On magical thinking

Designer Milton Glaser taught a summer class at the School of Visual Arts geared towards people mid-career would need a kick in the pants: motivation, inspiration, a reboot, whatever. On the second to last day of the class, he asked his students to write an essay about what they wanted their life to look like in five years, down to the tiniest details: where do you live, who do you live with, what does your living space look like, what are you doing, what does your perfect day look like (minute by minute)…what would your life look like if you pursued EVERYTHING you wanted, knowing that you would succeed? He insists that this assignment is magical: students come back to him years later telling him that almost everything they wrote about came true, or were well on their way to becoming true. Designer Debbie Millman said it was one of the most transformative things she ever did, and after asking Milton, she turned this assignment into a self-help deck and urged the users to dream ten years into the future.

Margaret Atwood once wrote that “…a word after a word after a word is power.” and I’m beginning to truly appreciate that statement. We are, knowingly or not, carving little pathways in our mind day by day, moment by moment, leading us unwittingly towards whatever destiny we are accidentally creating for ourselves.

I think I may do this writing exercise as a way to ritualize the start of the new year, just casually dabble in some word magic and see what happens.

This post is a part of the 100-Day Creator Challenge hosted by Jibran Al Bazi

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