Plot a New Course by Looking Ahead

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By Susan McNeal Velasquez.
By Susan McNeal Velasquez.

Imagine that your mind is like a recorder. It has play, rewind, pause, instant re-play, fast-forward and stop buttons.

Most of us overuse the play and instant replay. We play out our daily dramas and do instant replay on the drive home, particularly on the parts that didn’t turn out the way we wanted them. We are like the hard line football coach that carps on the missed or fouled-up strategies, because our philosophy towards life is: “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” This kind of obsessive and aggressive attachment to winning at all costs has nothing to do with creating a life that works.

A fulfilling life requires decisive and wholehearted inclusion of both the stop and the pause buttons. Mastering the art of quieting and stilling our endless striving and lusting after outcomes, sets the stage for new inspirations and insights to surface.

There is also a necessity to utilize the rewind button. Right use of this skill requires that we cultivate the courage to be willing to review our past, with the intent to uncover and claim the wisdom that we have overlooked and left unclaimed.

When we are willing to welcome our orphaned and abandoned experiences home, we can make peace with our past regret, guilt and resentments and by doing so, can set the stage for a future that is informed by clarity about who we are, what we need and what we want our lives to become.

The last feature, the misused fast-forward button, when used correctly, can transform your stress producing habit of over-thinking, over-analyzing, over-explaining and over-dramatizing perceived problems, into a lighthearted journey into possibility thinking.

Most of us only engage the fast-forward feature as a way to avoid fully participating in our lives. We say yes when we really mean no, and then drag ourselves through endless activities while wishing it would all be over, fast. We show up numb and disconnected because in our mind we already fast-forwarded through the experience and prematurely ended our participation, even though we pretend to be engaged. This produces stagnant, boring, numbing, dead or dying careers, relationships, friendships, marriages and inefficient and inept organizations.

Instead, try elevating the fast-forward feature to its highest and best use. Stand in the present. Notice where you are in your life today. Notice your present state of mind. Ask this question: “What specifically am I longing for?” Push the fast-forward button of your mind and allow your imagination to soar into future possibilities, where you can experience what your heart is longing to create for you.

Visit this imagined future in as much detail as you can envision. Then, when you are ready to come back to the present, push the re-wind button. Just as fast-forwarding takes you quickly into the future of a movie but doesn’t give you any of the details of how you’ve arrived there, fast-forwarding your mind provides the end result but not the process.

When you practice the art of feeling into your highest and best future outcomes, the benefit is that you instantly set a new course. Then, all that is required of you to actualize your new vision is to suit up and show up, fully present, and take each step as it naturally unfolds.

Before you know it, you will be creating a life plan fostered by your willingness to play, pause, stop, rewind and fast-forward into your highest and best-visualized future.


Susan Velasquez is the author of “Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” Learn more at:

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