obama is cast on the floor during a Town Hall on Viacom  s BET, CMT and MTV networks October 14, 2010 in Washington, DC. Obama appeared before approximately 250 young people representing a broad cross-section of backgrounds and answered questions from the studio audience as well as from viewers submitting questions via Twitter.  UPI/Win McNamee/POOL Photo via Newscom

If so, you are already exhausting yourself and diminishing the energy you need to meet your future dreams. There is a fine line between thinking about what is not enough or what is not there, and looking at possibilities related to what wants to emerge in you or what makes you happy.

School and family discipline systems have largely taught what we shouldn't do, what is dangerous, unhealthy, or unacceptable. This kind of thinking and discipline prepares us for a life of problem solving and sends our minds to evaluating what is wrong. While it solves problems just fine, there is another way - which is living into positive questions. 
David Cooperrider, founder of  Appreciative Inquiry, says that we grow in the direction that we most persistently ask questions about. If the question is: "What's wrong?", which is what the Medical and Psychological Associations ask, then problems and disorders continue to multiply.
The results of these persistent questions are the $4-5 Billion worth of pharmaceutical television commercials that are intended to address all the things that are wrong with us. It is hard to imagine answering the question: "What in your day was life-enhancing?" with as much ease as "What went wrong today?"
If we want to create goals that invite in a positive future and lead us to life-giving action, then it is time we tuned in to our intuition to determine "What wants to happen?" "What do I want?"
Sensitivity, self-trust and intuition, you know the difference between what you truly want and what the distance is between where you are and where you will be when you finally approve of yourself and others approve of you, 

And the richness of life accompanies your choice to approve of yourself and then ask: what wants to emerge from my joy?

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