Vail Daily column: Pretending to be productive |

Vail Daily column: Pretending to be productive

Pretending isn’t just for playtime anymore. Making believe is no longer just a game we can play with our children or friends. Using our imagination can help us unlock our true effectiveness and productivity potential.

When thinking about their future some people speak in terms of engineering their future or their career, and others prefer the words architecting, building, or navigating their future. I like to follow the Disney example. For the staff at Disney, they use the term “Imagineers” for their people who get to imagine the experience, the services, the products, and the rides that the customers will one day enjoy.

So what if we used our imagination in planning our New Year’s resolutions and goals for 2012? What would that look like or sound like? It may sound something like this: “Let’s pretend I was able to alleviate half of my debt or more, what would I be able to do?” or maybe it could sound like this, “Let’s make believe I reached my weight loss goal, how would I feel and what would I be able to do with my new healthy body?”

Here are another couple of possibilities, “Let’s pretend I get that promotion or let’s imagine I find that new job, then what would my life look like?” Or when speaking to your spouse or loved ones, “Let’s make believe that it is Dec. 31, 2012, and we can look back on the year, what would our relationship have looked like and what are some of the things we would have done together to really strengthen our love?”

You get the idea, right? We can use our imagination and pretend that almost any situation, opportunity or outcome that we truly desire will come true. Now let’s take it one step further. List out all of the New Year’s resolutions you will make this year or goals you will set. Then, allow yourself to imagine what the world will look like for you and your family if they were all to come true. Capture your thoughts, write them down, create visual reminders for yourself of what you are trying to accomplish so when it comes to doing the actual work you will be further inspired.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Many times the reason people do not set goals or live up to last minute New Year’s resolutions is that they can’t see themselves actually achieving the goal or realizing the dream. So make a difference in your life in the coming year, take the time to pretend what the future will hold, paint the vision clearly in your mind and heart. Saying it alone only goes so far, seeing it helps you believe it, and believing it will help you achieve it. You can make your dreams come true, but you have to see them first.

I would love to hear from all of you imagineers out there and what 2012 could possibly bring you. Tell me all about it at and I can just imagine that it will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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