It is Almost 2020: Give Yourself Permission to Pursue Your Desired Future

The end of the year – and in this case the beginning of a new decade – is a great time to take stock of where you have been and where you want to go!

Milestones in time create the ideal moments to clear the challenges of the past, celebrate our wonderful memories and launch our dreams. Listen to your internal compass. Maybe you have been feeling stuck or have an internal knowing that it is time to do something different. If so, it is time to give yourself permission to consciously create and pursue the future you truly desire.

One of the first lessons we cover in F * School is giving ourselves permission to do whatever we truly want to experience, try or pursue on the path to our preferred future – the future we truly desire.

I have noticed the need to “give permission” in both individuals and in organizations, so I created a lesson to address this need. Many people tend to keep themselves mentally stuck or wait for someone else to give them permission to move forward with an idea, project or vacation (Yes-sometimes leaders really struggle with taking time off to recharge and renew).

I have been guilty of choosing to stay stuck at times. My amazing executive coach, Elise Auxier, pointed this out to me as I transitioned from my job to my business. Instead of waiting for some external person or force to give me permission to leave a long-time career that was no longer serving me, I had to take ownership of my life and do it myself. It took a series of bold, baby steps. And, it took a lot of support. Ultimately, I had to be the one to take action. I gave myself permission every step of the way. Was it always easy? No. Has it been totally worth it? Yes!

The process of giving yourself permission to move forward with your dreams and desires can be especially important if you are going through a time of change or transformation. I used the Permission Slip several times to help with my midlife metamorphosis. It took me a year to leave the place I had been at for twenty-five years. As a mentioned earlier, it was a process of bold, baby steps. It has taken some time; however, I am finally emerging as the person I have always wanted to truly become.

Give yourself permission to take steps forward, no matter how big or small, to experience your dreams and desires. Don’t choose to pursue what I call the Purposeless Future.

The Purposeless Future

Too many people keep their desires inside of them.  They pursue what I call the Purposeless Future. This is the future that “just happens” because people opt to stay on the hamster wheel of life rather than taking the time to develop and pursue a purposeful future that they truly desire.

The future is not a straight path forward.  Rather, there are many alternative futures. In the world of strategic foresight (futuring), we us a tool called the Cone of Possibilities to help people understand this concept.  In the cone, there are multiple futures that can be described as:

  • Preferred:  The desired future we choose to pursue
  • Possible:  The wide range of events and possibilities over the course of time
  • Plausible:  Futures that are possible but unlikely
  • Probable:  Events and future scenarios that are likely to happen
  • Purposeless:  The future that occurs without conscious intention

There are also two key assumptions about the future:

  1. There are multiple futures.  It is important to clarify your preferred future through a visioning process; however, you must also be willing to change course when necessary.  Remember, life is not simply about achieving in the future — it is also about enjoying the present. 
  2. You influence the future through your true intent.  Once you establish your preferred future, you must develop the beliefs, behaviors, mindset and actions to make it happen.  If you do not truly believe in your preferred future, you will not consciously or subconsciously pursue it with true intent.

The Power of Honest Intentions

Our honest intentions are naturally supported by our beliefs and actions; therefore, all true intent is realized.  Intentions become the outcome — they become your future. Your intentions serve as motivation and the source of actions and behaviors. Setting and pursuing false intentions can lead to a lack of interest and motivation, which typically ends in feelings of failure and self-doubt. Feelings of failure and self-doubt can seriously erode confidence and our sense of self-empowerment and success. Be genuine about your desired future and your intent to pursue it.  If you honestly and consciously establish your true intentions, your beliefs, behaviors and mindset will align to create the outcome.  

Dealing with Wild Cards

Sometimes, we experience Wild Cards — those unpredictable, unexpected and unforeseen happenings that can impact our present and future.  We might lose a job or have an unexpected health emergency. We might inherit a large sum of money or land a big client.

Wild Cards are a part of life, and we have to learn to deal with what comes our way. 

Life is Not a Straight Line

There is no straight line to any future. As leaders of our own lives, it is important to take risks, learn from the challenges and celebrate the successes. Our preferred futures may ultimately look and feel a little different than we imagined; however, they may be even better than what our minds are capable of creating!

The Pace of Change

Wild Cards are unpredictable, unexpected and unforeseen happenings that we must deal with throughout the course of our lives; however, we are also living in a time of unprecedented change.  Not only is technology evolving faster than ever – life is too.  We are living longer and experiencing careers and families differently than ever before.  We also feel like we need to always be “on” as we are constantly bombarded with the demands of life.  This is especially true for people who are creating new ways of living and working.

