RSVP Come as you will be party; antidote for Groundhog Day
I heard about this a few years ago – a “come as you will be party“.
Here is how it works. You arrive at the party as if it was five years from now. You dress as you will be in five years. You talk as if it was five years from now and you act as if it was five years from now. In short, you take on the persona as if you accomplished your goals. Oh, and it will be videotaped – to be played back at a similar party five years hence.
Five year plan
Five year set of goals? Huh? Many people don’t have any goals. They just live from day-to-day. Tomorrow will be just like today; today was like yesterday; yesterday was like the day before; and so on and so on and so on. The day after tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and five years from now will look like yesterday and the day before. It it any wonder that people have dead-end jobs?
If you saw the movie Groundhog Day then you understand this idea of repetition of the same day over and over. But what is different between the movie Groundhog Day and some peoples lives is that, in the movie, the key character, Phil Connors, learns something new about himself each day by introspection and improves himself. So each day is a mini-revelation to Phil that adds up over time. In the end, Phil Conners gets the girl. He is a better person and breaks the cycle of living each day over and over again.
Some people never get any better. They just live the same day over and over. They fear change; never take risks; they fear failure and never use it as a learning opportunity. They never envision any future that is any different from today, yesterday, and the day before.
The great successful men of the world have used their imagination. They think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building – steadily building. — Robert Collier
So, the “come as you will be party” is an antidote to a Groundhog day life, at least insofar as it helps you envision a future that is not like today. Part of getting out of your mom’s basement playing games and the dead-end job is to envision a future that is not like this. To have an opportunity to act “as if” puts some hint of reality into it. The “come as you will be” party is this opportunity to “touch” this envisioned world in a very concrete way. The idea of videotaping at the event is to put some accountability in it. You hold yourself accountable for achieving your goals and persona that you display as the party.
Silly? This is not much different from corporate strategic planning – envisioning the future, setting priorities, creating goals, crafting a strategy, and then resourcing, executing, measuring, and refining toward achievement of that vision.
Still silly? This is no different than a having a career development plan in a corporation. The only difference maybe that you might not be at that point yet that a company will invest in you. You need to get to that point. It’s up to you. You have an opportunity every second, every minute, of every day to make a decision to be someonw better than you are today.
Come as you will be
In passing, I mentioned the “come as you will be party” to a healthy person in his 50’s. He imagined that he would show up in a wheel chair pushed by a nurse and drool coming off his mouth. Did I mention that the vision of the future of should be a positive vision?
Although now that I think of it, if Enron President Jeff Skilling would have envisioned the future as a linear progression of the way he was running the business with attendant consequences, perhaps he would have envisioned himself in jail serving a term of 24 years on multiple federal felony charges.
Perhaps, knowing/envisioning his future, Jeff Skilling could have taken action to be a better man like Phil Conners did in the movie Groundhog Day.