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JBP Future Authoring

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Aug 18th, 2017
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  1. "Sort yourself out. Marshal your arguments. Put yourself in order, so when someone pushes you farther than you should go, you can say no" - Dr. Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan Podcast
  2.  
  3.  
  4. FUTURE AUTHORING PROGRAM
  5.  
  6. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS 1
  7.  
  8. The full future authoring exercise has 2 different stages, each with a number of steps.
  9. In Stage 1, you will write generally about your goals.
  10. In Stage 2, you will specify and clarify the nature of those goals, and begin to strategize.
  11. We recommend that you complete the process over two or more separate days. People who allow themselves some time to sleep when they are making important decisions appear to do a better job and to benefit more. The entire exercise will require approximately two and a half hours.
  12. On the first day, you might want to complete Stage 1. On the second day, you could complete Stage 2.
  13. You will need to concentrate and process what you are writing, so try to complete this exercise when you are feeling alert and relatively unrushed. Simply follow the on-screen instructions as you go along. Press the "Next" button to move onto the next screen. If you need to take a short break or two of 5-10 minutes to get up and walk around during the process, please feel free to do so.
  14. You will be asked to write down your private thoughts and feelings. Please type them directly into the box provided. At times, you may be asked to write non-stop, without regard for grammar or spelling. At other times, you may be asked to revise what you have written.
  15. This exercise is meant to benefit YOU personally. Everything you write will remain accessible only to you and those you designate as recipients. The report you produce will summarize your personal goals and strategies. You and your recipients, if any, will be emailed a copy of this report shortly after you complete the exercise.
  16. During some sections, you will be asked to write for specified amounts of time. Please try your best to write for the amount of time specified (so, if it asks you to write for 1-2 minutes, please write continuously for at least 60 seconds).
  17.  
  18. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS 2
  19.  
  20. During this exercise, you will be presented with a series of pages either providing you with information, or asking you to describe aspects of your personality and experiences.
  21. You may proceed through the exercise by clicking the Next button.
  22. You can go back to previous pages by clicking Previous.
  23. Each time you click Next or Previous, the data you have entered on that page will be saved. You can also save your data while remaining on the same page by clicking Save. In addition, many of the pages where you are asked to write for longer periods of time will automatically save every minute or so.
  24. You may quit the exercise any time by clicking Exit/Home or shutting down your browser. If the current page is a page you have been writing on, remember to click Save before exiting. The text that you entered on previous pages will have already been saved.
  25. You can come back to the exercise later, and resume your work. All your previous work will be waiting for you, and will be taken to the last point in the exercise you had completed.
  26.  
  27. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS 3
  28.  
  29. On many pages, you will not be able to successfully click Next or Previous unless you have provided a minimum of necessary text. If you do not, you will receive an error message, and the text box in question will be highlighted in red.
  30. Text boxes also have a maximum length. Pay attention, as you write, to the numbers above the text boxes. Numbers like [180 / 1000] indicate that you have typed 180 characters out of a maximum allowable of 1000. When you go over the maximum, the numbers above the text box become red. Clicking Next, Previous, or Save will result in an error message and you will not be able to proceed to the Next or Previous page. To resolve this, edit your text until the number of characters is less than or equal to the maximum. These limitations have been established so that you do not get stalled at any point in the process.
  31. We do encourage you to write in some detail, however, subject to those limitations. Our research indicates that better results are obtained as the amount written by participants increases.
  32. There is a progress bar in the top right portion of the screen, which displays the percentage of the exercise that you have already completed. If you hover over the bar with the mouse, you can see approximately how much time it will still take to complete the exercise.
  33. You may use the Index to jump to any page you have already completed. Clicking the [Index] link will open the index. Clicking it again will close it. Remember to click Save to save any work on the current page before using the index to jump to another page.
  34. After you have completed the exercise, you will be taken to a Summary page. You can use that page to email yourself a copy of your writing.
  35.  
  36. The Ideal Future: Preliminary Notes and Thoughts
  37.  
  38. In this exercise you will begin to create a version, in writing, of your ideal future. William James, the great American psychologist, once remarked that he did not know what he thought until he had written his thoughts down. When he didn't know what to write, he wrote about anything that came to mind. Eventually, his ideas became focused and clarified.
  39. Brainstorm. Write whatever comes to mind. Don't worry too much about sentence construction, spelling, or grammar. There will be plenty of time to write polished sentences later. Avoid criticizing what you write. Premature criticism interferes with the creative process.