All of this change can feel overwhelming and cause stress that undermines your potential.  Don’t give into the hype! Change will continue to happen. The intention here is to create the positive change, and preferred future, that works best for you and your life. So, get give yourself permission to pursue your desired future!

WIN with Action!

Giving yourself permission to pursue your dream future is not about striving, working hard or struggling to make it happen.  It is about the freedom to make decisions that work best for you. This exercise is about exploring how you personally WIN, and by WIN I mean let the process feel —

W = Wild = Free, Fulfilling and Fun!  

You have the freedom to choose how to spend your life. Put your ego, external validation and the thoughts of others aside so you can be totally free and honest with yourself.   Let your transformation be guided by self-honesty, personal fulfillment joy and fun!  

I = Inspired = Explore with Energy and Excitement! 

Anytime is a great time to explore new possibilities, so pursue your desired future in a way that gives you energy and feels exciting!  If you are feeling a bit stuck, start asking yourself some questions designed to increase your self-awareness:

  • Where does your energy naturally flow? 
  • What saps your energy?
  • What do you want to let go of doing, feeling or thinking?
  • What have you always wanted to do but have not yet tried?

This should be a process of experimenting and exploring.  Remember, your true intentions will naturally lead to inspired actions. 

N = Natural= Totally You.  

Have you ever tried on a piece of clothing, looked in the mirror and thought, “Wow!  This looks amazing!” It fit perfectly and the color made your face light up naturally.  That is what the “N” in WIN should feel and be like. Write, do and explore what feels totally and completely like you.  What comes to you without thinking about it? What have you been covering up or avoiding that is begging to be set free? What comes to you naturally — without effort or striving?  What makes you feel alive and excited — taps into your intuition (that inner wisdom we all possess) and aligns with your soul?

It’s Time to WIN!

Download and complete the Permission Slip below.  Take the time to give yourself permission to consciously create your future and experience your life by taking big leaps or bold, baby steps. Do whatever you need to do to give yourself permission to WIN and pursue your desired future!

Use extra Permission Slips if you need them. After you finish giving yourself permission to take consciously create your future by intentionally taking action, share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below!  What steps did you decide to take? How did it feel? Whatever you want to share is absolutely welcome!

I look forward to hearing what you gave yourself permission to do, feel and experience to make your desired future a reality!

-Dr. Connie

Announcing TED Masterclass: TED’s official public speaking course — TED Blog

Many of the leaders I coach and work with want to improve their public speaking skills and abilities. TED’s official public speaking course may be a great opportunity for many of you to learn from other leaders who have experienced success with their presentations. I am always looking for growth in this area as well, and the course looks like fun!

Extra Bonus! It is all done through as an app-based course, and final talks can be submitted to TED’s curators!!

Check it out to see if it is a fit for you! It may be time to go a little wild and share your ideas. Take those calculated risks that help you grow and have the potential to share your message with the world! We need more women to step up and make their voices heard!

Go Wild & Have Fun Telling Your Stories!

-Dr. Connie

We’re excited to announce the release of TED Masterclass — TED’s official public speaking course. Delivered via mobile app, the course is guided by TED’s Head Curator, Chris Anderson, and is designed to help you identify, develop and share your best ideas as a TED-style talk. Based on Anderson’s book TED Talks: The Official TED…

Announcing TED Masterclass: TED’s official public speaking course — TED Blog

What is the Future of Work?

I am exploring the future of work with leaders at the Innovating Georgia’s Workforce Pipeline Conference. It is a one-day conference designed to innovate Georgia’s talent development and workforce pipeline. The keynote is designed to be an an interactive session that generates innovation leaders can use. However, the future of work is a complex issue. Will we all be replaced by robots? Do older workers have a place in the workforce of the future? Should Millennials and younger generations be the focus?

I am going to add my Futurist insights and would love to hear from all of you. How do you see the future of work?

Great news! There is still time to register for the conference. Visit the Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s web site to register. It would be wonderful to meet some of you live and in-person! If you are not going to be in Georgia, then add your insights about the future of work below! I look forward to reading your ideas.

Live Your Future,

-Dr. Connie

112 – Cultivating a Futurist Mindset with Connie Reimers-Hild – Jake A Carlson

Strategic foresight is a mix of mindset and methodology.  We are creating our futures in the present moment.  What are you doing to pursue the future you want to experience?  How can you cultivate a Futurist Mindset? And, why is this approach to life so important?

