I don't think that most of us have a very good relationship with our future. We might have a vague sense of the stuff we want, or things we'd like to accomplish, or relationships we hope to develop, but very few people can actually articulate what they think their life will look like five or more years down the road.
I'm all about living in the moment and going with the flow, but I'm starting to figure out that if I want something to happen, I need to articulate it and then start working toward it. This isn't that hard when you're planning to buy a new bike -- you start saving cash, do the research, and eventually make the purchase, but what about more holistic planning for your whole life? Why not create a view of how your work, learning and the rest of your lifestyle fit together?
These are obviously leading questions, right? I've been working on a tool for an online career development application that helps people create a view of their future lifestyle. It's called the Career Plan Builder -- I take the blame for the boring name. Here's an example a future lifestyle I wish I would have pursued...and probably still could:
These are obviously focused on the aspirations of high school students, but I'm seeing potential in this simple way of representing anyone's future goals. One thing I like about it is that it expands the idea of lifestyle to include all kinds of things that may be important to you.
More speculation on these possibilities in my instructional design and technology blog...