One of the greatest gifts my personal coach (YES! I have a terrific coach) taught me are three words: Prospection, Savouring and Gratitude. Born out of the school of positive psychology, these powerful words combined creates a simple yet powerful set of skills to create deeply positive experiences in any part of your life.
In my research I’ve found that we human beings have a tendency to worry about the future and live in the past. We’re never really present in the moment in which our lives unfolds. This is compounded by the numerous distractions we surround ourselves with in every moment. Then we’re left wondering where did the time go? Or what did we accomplish? These three little words when practiced like a skill can bring a deeper awareness to what we can create in our lives.
So here’s a little taste to open your curiosity. I’ll go deeper into them in later posts.
To “prospect” comes from the Latin word “prospectus”. It means to have a distant view, or the act of looking into the distance. In our case, to look into our future. So prospection, taps into our unique human capacity to imagine our future. In my opinion, this is not to be confused with self-visualization, often practiced by high-performers. That is about seeing a future limited to the self. Which can serve a purpose. And yes, we could prospect on individual goals and aspirations. However, if you’re about living a life worth remembering, one that’s deeply fulfilling and meaningful, then the real power behind prospection is how it includes all people in your life so that the future possibility can become a reality.
If you’re a foodie or love to cook, like myself, this is an easy one to understand. To savour is to find delight or pleasure in the flavour of what it is you’re eating. It requires you to be fully engaged in the present moment and allowing yourself to surrender in the experience of the food. It requires a heightened awareness of your reactions, emotions and other mental capacities. This is no different with any experience in our life. A sunset. A conversation with a friend, loved one or client. Finishing a painting or a piece of work. When we savour our moments we create deeply felt memories and connections that in turn influence and shape our future possibilities.
Gratitude is the true social currency that acknowledges, redeems and celebrates the gifts we receive by being present in the moment. If we learn to see gratitude as an exchange, like a currency that keeps life moving forward, then two things must be learned. One we must be open to receive. This requires us to practice being present and aware when something is being given to us. Even the most subtle and inconspicuous of gifts. The other, is to recognize its not enough to say “thank you”. Gratefulness is deepened when we can see ways in which we can give back.
When we prospect what the future looks like, it creates an energy, a wanting, a desire to get there. It shapes our attitude and mindset to one of curiosity and wondering on possibilities. If we embrace that energy and savour each moment along that journey, it deepens each experience lighting up our senses, emotions and capacity to live big. Then gratitude, the social currency, is the exchange that acknowledges each gift, opens us to receive and inspires us to give back.
I’m a firm believer in journalling. I’ve been doing it for myself for many many years. I have my old journals stashed in my office. To reinforce these three little words, use a journal. Keep track of your visions and aspirations. Track the moments you savour. Make notes of each of those gifts you received and how you wish to pay them back. Be deliberate. These are new skills for most of us and require practice. This is a good start. I’ll go deeper into each of these in the future.