According to Jake, a few of the top takeaways from our episode focused on cultivating a futurist mindset include: 

Futurists help leaders and people better understand the future, and being a Futurist is a real thing!  Universities have teaching courses, degrees and certifications in strategic foresight (my certificate is from the University of Houston).

We create our future in the present moment.

Achieving your desired future is possible.   How?  You must combine methodology with mindset.  One of the first steps includes knowing what preferred future you want to achieve and experience.  You can do this by creating a Vivid Visual Vision, which blends fun with the future: 

In 3-5 years out what do you want to do and experience?

  • Use Crayons, Paints, any medium to make the vision as vivid as possible – make it your own whole brain, whole soul process
  • Get below the surface and become very self-aware and honest about your future
  • Proactively pause and find out what you want – step away from the demand and create a new model – become mindful
Listen to this episode of the Modern Leadership Podcast with Jake Carlson to learn more! Click on the link below and enjoy the show!

Source: 112 – Cultivating a Futurist Mindset with Connie Reimers-Hild – Jake A Carlson

Want to discover your leadership superpower?  Take Jake’s online assessment by going to his website JakeCarlson.com – it is a fun exercise that all leaders can use!

Episode 167 – Thriving in a New World with Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild –

How do you think technology will evolve with people (or vice versa), especially women, in this rapid era of change?  This is the question Steven Shallenberger and I explore in this podcast episode.

Steve is the founder of Becoming Your Best Global Leadership, LLC and host of the Becoming Your Best Podcast.  

Join us for a conversation focused on leadership, globalization and the future of humanity.  

Please join this important global conversation and reply with your thoughts, ideas and experiences in the comment section below.

Enjoy the show!!

-Dr. Connie

Steve: Welcome to all of our Becoming Your Best Podcast listeners, wherever you might be in the world today! This is your host, Steve Shallenberger, and we have a very talented and interesting guest with us today. She helps leaders and organizations reach their desired futures through strengths-based innovation and strategic foresight. Welcome, Dr. Connie …

Source: Episode 167 – Thriving in a New World with Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild –

Creating Exponential Opportunities

I am thrilled to be leading a strategic foresight session in partnership with the Western Healthcare Alliance as part of their Annual Summit.

Our goal is to achieve three overall objectives:

1. Feel Inspired, Energized and Connected

2. Learn about Ideas and Opportunities

3. Collectively and Openly Innovate to Co-Create the Future by Asking and Answering: What can our Health Organizations do Together?

Healthcare is undergoing a massive disruption like so many other industries.  Many women are leading this change as part of the health and healthcare industry.  They are also leading it as consumers.

I am curious…how do you see the future of health and healthcare evolving?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas and insights!

-Dr. Connie  

 

Interview: Wings of Inspired Business Podcast

It was an honor to be interviewed by Melinda Wittstock!  Melinda is a successful entrepreneur and leader dedicated to helping women achieve their best in business and in life.  Her podcast, Wings of Inspired Business, has become my go to podcast for not only inspiration, but also practical tips I can apply in leadership and in life.

And, this woman is connected!  She has interviewed women such as Christy Whitman.  Christy is a transformation leader and New York Times bestselling author.  And scientist entrepreneurs like Gitte Pedersen who is changing the future of healthcare by revolutionizing cancer treatments.

Enjoy the episode 203: A Futurist Entrepreneur Shares How to Connect ‘Sci-Fi Tech’ and Evolved Human Consciousness for Innovation and Impact

And, make sure to download your free gift!  

Blue the Bee Cover

A digital copy of Blue the Bee Learns to Be Happy.  The interactive adult (and family) coloring and activity book designed to add more happiness and health to your life (and future)!

wings of Inspired Vision Podcast

The Future of Women & Megatrend 3: The Decentralized Global Marketplace

Business is in the age of the “Empowered Consumer” who has a buffet of buying choices. Empowered consumers decide how they want to purchase goods and services. Big Data [collecting information (data) from multiple sources to detect trends, identify patterns and make decisions] is one tool that can be used to develop marketing campaigns, study human behaviors and determine patterns. It is also being used to examine and redesign various areas of the consumer experience.

