Remember To Thank Your Future Self This Holiday Season

We are fast approaching what for many people is not only the busiest time of year, but also the most stressful. There’s shopping to be done, deadlines to be met, friends and family obligations to be fulfilled, and so on. As tension and anxiety runs high, so too do the hormones that make stress chemicals. With all this added stress, it’s easy to lose focus on our goals and meditation practice.

You probably think you know what I’m going to say next—now is the best time to turn off the outward stimulation and go deeper within. While yes, I am tempted to say this, I want to instead give you a very simple but powerful practice to make you pause, look around, and look within. In this very act of looking inward, you’ll be forced to look outward toward the brilliant future ahead of you—whether it’s a future of health, wealth, joy, abundance, love, family, wholeness, and so on.

Are you ready for the exercise? I want you to schedule a date with yourself to go to a coffee shop, somewhere in nature, or some other quiet place, and write a thank you letter to your future self. Whether it’s one year from now or fifty years down the line, I want you to thank yourself for all the courageous decisions you made. Thank yourself for the people who graced your life, the adventures your curiosity took you upon, your healthy body that carried you on these adventures, all the times you overcame yourself, the hard-learned lessons that became your life’s greatest blessings, the love you received and gave, and the beautiful and unexpected way your soul’s journey and purpose unfolded.

The most important thing for you to do when you get into the process of writing your letter is to embrace the powerful, elevated emotions you will feel when your creations come to fruition. Combine these elevated emotions with each sharp and distinct memory of your future—which from the exercise’s perspective—is you thinking about your past.

The reason why this is important is because from a neurological standpoint, your brain doesn’t recognize the difference between a memory of your past and a memory of your future. But because emotions create long-term memories, the more you move out of your resting state (or the emotions that anchor you to the past) and into the elevated feelings and emotions of your future, the more you’ll not only be biologically changed by the memory of your future, but drawn to it.

When these emotions are connected to the thoughts and visions of your future, you’re laying down a new set of neurological tracks that are imprinting your future into your brain. By passionately feeling the emotions of each experience, you will not only be giving your body a taste of the future, but also priming your brain into making a long-term memory.

Now as far as the letter, there is no limit on its length or what you can create in your life. I just want you to do this so you can anchor your energy in the future—a point in the distance upon which you can focus—because every time you think about that future, you are magnetizing yourself towards it.

When you’ve finished your letter, mail it to your address. Next, I want you to buy a treat or memento. It can be a trinket or something silly, or an article of clothing you think your future self will look dapper wearing. This act of buying yourself a gift anchors you in the present, and you are going to bring that gift with you when you open your letter in the future.

Buying a treat and bringing it to meet yourself in your future is just another way to be playful with the universe while still being intentional. You might want to place it somewhere you can see it, or if it’s clothes, wear it from time to time to remind yourself where you’re heading. It’s basically an external cue for you to stay focused on your goals and practice, as well as a reminder that creation doesn’t have to be hard, grueling, painstaking work. It’s supposed to be full of fun, whimsy, wonder, surprise, and awe. When you’re doing it right, fun, whimsy, wonder, surprise, and awe is exactly what’s reflected back to you.

When you receive the thank you letter several days later, do not open it. Rather, think about what you wrote, then stash it away in the bottom of your dresser draw or someplace where you know you’ll find it in your future. If you want, you can put a reminder in your calendar, or you can just leave it to chance that you’ll discover it at the right time.

So now find a day on your calendar to treat yourself and remember that when you invest in yourself, you invest in your future.

2016-12-09T20:33:26+00:00

44 Comments

  1. Mimi Maruri December 10, 2016 at 4:26 am - Reply

    This is a wonderful practice and I am doing it .

  2. Christine December 11, 2016 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    Thanks, great idea. . .a priority

  3. Lindsay Ainger December 17, 2016 at 8:57 am - Reply

    I love this thank you Dr Joe and my future self💖

  4. Isabella December 17, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Welcome all our future selves ❤

  5. Tatiana December 17, 2016 at 10:18 am - Reply

    What a brilliant and lovely excercise! Only by reading the “instructions” I have felt so full of joy, hope and gratitude that I have been moved to tears. I have scheduled my session to write the letter and look very much forward toit. Thanks so much!!

