Letters to the Future Manual

The challenge

The idea of this challenge is to write a letter about two possible future outcomes. First, ‘what does the future look like when current events continue unchanged?’ Second, ‘what is the ideal future when you can determine yourself what it will look like?’ So, in essence, the future on its current trajectory compared to your ideal future.

Having a vision and setting clear goals helps many people be more relaxed and positive in their thoughts. This is because it gives people energy to engage in activities they care about, and enjoy the journey towards their goals. In other words: the road towards completion is more important than completion itself. To think clearly about your vision and goals, it is important to put down eventual concerns about the future, and to compare them with inspired creative thoughts about your ideal future.

Beginning to write

Though you are free to use your own writing style and method, the following guidelines can help you on your way:

  • Address yourself directly.
  • Don’t be afraid to write down your thoughts first before turning it into a formal letter.
  • Ignore spelling and grammar until you are done writing, after which you can make edits and changes as you see fit.

Exercise 1: The future without any change in current events

To think about how you wish to see the future, it is practical to think about what will happen if nothing changes.

Begin by thinking about the current situation and how it influences people’s lives. How do you describe the current situation in the world you are living in?
Next, think about what the world will look like in 5-10 years.  What will the future look like when nothing changes, and we continue as humanity on the current trajectory?

Spend about 5 minutes writing about this. Allow the focus on what is most important to you.

To answer this, you can think about the following aspects:
  • What are the positive aspects in the current situation?
  • What are the negative aspects in the current situation?
  • To what extent are people able to have a social life?
  • How much freedom do people currently have?
  • To what extent are people able to fulfill their dreams?

Exercise 2: The ideal future for humanity and the world

Here you are going to are going to provide contrast to the previous segment. You are going to think about the ideal world and how this relates to the world in which nothing changes.

The idea is to draft an image of the ideal future as you see it, for the planet and her inhabitants. Further, describe what you want to contribute, and how, to create a better world for others. Be ambitious and pay no attention to how realistic this image may look to you. Dreams may not always materialize, though this better not keep you from having them.

Now allow yourself to daydream. Close your eyes and think about the ideal future you wish for the world when there are no obstacles. Define some goals for yourself and/or the world.

Remember, you are writing this for yourself! Choose the future scenario and goals you find important.

As soon as you have created an image, write about it for about 15 minutes. Feel free to keep daydreaming as you write. Perhaps you encounter something even better!


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