Archive for Life Scenario(Story)

Scenario Thinking and Possible Selves

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your e-mail.  I had not heard of Scenario Thinking theory
so I looked it up and found it is used in business to enhance future
outcomes.  So creating scenarios can be used to envision possible
demands a company’s products will need to address in the future.  It
can help a company have more flexible expectations for the future which
then can lead to better strategies for meeting needs in the future.
When engaging in Scenario Thinking, multiple scenarios with varied
alternative futures can be constructed.  The scenarios often are useful
for making long term projections.  Once scenarios are constructed they
can be evaluated in terms of how they might actually play out.

I can see why you noted the similarity between scenario thinking and
possible selves as they do have conceptual overlap.  Given that the
business world and the human development world both are engaged in
“social science,” it is not surprising that some of our theories have
common ideas.  Scenario Thinking appears to have been developed in and
for business, and is focused on business-related goals and processes.
The concept of Possible Selves stems from social psychological theory
and was designed to enhance understanding of the “self” (the nature
of the individual person).  Possible selves are hopes, fears and
expectations about who one might become in the future.  In the words of
Markus and Nurius:

“Possible selves are the ideal selves that we would very much like to
become.  They are also the selves that we could become and are afraid of
becoming. The possible selves that are hoped for might include the
successful self, the creative self, the rich self, the thin self, or the
loved and admired self, whereas, the dreaded possible selves could be
the alone self, the depressed self, the incompetent self, the alcoholic
self, the unemployed self, or the bag lady self.” (Markus and Nurius,
1986, p. 954)

Many researchers and practitioners have applied the concept of Possible
Selves to the academic domain and focus on how possible selves foster
achievement.  For example, Carey and Martin (2007), Center for School
Counseling Outcome Research, University of Massachusettes suggest that
possible selves theory and research offer a useful foundation for school
counseling interventions that facilitate student achievement. They
present the following principles for possible-selves based

1.  “Interventions that help students develop vivid, compelling
visions of their “hoped for”  “feared”, and “expected”
possible selves can be expected to promote achievement by enhancing
students’ motivation.”
2.  “Students are more likely to translate enhanced motivation into
actual achievement if the intervention is designed to help them: (a) see
the connection between their current
behavior and the attainment of desired future selves and/or the
avoidance of undesired
future selves; (b) establish goals that regulate and direct needed
learning; and (c) identify specific skills and/or strategies that they
have or need to learn to achieve their goals.”

3.  “Many students will benefit from interventions that expand their
range of “hoped for”
possible selves, especially when factors such as poverty,
discrimination, media, and the
absence of role models have resulted in an artificial constriction of
possible futures.

4.  “Interventions that help students envision a positive academic
self that is strongly
connected to attaining a desirable, or avoiding an undesirable future
self, are more likely
to promote achievement motivation and enhance school performance.”

5.  “Many students could benefit from interventions that integrate an
achievement-oriented academic identity with a positive social group
identity and harmonize those identities with achievement oriented

A well-established researcher who has conducted basic research on
possible selves and used the concept in academic interventions is Daphna
Oyserman.  You can access her work at:
Possible selves also have been applied to other areas in people’s
lives, such as career, weight loss, relationships, delinquency, etc.

Again, thanks for your e-mail.  It is always interesting to learn about
common concepts being used in different disciplines.  Jennifer


Jennifer L. Kerpelman, Ph.D.
Professor and Extension Specialist
Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies
203 Spidle Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-4149 (phone)
334-844-4515 (fax)


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Factors affecting life

I’m wondering about what the most important and uncertain ones of factors affecting life are. I think such factors may decide future life scenario. If you don’t mind, I would like to ask for your advice about these factors.

If you have some idea or opinion about the above question, please leave your comment in consideration of the following answers in order to share it with other people in the world.


From: John Zipp(Director of Education at Foundation for Stress Relief and Education)

Date: February 11, 2010

To: Michael Chang

Hi Michael,

The first factor is your health. If you you don’t have that, life isn’t as great. To be happy and to have the things and experiences in life to help lead you there, you need energy and vitality. So focusing on health should be a priority. There are so many ways to eat healthy. There seems to be a new diet every week if you look in the local bookstore or online. The trick is to eat in a way that makes you feel the best. Certain foods after you eat them will give you energy and make you feel great, others( like McDonald’s French fries) tend to make people feel tired and sluggish after eating them. So eat for energy and health( but it’s still okay to have the occasional scoop or two of ice cream).

The second factor is doing something you love to do. Even if you are doing a job right now you don’t like, then find things outside of your job to do that make you happy. If you really enjoy reading, then spend an hour a day reading a book you really enjoy. If you enjoy playing tennis, then go find people to play with on the weekends. To have a fun life, you constantly have to be doing fun things.

The third factor is your relationships with other people. People are the most important part of life. Its our relations with others that determines to a large extent the meaning of our life. Think about this…say you just won the lottery, what do you want to do ( well before you spend it)? Tell EVERYONE. Why? Because sharing it makes it so much bigger. Its in the act of sharing our experiences in life that makes them grow and mean so much more. So maintaining close connections with our good friends and family is really important.

Now the biggest uncertain factor affecting our lives is change. Nothing lasts Micheal. Everything is always changing. In the morning it might be sunny and we think we can go to the football game in the afternoon, but then it rains and it is cancelled. We might have a great job one day and the next we get fired. You never know. So we can’t control life, we can only control how we respond to it. We can only control how we feel about what happens to us. So the way to overcome the challenges of a world that is constantly changing is understanding ourselves and learning how to control of our emotions. Nothing is good or bad per say, it is how we think about situations in life that really counts. It would take hours of typing and many pages to write about all of that, but I just wanted to put the seed of the idea in your mind. Just think about it.

I hope that helps. Take nothing that I wrote for fact. They are just opinions. Test what I wrote out for yourself and see if it makes sense. If it does, go with it and feel free to write to me again. If not, toss it out and keep walking down the journey of your life. You are doing really great asking these questions. Few people take the time to really figure out what they want in life and how to have a happy life.

Sending you my best,

Dr. John Zipp

From: Rob Docherty(Freelance Software Consultan, United Kingdom)

Date: February 18, 2010

To: Michael Chang

 The most important factor is personal happiness and the uncertain factors are health and career.

From: chenbagam pillai(Adviser in production at Dhanvanthri Nilayam Ayurveda Clinic, India)

Date: February 18, 2010

To: Michael Chang

 Our life itself.
With regards.

From: Abdul Rahim Hasan(Marketing & Exports at Awal Dairy Company WLL, Bahrain)

Date: February 18, 2010

To: Michael Chang

 The only certainty in life is that nothing is certain. Not knowing what comes next, is what makes life worth-living.

From: Manish Singh(Partner at Chili Factor – Advertising Agency in Delhi, India)

Date: February 18, 2010

 To: Michael Chang


From: Sahar Andrade

  • Executive Director Social Media & Diversity Strategies/ Consultant at Sahar Consulting
  • Co-Founder at Children’s Choice
  • Date:February 19, 2010

    To:Michael Chang
    Beside what has been mentioned I would say someone’s state of health
    My sister at 32 having the world in the palm of her hand a medical doctor a professor in medical college a mother and wife was hit by cancer and passed away 1 week short of her 39th Bday
    i would say that is an uncertain factor that affected not only her life but the lives of everyone around her specially her children

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