The year was 1782. Joseph the paper maker gazed at the crackling fire in the grate, pleased with how quickly it had lit this time – although he rarely had problems getting it started, unlike his brother Étienne.
He eased back into his favourite armchair in the semi-darkness, and as the burning wood began to release its sweet-sour perfume into the room, he sank into a reverie watching the sparks spit and glow, immediately bright and rapidly extinguishing, like shooting stars as they raced upwards for the chimney, desperate to beat one another aloft into the blackness.
What force, he wondered, drove them thus? Perhaps some mysterious gas containing explosive energy released from the flames. Sinking further, and deeper into a gentle waking dream, he fancied bubbles of this gas, floating, trapped inside watery envelopes, rather like the bubbles created when forcing soapy water through a narrow ring in the way that children played.
What would it be like to imagine a great cloud of this gas, contained and trapped beneath a vast paper blanket, or even better, a vast paper and linen bubble, open at the bottom with a burning fire slung below.
How big would such a balloon have to be to lift the weight of a man?!!! How would it be for the first ever human being to rise high above the ground and be swept along like the birds…looking down on rooftops, on treetops, on landscapes and people appearing so small below?!!!....What would it be like to sail high above his house, looking down on the chimney tops that had funnelled the sparks and wood smoke aloft. How strange and satisfying to remember those first musings that had given rise to this eighth wonder of the world, a man suspended in what had been the exclusive domain of clouds, birds and flying insects since the dawn of history. He could call his discovery “Montgolfier Gas!”...
The Wright Brothers, bicycle makers, dreamed in 1899, of an airscrew or propeller that if fixed to a petrol engine, could pull an aeroplane through the air long enough to sustain flight. Arthur C. Clark in 1946, published his vision of an amplifier floating in the upper atmosphere, that could bounce clear radio messages to the other side of the world. Jules Verne, in 1870, wrote of an atomic powered submarine, just forty years after the invention of the first crude dynamo or electric motor. These imaginings changed the world forever!
Would you like to learn how to imagine and shape your future? What if you could pick a date in your personal or collective future, create your ideal scenario for that time – and then learn how to make it a reality? And the beauty is, when you can do it once, you can do it over and over again – after all we don’t have just one possible future!
Find out on these pages about Future-basing® and how to acquire the skills.