3 minute read
Remember that scene in Back to the Future where Marty McFly & his siblings start to disappear on the picture behind his guitar strings? His anxiety of time running out from helping his parents fall in love is palpable through the screen. To this day I feel chills and an instant well up of the eyes when George waves to his son. Because we all know the consequences if Marty’s parents don’t get together before time runs out: He and his siblings are never born. Ever. Like as in non-existent.
This scene had a major impact on my life. Still to this day, it reaffirms my love of the magic of movies and the beautiful and complex connection within relationships, both familial and romantic.
Why share this with you? Because last week’s exercise where you wrote a letter from an older relative to yourself, makes me think of the strength of this scene. Seeing our loved ones through a different vantage point. Powerful stuff right there. How’d that go for you anyway? Gaining perspective and momentum? Keep me posted.
As for this week, I want you to jump on your DeLorean, drop the hammer, and fly into the future. You’re going to take a moment to look back on your own life as if it already happened. Wait, what? Oh, yeah. We’re going there.
The exercise is this: Write a letter from your future self for…
1. Your children. Sounds easy enough until you add…that this is your last letter to them. Oof! Major monkeywrench there. This is not for the faint of heart. It takes major strength that you totally have in you. What do you want them to know about you? About life? About being a good person? About values? Now is the time. (Full disclosure: When I did this exercise I ugly cried my way through every word. Not a pretty sight but a beautiful experience.)
2. Your grandchildren. What were you able to do that allowed them the opportunities that they have now, an incredible role model, freedom or all of the above? You don’t have to imagine yourself old and gray on a porch swing for this one – unless you want to – hey, go nuts. It can be you holding them for the first time or writing them a letter to relate to them as they go through a trying time, sharing a moment that you made a major mistake and how you overcame it. Or maybe you have a completely different viewpoint and are ready to roll. Go with it!
3. Your eulogy. aka “The Ultimate Ass Kicker” This one is a biggie. And it works – big time! I’ve done it and really sat with how I want to be remembered. It works if you give it the attention it deserves.
This exercise flies you into realigning with what matters to you. To understand what you love about life and want to be remembered for. It’s a sucker punch to your ego and may be a bit jarring. In the end, the goal is to increase gratitude, focus and perseverance.
What the heck does this all have to do with communication?
Glad you asked.
Once you are crystal clear about what truly matters to you, your communication becomes fine-tuned. The 3 C’s kick into high-gear: Clarity, Conviction, and Compassion. Best of all, you feel a renewed sense of belonging that makes your “pipe dream” goals seem possible.
I know we’re busy. I know we’re overloaded and overwhelmed.
Make the time for this exercise and you will feel a major sense of peace.
500-pound weight lifted? Great Scott! Yes, it’s possible.
Realign to redefine.
Share your findings with me. I’d love to hear how it goes!
(P.s. Marty’s still got it!)