Entrepreneurs and leaders can use Big Data to capitalize on consumer patterns and demands while creating more customized consumer experiences. Data is collected with every click, and some metrics can be used almost immediately. In 2014, Black Friday was November 28. Data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Black Friday Report was available almost immediately and was published on December 2, 2014. According to IBM, online Black Friday sales grew by 9.5 percent from 2013 to 2014. Retail ecommerce (orders via computer) and mcommerce (orders via mobile device) are predicted to increase by double-digit margins well into 2018 (eMarketer, 2014). Data demonstrates the continued growth of the digital marketplace, and rural businesses must find ways to capitalize on these trends.

The world is fast-becoming an “Add to Cart” society for anything and everything. Individuals are creating local, national and global communities of meaning and change that are self-selected and self-formed. Many of these same individuals are transforming commerce and communities in new and innovative ways.   The definition of community is not limited to a physical location. Technology, combined with the need for meaning, self-expression and self-actualization, has created an increasingly decentralized marketplace.

People are choosing how to meet virtually, and when, where and whether or not to meet face-to-face. They are also connecting around common causes. Commerce, along with so many other areas of life, is becoming increasingly decentralized. Savvy consumers seek and create value they crave to transform their lives. Technology enables the delivery of information, goods and services anytime, anywhere, and from anyone in a way that makes sense while adding value to the lives of consumers.

For example, companies like Stitch Fix (http://www.StitchFix.com) initially get to know their customers with a personal style quiz and continue to gather information about the clientele every month by sending them personalized clothing selections. Orders are delivered to clients and customers pay only for what they keep. Stitch Fix tracks the feedback on likes and dislikes after every shipment and learns how to better serve its customers with the data it continuously collects.

Consumer demands are shaping the marketplace and future trends. Empowered consumers want unique experiences that add value to their lives. Future-focused leaders and entrepreneurs who ask and answer not, “What is the lifetime value of a customer?” but rather, “What value can we add to a lifetime?” will be in a better position to compete in the increasingly decentralized marketplace.

Coaching Tips for Female Entrepreneurs and Leaders:

  • Connect and work together online and offline. Build your support network to generate ideas and get help growing your business.  The most successful entrepreneurs and leaders help one another.  I see this all of the time with authors too!  They promote one another while helping each other grow their businesses and ideas.
  • Get rid of assumptions and use data to make decisions. Take a few ideas from places having success in the marketplace, such as Stitch Fix.

Future-Focused Entrepreneurs and Leaders:  

Take Action with Cooperation, Creativity and Purpose

Interestingly enough, the hottest jobs at Facebook require a “human touch.” Why? Facebook is looking for people who can close sales because its revenue relies heavily on ads (Anders, 2014). Perhaps the most future-focused entrepreneurial leaders are blending “high human touch” with “high-tech” in new and interesting ways that holistically add value to the lives of others.

Future-focused, entrepreneurial leaders can use megatrends and technology to change the game of life. One person cannot do it alone in a world that continues to change at an increasingly rapid pace; rather, rural entrepreneurs should innovate in communities with a spirit of cooperation, creativity, and purpose. Together, with a common purpose, female entrepreneurs and leaders can examine megatrends, utilize emerging technologies, and monitor analytics while creating meaningful experiences and innovating rural businesses in ways not yet imagined.

Go Wild with the Decentralized Global Marketplace!   Watch the video below for more details on how you can innovate your companies and communities with cooperation, creating and purpose!

-Dr. Connie

PS:  Share your thoughts, ideas and actions with the Ask Dr. Connie community.  We would love to hear from you!

 

The Future of Women & Megatrend #2: Living with Purpose and Meaning

The tools and technologies that help people create their own businesses and design their lives in ways that best suit them, are also fueling Megatrend #2:  Living with Purpose and Meaning. Purposeful living is shaping everything from healthcare to education.

Our society is quickly evolving into an era characterized by shared purpose and meaning. Personal fulfillment is a growing trend in business and entrepreneurship. People are looking to decrease their levels of stress and strengthen their healthy habits while finding greater fulfillment.

Ben & Jerry’s is an example of a company that integrates purpose and meaning into its core existence by creating “linked prosperity” for everyone involved with the business. The company supports “linked prosperity” by establishing and aligning social, product and economic missions (benjerry.com/values).

The Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend will continue to grow as the global population increases and places more demands on the planet’s limited natural resources. What does this mean for female entrepreneurs? They may be able to grow by connecting to people through purpose and meaning. Technology may be one way future-focused entrepreneurs can holistically add more purpose and meaning to the lives of both clients and employees.

