If you’re reading this real time, we’re in the middle of coronavirus: quarantine, restrictions, et cetera. Yes it’s getting old. Yes it’s challenging. And yes, dear warriors, we will persevere. We can handle this. Humans are resilient. We come out of experiences better than we entered them. Delusional thinking? Bring it. 

I have often been accused of delusional thinking or of thinking too positively. Bad news for my foes: I hope to continue to be accused of delusional thinking far into the future. You know why? That means I’m pushing the limits of what people believe and what they think is possible for the future and for them.

Why aren’t we living the lives we want to be living? Because we don’t believe it’s possible. 

Permission to believe bigger. 
Question what is being told to you.  
All great things arise out of beliefs that seem impossible.
Our first black president?
If we stopped every time someone said “that’s not possible” we would not be where we are as a society.
And so I say, let’s keep at it.

Delusional Thinking

In this current situation and all situations, I encourage you to think bigger, if not a bit delusionally. I encourage you to challenge the thoughts that are automatically running through your brain, discussed in your house, and accepted in our communities Let’s question what we are telling ourselves and others. 

Uncertain Future

We do not know what is going to happen in the future.
We never did.
And we never will.
Yet we like to think we do and we put a lot of time and effort into thinking and planning about that future.
Don’t get me wrong, I think about the future too. 
I just want to question the way we think about that future that we’re not sure of.
Why not choose to think of the future in a way that excites us instead of dampens us?
Why not think of the future in a way that inspires us to action rather than depresses us to inaction. 

Deliberate Thinking

I am deliberate in my thinking and thus choose to think thoughts that excite and inspire me. Why? Because the thoughts I think drive the way I feel. 

I don’t want to feel depressed, sad, and miserable. And so I choose to not think some of the thoughts that I hear neighbors and newscasters thinking. Thoughts like: 

“This is going to get worse before it gets better“, or
“Life will never be the same”, or 
“This will be the ruin of the global economy”, or
“We will never feel free again.”

I don’t want to believe in doomsday and darkness. So I don’t think thoughts that support that belief. Thoughts are merely sentences in our head. When we think them, our brain looks for evidence to support them. Since the future is uncertain and no-one knows what will happen, why not use your imagination to feel better?

What’s the worst that happens? You spend the next 3 months in a positive feeling state while your neighbor spends it with a dark cloud over her head?

Thought Management, Worry and Imagination

Worrying doesn’t get you anywhere. The thoughts you’re thinking in your head don’t do anything helpful. They create your feeling state but do they take action to prevent anything from happening? Do they set you up for success? Nope. Worrying and Hyper planning about things you have no control over is a waste of time.

What we believe to think about the future is always made up. Use your imagination for you, not against you. We don’t know what’s going to happen.

However, there are certain things we think as a society that are more accepted than others.For example, we choose to think that college is the best option for kids. Or owning a home is a sign of financial stability. These are societal acceptable thoughts to have about a future we don’t have control over.

And yet….

There are those who prove otherwise. There are plenty of examples of how college and the debt incurred is not the best option for kids. There are plenty of people for whom purchasing a house was the exact opposite of financial stability. 

Yet we tend to dismiss those and continue believing the commonly held beliefs. Our brain’s motivational triad seeks routine, resists change, and stays away from effort. It takes effort to think of a different future than what we have been modeled. It takes effort to think outside the box, to think of other options, to question the status quo.

I’m not going to debate the validity of college or home ownership here but what I do want to point out is how some thoughts about the future are more acceptable than others.

Social Experiment

At your next socially distant gathering, try this little experiment to see what I’m talking about:

“College is best for my child”
“Owning a house is responsible”

Bet the reaction is pretty vanilla. Accepted. Reasonable. Try these: 

“This is a pandemic and the worst thing humans have ever encountered.”
“We are entering a dark period. Things will never be the same.”

Reactions will probably be similar. These are acceptable. Not delusional. Now try saying:

“We will emerge from this stronger and wiser than before.”
“The economy is going to bounce back.”

Not as acceptable.
How do I know? I’ve tried it. In fact, I say these things every chance I get. People say “Come on Susie, That’s delusional. You don’t know that.”
They’re correct.
But they don’t know their way is true either.
And nothing prevents me from believing it right now.

Question Acceptable

When I think of my kids having fulfilling relationships and jobs in the future people aren’t as quick to judge and call me delusional.

Yet, I don’t know that to be true any more than they know that our economy will never recover. 

I choose to spend time believing in a future I actually want. If some want to call that delusional or overly optimistic, fine. My point is, we don’t know what’s happening in the future and we never will.

How do you want to spend your days moving towards that future?

When I think the future is dark and bleak I feel dark and bleak. When I think the future is bright and full of possibilities, I feel bright and hopeful. What we choose to believe about our uncertain future is our choice. Why not use our imagination for good You always get to choose what to believe

Today I give you permission to think about the future how you want to think about the future.

I give you permission to step outside of the box of societal acceptable beliefs to create your own.

To use your imagination for good.

To believe in what feels good to you.

To be delusional. 

If you know someone who could use this message today, please share it ( more of us thinking outside the box and dreaming bigger, the more we evolve as a society and create the future we want to be living. 

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