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Thought Experiment 2 - The Time Machine

Back2FutureSm

This is the second of the detailed thought experiments posts following the more general introduction 6 Thought Experiments to Inspire Innovation which is where you will want to start if you haven't read it yet.


Last time, we looked at the Model of Excellence method. Here, we are digging deeper into the Time Machine.


Have you seen the time travel comedy skit featuring identical twins?


What if time travel was a real thing in an alternate universe? After all, quantum mechanics says it is possible.

 
Here is a way to play with that concept to generate possibilities:


First, think of some ability or accomplishment you have now that 5 or 10 years ago, you wouldn't have even imagined.


In your imagination, travel back in time and share that information with the "past you". How does the "past you" react? Maybe deer-in-the-headlights? How would the reply sound as you shared this? How would he or she feel about learning of the future self's abilities or accomplishments?


Now, keeping this in mind, return fully to the present. Shake it off.


Imagine you are getting in your time machine again, but this time travelling to the future, looking back on your present self  - seeing and hearing your present self similarly to how you experienced your past self.


As your future self, imagine travelling back in time to the present (confusing, I know) telling your present (now, past) self about something you now do or have in this future time that your present self responds to in the same way.


What would that be?


Thought Experiment 1 - The Model of Excellence

The post 6 Thought Experiments to Inspire Innovation makes the case for thought experiments for innovation and achievement in business. It gives an overview of six thought experiments suitable for that purpose and is where you will want to start if you haven't read it yet.


This is the first of the promised subsequent posts to unfurl specific thought experiments in more detail. Here we are examining the "model of excellence" method.


The field of NLP was largely founded on modeling excellence. The founders created a syntax that decoded the essential aspects of high level achievement into replicable components that could produce similar results.


Aspects worth modeling can include physiology, attitude, beliefs, sensory experience . . . It works in part because it is easier for a beginning entrepreneur to see Steve Jobs coming up with an innovation that reinvents his field than to see himself doing it. Making such an inner movie vivid, dramatic, and bigger-than-life can amp things up yet another level.

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The first step is to choose a model...


Who, to you, represents excellence in handling the issues like those you are dealing with? Is it a famous author, marketing consultant, or businessperson? Is it a historical genius like Tesla or Einstein? A mythological figure like Apollo or Thor? How would it look and sound if this person took your place for a while in dealing with your business challenges?

Move-Theater


Now let's make a movie . . .


Imagine you are at the theater. There's the usual squeaking of chairs, hushed lighting, and smell of popcorn. You are watching a film about your model of excellence taking your place and facing your challenges. How would things turn out differently? Fully immerse in watching your model of excellence create results in your situation. Maybe Nikola Tesla invents something or Steve Jobs instigates a breakthrough that reinvents an industry. Let it play all the way out.


Now, rewind the movie to the beginning and watch it again, only this time, superimpose an image of another you over the model of excellence. . . seeing both at the same time until the "other you" matches the actions, the way of looking at the world differently, and the energy and drive of the model.


Play the movie all the way to the end, gradually replacing the model of excellence with the "other you" until you clearly see the other you acting, thinking, and feeling the same way. Feel free to add a soundtrack of motivating music.

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As the producer of this inner movie, you can enhance the drama of the achievement with perspective tricks or special effects. For example, you can add fireworks sparkling high above, celebrating the achievements, or a crowd roaring in a large stadium. Take time to make it vivid and bigger than life.


Now, use your remote control to restart the movie from the beginning, step into it fully and see, hear, and feel the events from the perspective of the "other you" that has modeled your ideal of excellence. Again, play it all the way to the end.


What new actions and thoughts emerge? What different feelings do you notice playing this enhanced character?


How would things be different if you consistently applied this going forward? How would your results change? Your relationships? Your mindset?


Remember when an image displayed too long on an computer monitor would get "burned in". Practicing such mental movies regularly can similarly imprint them deeply. What skills and achievements of models of excellence would be helpful to "burn in" the theater of your mind?


Like any of these thought experiments, try the Model of Excellence on for size and, if it works for you, keep doing it. Or you can try another.

Stay tuned to this channel as the next Thought Experiment post will go into more detail about "The Time Machine".