  6. Ann Stuart December 17, 2016 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Thank you Dr. Joe. What a wonderful idea. Also, thank you for the meditations that are opening my heart.
    Have a great holiday!
    With gratitude,
    Ann

  7. Rick Nelson December 17, 2016 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Really cool idea!

    Thanks

  8. Joan Ross December 17, 2016 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this great idea! It’s very appealing and I am definitely going to do it. <3

  9. frannie@franniesheridan.com December 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Love It Dr Joe!!! My present and future self both Thank You:)

  10. Debbie December 17, 2016 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    These words inspired a feeling of gratefulness for things to come just by thinking of this exercise. This is going to be fun. Thank you!

  11. Jan December 17, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Love it. Thank you!

  12. Terri Weaver December 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    What an awesome idea! Thank you for being so creative with my future self. The excitement created will help my future desires manifest faster and quicker.

    I always look forward to reading your newsletters. Learning new ways to increase brain power, discover new and amazing people plus creative ideas are a bonus to me.

    Thank you for taking the time to write it every month. I LOVE reading your written word and look forward to having dinner with you (as my future self!)

  13. Kenneth Green December 17, 2016 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Words can not describe completely the awesome consideration that you just described.
    Thanks Joe D
    Namaste

  14. Jennifer December 17, 2016 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I just love you and your work! Thank you!
    Come to AZ please!!!!

  15. Stephen December 17, 2016 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    Dr. Joe – not long ago you mentioned that $112 million wasn’t enough. If the Universe was to deliver the correct amount, how much would it be?

    • Ros December 19, 2016 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Stephen, I’m not 100% sure but if $112 million isn’t enough???? Then my understanding is that the “correct amount” that’s needed is greater awareness on energy other than money. Just saying. 😘

    • David December 20, 2016 at 2:42 am - Reply

      Maybe it depends on the glass you have or want? How full?

  16. JankaPalcek December 17, 2016 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Dear Joe,

    I experienced that there is no time (future&past lives) through one of your talk. Even I heard it many times to share your experience via Gaia I got taste. Now I’m awake at 4am cause my past life ME needs help and chain reaction frees me from limitation. You helped me to understand my experiences with kundalini or thinking through field..
    you rock:)))

    I will write letter to future me:)

  17. Agnesia December 17, 2016 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I love this exercise and look forward to implementing it!!!

  18. juvenal hidalgo December 17, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Thank you so very much for this wonderful gift, i am looking forward to implementing it ASAP.

  19. Barbara Steele December 17, 2016 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    That is a powerful exercise and I am most appreciative. Now if you wrote an article like this to explain as clearly how to indicate the beliefs/perceptions concept during the placebo meditations I would be able to advance. I’m not exactly sure how to articulate what will bring about healing my body. Thank you, Joe.

  20. Julia December 17, 2016 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    How fun! Whenever I travel usually mail a postcard to myself! This is an expansion of this… fabulous

  21. Todd Buckman December 17, 2016 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Wonderful. Thank you again. And again….for crossing your river, and for always looking for the next one. Todd

  22. Sandy December 17, 2016 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Dr. Joe. Thank you for bringing whimsy to this important reminder. From one who often takes themselves too seriously, tries too hard, your suggestion made my perceived ‘work’ lighten immensely. (I do have a favorite coffee shop!)

  23. Eileen December 17, 2016 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Thank you Dr. Joe. I LOVE this!!! In my meditations, among other fabulous things, I see myself wearing a little black dress while I am dancing the salsa or tango. It’s a very feminine dress, knee-length, with a flared hem. This is a powerful vision for me because dancing was one of my favorite activities from a very young age. I am now 67yrs old and haven’t been able to dance for 20 years because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. I’ve also gained 40 lbs. because of illness and inactivity.

    I’m gonna go buy that dress in a Size 8, maybe a 6..!!!

    Philly2016 Alumni

  24. Cecilia Huber December 18, 2016 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Thank you Dr. I will do it! Then I Tell you!

  25. Karen December 18, 2016 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Dr Joe you are a great each teacher.
    I have studied with John James, and many other greats.
    You are powerful, thanks.
    Signed,

    Successful wellness practitioner
    Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, yoga teacher.
    ( Nutritionist 9/16/17)

    Karen Egoff

  26. Karen December 18, 2016 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Dr Joe you are a great each teacher.
    I have studied with many other greats.
    You are powerful, thanks.
    Signed,

    Successful wellness practitioner
    Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, yoga teacher.
    ( Nutritionist 9/16/17)

    Karen Egoff

  27. Sara December 19, 2016 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Una muy buena idea!!! Y también divertido de hacer.
    MOLA!!