  40.  
  41. Imagining Your Ideal Future
  42.  
  43. You will start with some exercises of imagination that will help you warm up to the task of defining your future.
  44. These will include 8 questions such as "what could you do better?", "what would you like to learn about?", "what habits would you like to improve?". After briefly answering these 8 questions, you will be asked to write for 15 minutes about your ideal future, without editing or criticism.
  45. Let yourself daydream or fantasize. You are trying to put yourself into a state of reverie, which is a form of dream-like thinking that relies heavily on internal imagery. This kind of thinking allows all your different internal states of motivation and emotion to find their voice.
  46. It might be best to concentrate on your future three to five years down the road, although you may have reasons to concentrate on a shorter or longer timespan (eighteen months to ten years).
  47.  
  48. 1.1 One Thing You Could Do Better
  49. If you could choose only one thing that you could do better, what would it be?
  50. Think and write for at least two minutes, then move on.
  51.  
  52. 1.2. Things to Learn About
  53. What would you like to learn more about, in the next six months? Two years? Five years?
  54. Think and write for at least two minutes, then move on.
  55.  
  56. 1.3. Improve Your Habits
  57. What habits would you like to improve?
  58. -At school?
  59. -At work?
  60. -With friends and family?
  61. -For your health?
  62. -With regards to smoking/alcohol/drug use?
  63. Think and write for at least two minutes, then move on.
  64.  
  65. 1.4. Your Social Life in the Future
  66.  
  67. Friends and associates are an important part of a meaningful, productive life. Take a moment to consider your social network. Think about the friends you might want to have, and the connections you might want to make. It is perfectly reasonable to choose friends and associates who are good for you. Describe your ideal social life.
  68. Think and write for at least two minutes, then move on.
  69.  
  70. 1.5. Your Leisure Activity in the Future
  71.  
  72. Take a moment to consider the activities you would like to pursue outside of obligations such as work, family and school. The activities you choose should be worthwhile and personally meaningful.
  73. Without a plan, people often default to whatever is easiest, such as television watching, and waste their private time. If you waste 4 hours a day, which is not uncommon, then you are wasting 1400 hours a year. That is equivalent to 35 40-hour work weeks, which is almost as much as the typical individual spends at his or her job every year.
  74. If your time is worth $25 per hour, then you are wasting time worth $35,000 per year. Over a 50-year period, that is $1.8 million dollars, not counting interest or any increase in the value of your time as you develop.
  75. Describe what your leisure life would be like, if it was set up to be genuinely productive and enjoyable.
  76. Think and write for at least two minutes, then move on.
  77.  
  78. 1.6. Your Family Life in the Future
  79.  
  80. Take a moment to consider your home and family life. Peaceful, harmonious family life provides people with a sense of belonging, support for their ambitions, and reciprocal purpose. Describe what your ideal family would be like. You can write about your parents and siblings, or about your plans for your own partner, or about your children, if any – or about all of these. What kind of partner would be good for you? How could you improve your relationship with your parents or siblings?
  81. Think and write for at least two minutes, then move on.
  82.  
  83. 1.7. Your Career in the Future
  84.  
  85. Much of what people find engaging in life is related to their careers. A good career provides security, status, interest, and the possibility of contributing to the community. Take a moment to consider your school or work careers, or both. Where do you want to be in six months? Two years? Five years? Why? What are you trying to accomplish?
  86. Think and write for at least two minutes, then move on.
  87.  
  88. 1.8. Qualities You Admire
  89.  
  90. People you automatically admire have qualities that you would like to possess or imitate. Identifying those qualities can help you determine who it is that you want to be. Take a moment to think about the two or three people you most admire. Who are they? Which qualities do they possess that you wish you had?
  91. Think and write for at least two minutes, then move on.
  92.  
  93. The Ideal Future: Complete Summary
  94.  
  95. Now you have written briefly about your future, and have had some time to consider more specific issues. This step gives you the chance to integrate all the things that you have just thought and wrote about.
  96. Close your eyes. Daydream, if you can, and imagine your ideal future:
  97. -Who do you want to be?
  98. -What do you want to do?
  99. -Where do you want to end up?
  100. -Why do you want these things?
  101. -How do you plan to achieve your goals?
  102. -When will you put your plans into action?
