When I was 13, I learned that it was a good idea to start carrying a mini pack of Kleenexes in my backpack. You know, just in case. As I entered young adulthood, I began to bring a sweatshirt, water bottle, pens, notebook, and snack with me. If you had asked me if I was a good planner, I would have proudly said, “Yes!”
Meanwhile, if you asked me what courses I would be taking the following semester, where I’d be living in a year, or how much money I wanted to be making, I would have drawn a blank. My wife probably had all of these things written down by age 12.
I mistook a little short-term preparedness for real planning. When it came to actual planning – as in, crafting a PLAN for how I intended my life to proceed – I was pretty resistant. It felt confining and unspontaneous. But I eventually learned that a lack of planning often led to suffering. It could mean disappointing other people, feeling scattered and disorganized, and being limited in what I could achieve.
So I began to plan out of necessity. Making plans allowed me to have working relationships and a functional medical practice. Yet, I still hadn’t expanded into planning out of creativity. That didn’t dawn on me until years later.
Then it hit me that planning is the pivotal act in accepting one’s role as a creator of one’s life. From this perspective, planning becomes like playing. It combines imagination and intention, and when we really open ourselves to this form of play, it’s truly magical.
We created The Dreambook to help people approach planning this way – as a means of creation. It’s so much like playing that when we’re immersed in imaginative play, we may sometimes set new creations into motion. Briana started doing this spontaneously as a child.
A few years ago, she found a diary from her tweens that she had completely forgotten about. In the diary she had written about what her adulthood would be like. It wasn’t quite the deliberate process we teach; rather, it was more of a free, self-trusting expression of what she expected to create. And even though she forgot about it, we were amazed to discover how accurately her future turned out to match her diary – right down to the dates when certain achievements would occur!
I believe it’s an especially important time for all of us to begin to approach life-creation in this way. When bad news and uncertainty can so easily color our experience of the world, it’s vital that we stoke our inner creative fire. I’m proud of how well the Dreambook has helped people recognize this fire and feed it. Please join us!