  28. Mary Frances December 19, 2016 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Wow – divine timing! Just having a conversation with my girlfriend about how absolutely our futures are!! I’m so excited I’m like a little kid at Christmas! Goosbumps and all! Then this came it! Great idea – I’ve decided to have a Thank Your Future Self Party and invite some girlfriends for an event of wining and dining, imagining, writing, adventure and awe! Thank you Dr. Joe!!

  29. sylvia December 19, 2016 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    When every person on earth is fed and when every person has experienced inner and outer peace and above all unconditional love

  30. Eileen Walker December 19, 2016 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    May I ask why my comment was not included?

  31. Eileen Walker December 19, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    So sorry…..my comment just appeared. Please if ignore my inquiry.

  32. Michele December 19, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Is your philosophy a way to guide us toward repression as we are used to. For example, if somebody does not act politely toward me, does it mean that I should not say anything, and think that he is busy with something else and did not mean it? Instead of saying him, calmly and politely, how I feel : angryness, sadness, or else? To change my mind, means for me, to pass over my feelings, what I did all my lifelong. So I’m stuck with my angor and my sadness, nev er expressed. If I’m not respected, I do not want to change my mind, but to say it, with my feelings.

    • Susy December 20, 2016 at 5:58 pm - Reply

      First you honor your feelings. You acknowledge that someone may have not been polite to you. You acknowledge that that doesn’t feel good, and maybe that’s not okay with you. But, then you actively decide to let it go. When you let those upset thoughts keep going around in your head, and then you say something out of hurt, angry feelings, you probably aren’t going to express it exactly the way it made you feel. That non polite person may come back at you with a response and then it can start a banter or argument or fight (as most not polite people aren’t going to respond to your feelings with a polite comment) So here’s the deal. You can do that, express your hurt feelings, feel that anger, hurt, sadness day after day and remember that experience. Or like I was saying, acknowledge that you felt that way, and then let that go. It’s not your fault someone is not polite so don’t take it personally. Realize you are so much greater than that. And then send yourself some love, and send that person some love. It’s not about repression it’s about CHOOSING to not mull over internally those hurtful feelings. If you do, you are only creating disease in yourself. Judgement and sadness as well. It’s just about realizing you are so much more and deserve your own love and affection. Don’t let yourself wallow, you don’t deserve it.

    • Jamie Sebens December 20, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      Michele, do not mistake tolerance for inaction. You can lovingly accept a person and where they are and still Express Yourself.

    • Barbara Hanks December 23, 2016 at 6:24 pm - Reply

      Michele,

      Maybe you can express your feelings to yourself–because, after all, they are YOUR feelings; they don’t really have anything to do with the other person. Whether or not they offended you intentionally is not your problem, only your feelings are, and they’re yours, not theirs. Someone else may have an entirely different reaction to the same behavior from them. So, you DO need to process your feelings, not pass over them, but you can do it internally, by acknowledging to yourself how you feel, noticing what behavior triggered those feelings, and observing yourself letting the feelings pass through you. (Deep breathing can help with this.) Using the other person to process your feelings is usually counter-productive, and can create more conflict.

  33. Christine R December 19, 2016 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Dear Dr Joe,

    I loved the exercise. Thank you! I’m an avid student/fan of yours and, aside from reading your books and watching your videos, I’ve attended your Progressive workshop out in Vancouver in July 2014. Now I’m looking forward to attending your Advanced workshop here in my fair city of Montreal. My future self was thanking you for hosting it here. Anything is possible, I learned that from the best. 😉

    Happy Holidays and continued blessings. À bientôt!

    Christine

  34. Isabel Gonzalez December 21, 2016 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Beautiful & with much magic Dr. Joe! Thank you so much!!! Love

  35. Astrid Schmiedel December 24, 2016 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Thats a really great idea I will sure do it and leave the letter so I can find it just in the right moment! Thank you for this wonderful Idea. I wish you a great, joyful and peaceful Christmas !

  36. Dan December 27, 2016 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Dr. Joe – Thank you. I’ve booked time on my calendar to write this letter. Your work has had a wonderful impact on my life. Looking forward to 2017 and beyond!

  37. Daniela Fiedler December 28, 2016 at 1:55 am - Reply

    Gracias!!;great idea. I’ll put it into practice.

  38. Lee Hawkins December 31, 2016 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful exercise Dr. Joe. So many wonderful things have manifested in my life since I have begun doing your meditations and attending your workshops. What a gift to the world you are!
    Wishing you the most wonderful New Year of your life so far!

  39. Trish Nash January 4, 2017 at 5:09 am - Reply

    Awesome. Going to find myself a spot on top of Mt Mitchell for this exercise. Love your work, you inspire me -Trish Nash

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