  103. -Write about the ideal future that you have just imagined for 15 minutes. Write continuously and try not to stop while you are writing. Don't worry about spelling or grammar. You will have an opportunity to fix your mistakes later.
  104. Dream while you write, and don't stop. Write at least until the 15 minutes have passed. Be ambitious. Imagine a life that you would regard as honourable, exciting, productive, creative and decent.
  105. Remember, you are writing only for yourself. Choose goals that you want to pursue for your own private reasons, not because someone else thinks that those goals are important. You don't want to live someone else's life. Include your deepest thoughts and feelings about all your personal goals.
  106.  
  107. A Future to Avoid: Complete Summary
  108.  
  109. You have now written about the future you would like to have. Clearly defining your future can help reduce the uncertainty in your life, and reduce the amount of negative emotion that you chronically experience, in consequence. This is good for your confidence and for your health. Having well-defined goals also increases your chances of experiencing positive emotion, as people experience most of their hope and joy and curiosity and engagement as a consequence of pursuing valued goals (and not, as people generally think, by attaining them).
  110. It can also be very useful to deeply imagine the future you would like to avoid. You probably know people who have made very bad decisions, and who end up with a life that nobody would want. You also likely have weaknesses yourself. If you let those get out of control, then you might also end up with a miserable, painful life. Most people know how their life could go downhill if they let it.
  111. Spend some time, now, thinking about what your life would be like if you failed to define or pursue your goals, if you let your bad habits get out of control, and if you ended up miserable, resentful and bitter. Imagine your life three to five years down the road, if you failed to stay on the path you know you should be on. Use your imagination. Draw on your knowledge of the anxiety and pain you have experienced in the path, when you have betrayed yourself.
  112. Think about the people you know who have made bad decisions or remained indecisive, or who chronically deceive themselves or other people, or who let cynicism and anger dominate their lives. Where do you not want to be?
  113. Dream while you write, and don't stop. Write at least until the 15 minutes have passed. Let yourself form a very clear picture of the undesirable future.
  114.  
  115. Stage 1: The Ideal Future: Preliminary Notes and Thoughts has been completed
  116.  
  117. Congratulations! You have now realized a vision of your ideal future, and outlined a future that is best avoided. You can use the summary of this vision to help you complete Stage 2 of the Ideal Future planning process.
  118. Clicking the "Print Friendly Report" link will open an additional window with a printer friendly version of this report. You can either leave this new window open or print it out.
  119. This summary will help you with the next stages.
  120.  
  121. [The printable page shows the following headers, with your answers to previous questions below. I reccoment recreating it in a separate document]
  122.  
  123. User
  124. [your name, account, email]
  125.  
  126. One Thing You Could Do Better
  127. [your written answer to 1.1]
  128.  
  129. Things to Learn About
  130. [your written answer to 1.2]
  131.  
  132. Improve Your Habits
  133. [your written answer to 1.3]
  134.  
  135. Your Social Life in the Future
  136. [your written answer to 1.4]
  137.  
  138. Your Leisure Activity in the Future
  139. [your written answer to 1.5]
  140.  
  141. Your Family Life in the Future
  142. [your written answer to 1.6]
  143.  
  144. Your Career in the Future
  145. [your written answer to 1.7]
  146.  
  147. Qualities You Admire
  148. [your written answer to 1.8]
  149.  
  150. The Ideal Future
  151. [your written answer to 'The Ideal Future: Complete Summary']
  152.  
  153. A Future to Avoid
  154. [your written answer to 'A Future to Avoid: Complete Summary']
  155.  
  156.  
  157.  
  158. Stage 2: Specific Goal Identification: Introduction
  159.  
  160. In this stage, you will first be asked to define and personally title your overall future plan. Then, you will be asked to take your general plans for the ideal future and break them up into more specific goals. Each of these separate goals will also be given its own title. This step will help you clarify your goals.
  161.  
  162. Please specify a title and brief description for your ideal future as a whole. This can be as simple as "My Ideal Future," in both fields, or, if you have something more personal in mind, you can specify that. Imagine that you are both specifying and summarizing your ambitions with this title. This will help you remember what you are aiming for.
  163. In later screens you can define, prioritize, and analyze specific goals.
  164.  
  165. Goal Title:
  166. Goal Description:
  167.  
  168. Please break down your ideal future into 8 goals. You can re-word, re-write and organize the relevant material from Step 1 for your goal summaries, if you wish, or you can rely on your memory. The exercise allows you to specify a minimum of 6 goals, but people who identify 8 have better results with this exercise.
