In one of my favorite novels, The Way Of The Wizard by Deepak Chopra, the most famous wizard of all, Merlin, lived “backwards in time.” In other words, he never relied on his past to guide him into the future. He simply created his future minute-by-minute, moment-by-moment, BEFORE he lived it—therefore living life out of a vision of the future, rather than living life from the history of the past. A perfect example of this is when I was the publisher of Music Connection and Songwriter magazines. My team and I would create a theme for an upcoming issue; it could be an exclusive interview with a rock star, a unique directory of industry services or an informative “how to” story or feature article. We would dream up ideas, sketch out graphics, make up headlines and create a grid, a layout of the next issue. That became the vision. Then all we had to do was work backward from that vision and fill in the details; assign writers & photographers, create graphics, solicit the advertising, all in support of a vision called “the next issue.” Same as making a record, writing a book, starting a company or launching a website. First comes the vision, then work backwards and fill in the details. This is what Merlin meant by “living backwards in time,” only in the book he lived his whole life that way. Merlin never paid much attention to that which was rooted in the past, calling it “a waste of good memory.” Rather, he would create his life, moment-by-moment, from a vision of the future and live backwards from there.

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