Best Possible Futures Boost Happiness and Productivity

by Ayla Lewis

Writing your Best Possible Future is a science-based and effective tool for creating a compelling personal vision while also boosting optimism and well-being.

Researchers have found that writing about your goals–and successfully reaching them–can help you to gain insight into your priorities and emotions, increase feelings of control, improve performance, and boost happiness.

Research has also found that participating in a daily optimism-boosting activity—such as taking a few moments each day to visualize your Best Possible Future–can lead to increases in happiness and well-being that are sustained over time.

Visualize or Write Down Your Best Possible Future.

When you visualize or write down your best possible future, focus on all of the positive aspects of your ideal future.

In a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, participants were asked to think about their best possible future each day using this prompt:

  • Imagine yourself in the future, after everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realization of your life dreams, and of your own best potentials. You are identifying the best possible way that things might turn out in your life, in order to help guide your decisions now. You may not have thought about yourself in this way before, but research suggests that doing so can have a strong positive effect on your mood and life satisfaction.

Here is another strategy for visualizing and writing down your Best Possible Future:

  1. Select a future time period. At Happy Brain Science we write our Best Possible Futures for three years from now, but you may choose any length of time from 6 months to 5+ years.
  2. Visualize yourself, at that future time period, in a way that is pleasing and engaging to you.
  3. Imagine all of the details of your life at the time. Focus on things that are positive and within reach.
  4. Write out your Best Possible Future, include all the details you have imagined.
  5. Review and reflect on it over time, celebrating and savoring any progress you make.

What is your Best Possible Future at Work?

Simply writing down your best possible future boosts your optimism, which boosts your brain function, which makes that vision more likely to come true. Today, take a few moments to visualize and/or write down your best possible future at work. If it helps, close your eyes and visualize all the aspects of that future three years from now at work. In your ideal world three years from now, what projects will you be working on? Who will you work with? What position will you hold? Write out the details you have visualized, focusing on those details that are positive and engaging to you.

As always, we would love to hear how it goes and how we might help!

Ayla Lewis

As Director of Operations at Happy Brain Science, Ayla thrives most when helping individuals and organizations to maximize their success through the application of positive psychology and neuroscience.

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