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What I Learned From My Career Mentors (Part 1)

by Elaine Cercado


One of my first mentors at work was John, a highly experienced finance manager turned managing director.  During our first session, he asked me that proverbial question: where/how do you see yourself ten years from now?  But this time he asked me to do two things:

1. To root the 10th year with something or someone I value most in life

2. To imagine everything that’s happening on that day (i.e. 10 years from the day we talked) in specific terms.

  • From the time I wake up in the morning to the time I sleep, what and how does the place I imagine look like? smell like? sound like? feel like?
  • What /how am I doing during the day and up to the night?
  • And what/how does the thing or person I value most doing?

So I imagined one person I highly value – my son who was then 2 years old – to be 12 years old. I imagined the world we were living in – from the time we wake up until the time we sleep in the evening. I imagined what I would be joyfully doing during daytime when my son is in school, and how the environment looks, smells, sounds and feels like.  I imagined what kind of school my son is going to.   I imagined what our entire family is doing. It is almost like making my dream movie -fast forwarded to the future.

This visualization sounds so simple yet it is very powerful. John has actually taught me a simple technique from which other visioning methods seem to be based upon. For instance, a few years after my session with John, I learned another visioning method which was very similar, except that it required me to document what I visualized in my future. Documenting it enhanced the process.

Today, my son is 13 years old. Is it exactly the world I visualized 11 years ago? No it’s not. It’s even better! Looking back, the most valuable thing I got from John that I’m so grateful for is this: the vision has remained in me and has kept me moving forward no matter what.  My dream movie has come true indeed…and I look forward to see the movie sequel!

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