Much of the country is hooked on the TV show, “This Is US” which chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as young parents in the 1980s to their adult kids - Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) - searching for love and fulfillment in the present day. This grounded, life-affirming dramedy reveals how the tiniest events in our lives impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death.
The show uses the power of flashback, present day and flashforward to show the impact decisions make in life, good or bad. We are all familiar with shows in the present day and flashbacks have been a common way to show the viewers what contributed to the character’s situation. Flashforward gives the users a peek into that will be and what the future has instore for the characters. The technique to tell a story was made famous by Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol” where Ebenezer Scrooge had the opportunity to see the past, present and future all in one night.
What if you could see your “future self” and how would you use this information in your present life? As a career and leadership coach, I often use an activity I call “Your Future Self” I ask the client to close their eyes an envision their lives the future. I will then ask them questions for a specific year (i.e 2035) and they are to answer the questions as if it were that year. I would ask them about their career, family, achievements and contributions they made thus far. We will discuss the choices they made and any impact of current day decisions is having on the future. The goal is to get the client to ‘see’ what their life could be in the future and what needs to be accomplished to get there. By seeing the future the client can make a plan to achieve their goals.
Without a vision it is difficult to see where you want to go. How will you know if you are on track and how will you know what is important and unimportant in your life? As in “This Is Us”, the smallest decision could have the greatest impact on your life.