Path Mapping 3: Daydreaming Heaven and Hell

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Meta note: This workshop's activity relies on you having done the first two in the series. If you have not completed those, use this time to perform those activities instead. Feel free to ask your fellow classmates advice, as they have likely already performed those.


With the completion of Character Backstory for your past, and Exploring Strengths and Weaknesses for your present, we have begun mapping the trajectory of your life. Now it is time to extend our focus to the future.

Daydreaming Heaven

The first step is to try and imagine our ideal futures. Imagine you won the lottery and you are into your tenth year of being rich, or you have otherwise made it to a life where money is no object. Now you can become and have anything you want at a whim. Given this, what does your perfect day look like now that you can have it everyday? Daydreaming is encouraged here.

For each of the questions below, take 2 to 5 minutes and sketch out some ideas. It's better to go into stream-of-consciousness and just write than it is to spend the time thinking of an articulate answer here. We will go over this all and clarify it in later stages.

  • What would you choose to become an expert in?
  • What would be a quality about yourself you would want to nurture?
  • What habits do you have now would you like to break?
  • What does your social life look like in the future? Who are your friends and who do you spend time with?
  • What do you do for fun? you can do anything at all so how do you cut loose and relax?
  • How do drugs and alcohol fit into this plan recreationally or personally or spiritually or do they not fit at all?
  • How are your relations in your family? Is it the family you were born into is it a different family you've chosen to put your time and energy into and how do you spend that time with them?
  • What does your career look like, if any? The average career is about 80,000 hours and that can have a huge impact on the world and ourselves, so what are you choosing to do now that you are not limited?
  • What does your financial situation look like? Do you have investments?
  • How much stuff do you have? Do you have collections, or are you a minimalist?
  • Think about the people you admire. Who had at least parts of the life that you want for yourself? What about them do you want or admire for your own life?

Now that you've had a while to just allow yourself to imagine, the next stage is to put it all together. Take everything you wrote above and compose for the next 15 minutes, answering questions like:

  • Who do you want to be?
  • What do you want to do?
  • Where do you want to end up?
  • Why do you want these things?
  • What things do you want to have in your life?
  • What do you want for others in your life?
  • How do you plan to achieve your goals?
  • When will you put these things into action?

Take a break now, at least 5 minutes, at most 15. Treat yourself to your favorite drink or snack for positive reinforcement, and to stockpile ‘warm fuzzies’ because this next part will be difficult.

Imagining Hell

Next we'll have you repeat the same exercise but inverted; imagining your own personal hell. Looking at your character sheet stats section you will see a list of your flaws. Project to the Future. Those are the parts of you that grew and flourished. Imagine the worst version of yourself, and answer the following questions, given about 2 minutes each:

  • What good parts of you would atrophy?
  • What would you ignore because of an excuse?
  • What bad habits would be exacerbated or created?
  • What kind of people do you surround yourself with?
  • What destructive pleasures do you engage in?
  • How are your familial relationships degenerating?
  • Where do you work that doesn't value you?
  • Who are your anti role models? People who you despise while empathizing enough to understand they are a path you could go down? Look for people close to you who make you feel angry and disappointed.

Workshop facilitator

In the final 5-10 minutes of the workshop, please fill out our feedback form with the help of the rest of the workshop attendees.

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