In The Prosperous Coach, Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin explain one of the powers of great coaching:
It helps the client shift from their Default Future (what would happen in their life and business without coaching), to a Created Future.
Recently, I’ve been thinking that this is great, as we can create phenomenal (and Impossible) things in the world (check out Creating The Impossible, by Michael Neill).
Yet, time and again, I come back to enjoying the simplicity of the “little” things, and enjoying my default future.
Paradoxically, the default future is created as much as the created future…
Hence the need to explain how to create an amazing Default Future.
I would define it as a future that might not be the best possible life you can imagine (most of the time, imagination surpasses reality), yet, it is much more fulfilling than a normal life, when you get stuck into the cycle of the day-to-day.
Designing your Default Future
To think about how to design your Default Future, I’d like to bring in a very helpful tool from Integral Theory (read more about this theory and it’s founder here). It’s called the Quadrants tool, and it helps us look at our situation (and reality) from four different perspectives:
In our lives, that allows us to look at these four areas:
1. Your inner life (Upper-Left):
What are your values, beliefs?
What practices allows you to cultivate your inner life?
2. Your external individual life (Upper-Right)
Are you exercising/working out?
(Recommended reading: The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss)
What sports are you practicing?
What routines have you set for yourself?
(Check out Daily Rituals by Mason Curey or my article on 10 habits that changed my life)
Are you taking care of your nutrition?
(Recommended reading: Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier)
3. The environments you live in and the systems that support you (Lower-Right)
Where do you live? Does this place fill you with energy?
Where do you go to recharge?
Do you connect with Nature?
Where do you work?
What kind of setting inspires you and filles you with awe and wonder?
What systems support you to make your life easier?
What system could you set up to make things simpler for you (whether setting up your financial life in order – see Tony Robbins’s book Money: Master the Game or Michael Michalowicz’ Profit First, or subscribing to an organic food weekly delivery service)?
How are you using technology? Are you using it or is it using you?
(I recommend checking out Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism book).
4. The Culture(s) you participate in and the Relationships you cultivate
Which culture are you in?
Do you feel in resonance/alignment with it?
Does it support you, or does it drain you of energy?
Which cultures do you like to engage in? (I use culture in a broad sense: it can be in terms of ethnicity, national culture, but also different corporate cultures, …)
Where are your roots? Where do you come from? How do you honor that and reconnect with that?
Where are your branches? Where are you going? How do you cultivate that growth?
(I talk about the importance and challenges of Diversity in this article published by the CoBS and you can check out the books on Global Cosmopolitans by Linda Brimm.)
Which are the most important relationships in your life right now?
Which are the most nourishing?
Which are the ones you need to limit or to bring to a close?
Which relationships would you like to open up for the future?
What is your relationship with yourself?
This one is a key question, as a lot of people are completely unaware of it.
For instance, I went on a date with myself to see the Dune movie, which was phenomenal. I didn’t tell anybody about it, and spent a lovely evening with myself. A fellow coach told me how she would buy roses for herself, as a way for self-care, self-love and self-appreciation.
You can’t be in a healthy relationship with someone else if you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself.
During a full day seminar I attended on my birthday, a few years back, a participant asked Byron Katie:
“You just said that you need to love yourself first before you can love the other. But in a lot of teachings, we are advised to love the other before ourself. What should we do?”
Byron Katie answered:
“Love the person you love the least.”
You don’t have to work all this out, but you can gradually make a plan and start working on it bit by bit. You can thus make your life a Masterpiece, bit by bit, step by step.
It might be worth it to take the time to take an Energy Audit to help you become aware of where your energy goes, before you recreate a Default Life that serves you and your Highest Purpose.