  169. These specific goals can be from a number of different domains.
  170. -A personal goal might be "I would like to be healthier."
  171. -A career goal might be "I would like to be more interested in my job"
  172. -A social goal might be "I would like to meet more people".
  173. The summaries you write about each goal should be reasonably brief and memorable. Make sure that each goal summary includes nothing but the most important information. You will have 10-15 minutes for this part of the exercise. Feel free to revise and edit.
  174.  
  175. Goal 1
  176. Goal Title:
  177. Goal Description:
  178.  
  179. Goal 2
  180. Goal Title:
  181. Goal Description:
  182.  
  183. Goal 3
  184. Goal Title:
  185. Goal Description:
  186.  
  187. Goal 4
  188. Goal Title:
  189. Goal Description:
  190.  
  191. Goal 5
  192. Goal Title:
  193. Goal Description:
  194.  
  195. Goal 6
  196. Goal Title:
  197. Goal Description:
  198.  
  199. Goal 7
  200. Goal Title:
  201. Goal Description:
  202.  
  203. Goal 8
  204. Goal Title:
  205. Goal Description:
  206.  
  207. 2.3. Prioritizing Your Goals
  208.  
  209. Please organize your goals. Give your most important goal a rank of 1, your next most important goal a rank of 2, and so on. You can use the update button at any time to to re-order the list.
  210. [List them in order of importance]
  211. [[1] Goal 1: Goal Title]
  212. [[2] Goal 2: Goal Title]
  213. [[3] Goal 3: Goal Title]
  214. [[4] Goal 4: Goal Title]
  215. [[5] Goal 5: Goal Title]
  216. [[6] Goal 6: Goal Title]
  217. [[7] Goal 7: Goal Title]
  218. [[8] Goal 8: Goal Title]
  219.  
  220. 2.4. Strategizing About Your Goals
  221.  
  222. Now you will be asked about the following elements or feature for each of the specific goals you have identified:
  223. Evaluating Your Motives
  224. -Considering the Broad Personal and Social Impact of Goals
  225. -Considering the Detailed Strategies for Goal Attainment
  226. -Identifying Potential Obstacles and their Solutions
  227. -Monitoring Progress towards Desired Goals
  228. Thus, the five pages that contain these elements or features will repeat until all your goals have been assessed.
  229.  
  230. [This section asks questions about each your goals (1-8) in the order you decided on in 2.3. Answer questions 2.4.1-2.4.5 for goal 1, then repeat for each goal]
  231. 2.4.1. Evaluating Your Motives
  232.  
  233. For this goal, you might want to consider issues such as the following:
  234. -Do you truly believe that pursuing this goal is important?
  235. -Would you feel ashamed, guilty or anxious if you didn't?
  236. -Do you want to achieve this goal personally, or are you doing it to please someone else? (It is often a good thing to do something for someone else, but you should know when you are doing that.)
  237. -Are you pursuing this goal because the situation that you find yourself in in seems to demand it?
  238. -Is the pursuit of this goal enjoyable, stimulating or satisfying?
  239. -Is this goal part of a deeply felt personal dream?
  240. Please spend a minute or two writing down your reasons for pursuing this goal:
  241.  
  242.  
  243. 2.4.2. Considering the Broad Personal and Social Impact of Goals
  244.  
  245. Goals can have an impact beyond the obvious. Our specific personal goals are connected to larger, more important life goals. These higher-order goals reflect our most important ideals. The specific goal of spending more time studying or reading, for example, is a specific element of the more important goal of being a well-educated person. Achieving other specific goals, such as becoming more assertive, help us to move closer to our ideal self.
  246.  
  247. You will now be asked to write about what more globally important things might be affected by your attainment the goal listed below:
  248. -How would disciplined success change the way that you see yourself?
  249. -How would other parts of your personal life change, in consequence?
  250. -How would this affect the way that others perceive you? (You might also consider fears of being successful. Sometimes people are afraid to succeed because of the responsibility this would entail. Sometimes they are afraid of even becoming conscious of their true goals, because then they would be aware when they fail. These are not good strategies.)
  251. -How would attaining this goal affect the lives of the people around you?
  252. -What broader beneficial social impact might your success have?
  253. Please write a short description of how attaining this goal would change additional important aspects of your life, and the lives of others.
  254.  
  255.  
  256. 2.4.3. Considering the Detailed Strategies for Goal Attainment
  257.  