For example, a forecast by Carbone and Nauth in The Futurist (2012) describes the evolution of the “cloud” from a repository or information to an intelligent resource that can help make decisions and provide assistance. They discuss the cloud evolving from a place to store data to an intelligent resource that will actively help people improve their lives:

Virtual agents will migrate from being an automated form of phone-based customer service to a personalized form of support and assistance that provides information and—more importantly—performs useful tasks. For example, such agents might design a weekly menu based on a family’s health profile, fitness goals, and eating preferences, and automatically order ingredients.

Weekly Menu

This forecast provides an example of how entrepreneurs can use technology to help their organizations innovate with a focus on the future. A transition from cloud-based computing to cloud-based living and learning is an opportunity for female entrepreneurs to create new profit centers and customer experiences while strengthening employee engagement in a more holistic manner.

Three trends supporting the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend include: 1) minimalism, 2) life increasingly flowing together instead of being compartmentalized into work, family, recreation, etc., and 3) the quest for greater well-being, health and vitality.

Minimalism is one of the trends shaping the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend because people are seeking less stuff and more life. Trend-setting places like the Silicon Valley have embraced minimalism, and this approach to living is influencing everything from living spaces, to workplaces and web design.

People are increasingly learning and living on the go in both the virtual and physical senses, which blurs the lines between family, self-care, work and play. Research has demonstrated that happiness is a precursor to success. These findings question the view that hard work will lead to success, which eventually leads to happiness. Raising levels of positivity in the present creates a “happiness advantage” in the brain, leading to better outcomes in the areas of education, business and well-being.  To learn more, check out Shawn Achor’s 2011 TED Talk:  The Happy Secret to Better Work.

How do these trends influence entrepreneurship? As more people want to connect with their purpose, find meaning in their lives, and increase their vitality, businesses and communities should take a more people-centered approach focused on meaning, well-being and the mind-body connection, supported by the right social networks, experiences and technologies. A few ideas might include:

  • Integrating holistic, healthy living and self-care principles into business practices in an effort to create better employee and customer experiences and to create more value in products and services.
  • Providing coaching for employees to help them uncover their purpose and to create strategies and structures to support meaningful actions designed to improve their careers and lives.
  • Adding physical activity and fun into the workday in an effort to stimulate creativity, decrease stress, build camaraderie and strengthen overall wellness. 

It’s time to focus on the whole person and what life means to each individual. Helping people find their fulfillment, purpose and definition of success may provide future-focused leaders and entrepreneurs with tools to innovate their organizations and communities. Businesses should find new ways to add increased value to the lives of customers, employees and families. People can choose where they want to work, shop and live. They also choose how to invest their time and money. Businesses that add the most value, including those in rural areas, will have the competitive advantage.

Coaching Tips for Female Entrepreneurs:

  1. Develop a clear purpose. Clarity of purpose creates a meaningful path to success. A great coaching tool to use: Create a vision board with your “why” in mind.
  2. Define core values. A business should develop core values that truly represent its brand. Empowered consumers connect with brands and businesses that have core values similar to their own. Outline the core values of your business and what each value means. A great strategic plan can evolve from clear core values. Create visual images for each value and make your values public. Share them with world. They help tell your story.
  3. Make self-care a priority. Physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being are all important. Successful entrepreneurs and their teams need time for creativity and a lot of energy to grow their ventures!
  4. Get positive. A positive mindset has been scientifically proven to support everything from creativity and innovation to increased sales and employee engagement.  If you need more help learning how to be more positive, begin coloring your way to happiness with Blue the Bee Learns to Be Happy! (Reimers-Hild and Wetizenkamp, 2015).

Blue the Bee Cover

  1. Practice gratitude. Keep a physical or digital journal and write in it daily.  Writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for everyday will help your brain focus on the positive while helping your notice new opportunities!
  2. Share the stories that enhance the brand with your team and your customers. Use social media platforms to create and present meaningful content worth reading and sharing. People connect with experiences and stories behind the products and services they use!
  3. HAVE FUN! Fun is absolutely invaluable. It decreases stress and improves relationship. Fun is also a foundation to creativity and innovation.  This is an area I expand upon in my first book, Go Wild with Confidence! (Reimers-Hild, 2013).

Check out the video below focusing on Megatrend 2:  Living with Purpose and Meaning.  And, let us know what you are doing to improve your life.

Go Wild with Your Future! And, as always-Be YOU and Do Something Cool!

-Dr. Connie