What might change if money was a non-issue?
Do you spend more energy describing your problems, struggles, and challenges than on specifying a vision for a future you want to inhabit? I know I have.
This is a mistake: our futures need clear vision, so we know what to work for and look out for.
In the exercise below, you’ll flip the script, taking a cue from science fiction* where the work of imagining the future is valued for what it is: a crucial first step in creating possibility. By the way, this is just one of the modules in the Surviving Capitalism: Financial Futuring skills course!
Part 1 – Mental exercise
Think about what an unfucked financial reality would look like (even if it feels far away right now).
Pause and, close your eyes.
Imagine the pressure of money on your reality no longer exists. Take a few moments to really imagine this.
Are you far, far in the future? Are you in the near future? What year is it?
Is it your descendants you’re imagining? Your current self or perhaps an older self?
What’s happening in your life? Your loved ones’ lives?
Are you working? If so, what are you doing? How do you feel about the work and working?
Are you volunteering or doing community work? What kinds?
What is already paid for? What’s paid off? What doesn’t cost or need money?
What are you eating? Where does it come from?
Who are you with? What are you doing together? What are you no longer doing together? Who is no longer with you?
Who has been liberated in this reality? Who still seeks liberation?
What does the economy look like? What kind of work are the people around you doing?
Is there still money? Do people exchange anything, like time or stuff instead of money? How does it work to get things from other people and give things to other people?
What does your country look like? What kind of experience are other people having? Is it like yours? How or how not?
How do you feel? What’s lighter in your heart? What’s still heavy? What’s newly hard?
Part 2 – Writing exercise
Try writing a story about yourself 5 years from now, assuming the best about what you’ve been able to do, solve, and transform — and its impact on your relationship to money.
Write as long or short as you want, but try to add details. No assuming ‘I can’t’ – go for bold success in this exercise.
Perhaps you want to use some ideas from your vision activity, or feel free to use all new ideas. You might be inspired by your vision, or you might not. Either is ok.
When you are done, read it over. Look at the specifics: is a debt dealt with? A job changed? A person you love lifted up? A home made? A business you care about launched?
This document can help you reverse engineer a pathway towards the things inside it – To get to the best outcome 5 years from now, think out what has to happen…
4 years from now:
3 yrs from now:
2 yrs from now:
1 year from now:
What’s the smallest step you can take today towards the 5 years future you?
Do-ability means future-possibility.
What you have now is a path with increasingly smaller steps laid out for you. Small steps are doable steps. In any given day, you only gotta take small steps. You don’t raise a kid or get a degree in one day – you go one step at a time.
That’s where it gets deep. An exercise like these can be deceptively simple. It could bring up sadness, hope, fears, excitement, angst. When I did this, thinking about how bad I wanted a house-home. This can radically change your thinking and the possibility of a positive outcome.
Now, you don’t have to do these steps, but knowing what they are transforms that into a choice. I want you to have more choices, and I’m excited to know how it goes when you try out this exercise!
*If you enjoyed this exercise or just visionary futuring in general, I highly recommend checking out the brilliant anthology Octavias Brood, edited by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown for examples of sci-fi futuring inspired by the legendary scifi author Octavia Butler!