  258. Goals are related to lesser, smaller sub-goals and behaviors, as well as connected to higher-order, more important abstract goals. Sub-goals are easier to achieve, but are still fundamental to reaching our greater aspirations. Sub-goals can thus be thought of as strategies for greater goal achievement. Thinking about what specific things need to be done in order to achieve your goals allows you to create practical strategies for realizing your dreams. Please take some time to write about the concrete daily or weekly things you might do to further your goal. Deeply consider what particular behaviors this goal is built upon.
  259. -Should you spend more time planning at school or at work?
  260. -Do you need to spend more time with your friends, or your children?
  261. -Do you need to discuss household chores with your roommates, partner or spouse?
  262. -Specify when you are going to work on your goal. Specify how often. Specify where. Think hard about how you are going to implement your plans. Make your plans concrete.
  263. Write down those concrete weekly or daily things you might do to further this goal.
  264.  
  265.  
  266. 2.4.4. Identifying Potential Obstacles and their Solutions
  267.  
  268. Thinking about achieving a goal is obviously easier than going out and getting it done. Many things related to the natural environment, the social group and the self can stand in your way. It is useful to anticipate these difficulties, so that you can plan to overcome them.
  269. Consider your goal, once again. Write down all the potential obstacles you can think up. Write down ways to overcome these obstacles.
  270. How might you interfere with your own plans? How can you ensure this won't happen? Sometimes change is threatening to people we know and love. Will the people you know help you, or interfere? How can you communicate with them, so that they will support you? Think of realistic and worst-case scenarios. What are your options? What are your alternative plans?
  271. Write down potential obstacles to this goal, and specify the ways you might overcome them.
  272.  
  273.  
  274. 2.4.5. Monitoring Progress towards Desired Goals
  275.  
  276. We need to know, concretely, whether or not we are progressing towards the attainment of valued goals. Of course, this is not an easy task. When we want to complete very specific tasks, feedback on our performance is relatively easy to monitor. However, if our goals are less short-term, this becomes a little more difficult.
  277. You are now being asked to identify personal benchmarks that will allow you to evaluate your own performance.
  278. -When would you like to achieve this goal? Be specific. Even if you have to revise a deadline later, it is still better to set one.
  279. -What sorts of things will you accept as evidence that you are progressing towards your stated goal?
  280. -How often are you going to monitor your own behavior?
  281. -How will things in your life have to change, measurably, for you to feel satisfied in your progress?
  282. -How can you ensure that you are neither pushing yourself too hard, and ensuring failure, or being too easy on yourself, and risking boredom and cynicism?
  283. -Your benchmarks should be personal indicators of success. It doesn't matter what others may think defines progress towards your goal. Write down those accomplishments would truly indicate positive movement on your part. Feel free to write as much as you feel is necessary.
  284. Write down how you might monitor your progress with regards to this goal.
  285.  
  286.  
  287. 2.5. Future Steps
  288.  
  289. People often worry themselves unproductively by constantly revisiting their goals, instead of concentrating on their attainment. It is easy to undermine yourself, by always questioning your aims and intentions. Am I doing the right thing? Have I chosen the correct goals? This leads to chronic worry, unproductive behavior, and lack of opportunity to learn.
  290. -Now that you have set goals, it is best to concentrate on a daily or weekly basis on implementing the strategies you have devised for their attainment, instead of worrying about the goals themselves. It is just as important to stick to a plan, as it is to make a plan.
  291. -If you implement your goals, even if they are not perfect, you will learn enough during the implementation phase to make better goals next time. As you continue to repeat the process, you will get wiser and wiser.
  292. -Set aside some time every week or two - no more than ten or twenty minutes - to mentally review your performance. You will gather all sorts of useful information that you can use to reconsider your plans, down the road.
  293. Researchers have found that if someone performs goal-setting tasks multiple times over a long period, there is a greater chance of health and productivity improvements.
  294. As a result, you might wish to engage in this sort of exercise on a regular basis, every four, six, or twelve months, as your situation changes.
  295.  
  296. Your Ideal Future
  297. Below is a copy of your Ideal Future including the essays you wrote during Stage 1 and the goal setting and analysis you performed during Stage 2.
  298. [This is another printable page, with every single question as a header, and what you wrote as an answer]
  299.  
  300. Project Complete
  301.  
  302. You have completed the Future Authoring project. Thank you.
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