One of the key ways to optimize student performance and help them achieve their goals is by helping them visualize outcomes. Without fully realizing it, when they are able to literally envision themselves graduating from school or entering into an exciting career, they trigger important psychological processes that help them bring their goals into reality. This is known as destination thinking.
Destination thinking is a term used by Dr. Dennis R Deaton, co-founder of Quma Learning Systems to help individual, teams and entire organizations perform at higher levels. His Destination Thinking Model is a proven three-step process:
- Envision the Future
- Engage the Present
- Eliminate the Gap
This process, when applied to students, will help them own their education and start making smarter decisions that will lead to success.
At its core, destination thinking relies on asking five questions:
- Where do I want to be and by when?
- What will it look like, sound like, feel like when I get there?
- Why do I want to get there—why does it matter?
- Where am I now?
- What changes do I need to make to get there?
Students who ask themselves these questions open up more powerful lines of thinking, because the questions require the students to take responsibility for their outcomes. They must consider their current ways and make decisions in the present that will lead the students to the future that they want. Questions that promote ownership and responsibility help students be more independent as they sense their power to shape their own destiny. Getting high grades, graduating from a good school, selecting a meaningful career and landing their dream job are just some of the rewards they achieve with this level of confidence and competence.
Destination thinking boosts personal growth and enlarges the person's contributions to the world around them. For students, this is important for making the connections they will need later in life to be successful at whatever they do. Ultimately, destination thinking equips students with a lifelong skill for achieving whatever they choose to do.
As part of our Own It! course, we teach students how destination thinking can help them change the path they are on and turn it into one destined for personal growth and success. We help them make the choice to succeed through the five questions and three-step plan, enabling them to shape their own future.
The future of this country relies on bright, innovative students to take the reins one day. We can do our part as educators by providing them the tools they will need to accomplish this with skill and personal satisfaction.