A note about coaching for prospection: A letter from Martin Seligman

You are about to go on an exciting and life-changing journey. You’ll be charting out a new North Star, locating it in the sky, and then steadily making your way there. This journey is about prospection, the act of imagining new possibilities for the future and making them happen. Prospection, the ability to imagine “what might be,” has allowed humanity to innovate, to generate ideas and move society forward. Prospection is what has allowed civilization, great works of art and major social changes to be created. At some point in time, some person, just like you or me, looked out at the world (or maybe inward towards themselves) saw how things could be different and then did the hard work to bring those changes about.

When you engage in prospection, you are engaging in a deeply human activity. Indeed, it has been said that prospection is the defining feature which distinguishes humans from almost every other species on earth. There is something sacred about this task - of reaching into the unknown, the formless, and through the act of imagination and will, giving solid form to what was previously only an idea. This is, in a very deep way, creative work. When you envision a new possibility and then it into reality, you’re making something new happen in the world, you’re creating a unique imprint that literally helps to shape the world, even if in small ways. That’s the power of prospection.

And yet, prospection is also quite mundane. It's something each of us does all the time, though we may not know that what we're doing is called prospection. Every time we make a plan for the future, even if its something as simple as planning to go to the dry cleaner, we are engaging in prospection. Martin Seligman