Success without Strings Attached

What Retro-Futurism teaches us about creating reality

Frederick Dodson

Frederick Dodson

I like retro-futurism. That’s the way the world was envisioned a long time ago. I sat wondering why I like it. The answer is this: Science Fiction  between the late 1800s and 1960s was very optimistic! I am optimistic! (Don’t watch “the news” and you’ll be just as optimistic!)

Maybe it was too optimistic. In the 1970s to 1990s sci-fi took a dark turn into the dystopian. I recall 1970s paranoia-sci-fi such as “Blade Runner”, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, “Capricorn One” or the grim 1980s and 90s Terminator movies. These replaced the happy-go-lucky attitude of 1960s shows such as “The Jetsons”. Every era has a special mood to it, reflective of the culture. But it’s not only culture that influences fiction, fiction influences culture.

Retro sci-fi allowed me to see the realities how we dreamed them vs. how they actually manifested or failed to manifest. 

Sci-fi teaches us something about manifesting our own dreams. Some of what we envisioned in films, comics and books has come true, some hasn’t come true, some has yet to come true. 

 One of the most often visualized realities was that of flying cars. It was shown so often, I am surprised it has not yet come true. I’d have expected commercial flying cars by the year 2000, latest. Now it’s 2020 and we’re still not there. What happened? Why am I on the Covid-timeline instead of the flying car timeline?

Thinking about it more, I realize we do not really want it deep down. At least not yet. If we really wanted it, we’d have it by now. It looks good on pictures. But who really wants the beautiful blue sky covered with cars? And as much as we appreciate the cars we have on roads, who really likes crowded roads? They are noisy, smelly and ugly. Why would we want the same thing above our houses? The idea of drones whizzing around above our house is already unappealing enough. As attractive as I thought flying cars are, maybe it’s not a thing we welcome wholeheartedly. What the majority of people desire wholeheartedly, will eventually manifest. 

This vision of San Francisco (image below) was made more than 120 years ago. Some of it has come true, but not as amazing as in the vision. Science-fiction of the 18th and 19th Century, reminds us how imagination is confined to the style and tastes of the time. One easily recognizes sci-fi from the 1900s vs. from the 1930s vs. 1960s. If it involves “steampunk” style, it’s probably from the early 1900s, if it involves big breasted blonde haired women, it’s probably from the 60s. From that, you can see that the things we visualize are usually not separated from the culture we are surrounded by. 


This is why one of my “Imagination Training” exercises, is to have people imagine things that are not on Earth and they have never seen before, things dissimilar to anything they know. That’s “way out of the  box” thinking, and opens ones awareness beyond the current context. 

Thinking way-out-of-the-box allows you to notice and see things that nobody else sees, giving you an advantage in knowledge. The thinking of some of the most influential people in History is utterly alien to the thought and imagination process of those without influence. The box can only be influenced from outside of it. 

Each era has a certain feel to it. Can you guess, just from looking at the pictures above and below, from which times they are? 

I haven’t looked it up, but I suspect that the first image is from the 1930s or 1940s and the second image has a 1980s to 1990s feel to it. If an artist can mask the era in which his work was made, he or she is a genius because a timeless piece of art was made. Not that era-specific art is bad. But there are things you look at and think “I have no idea in which time that was made! It could have been made just today or a thousand years ago!” Examples of timelessness are perhaps the two images below. You likely couldn’t tell whether these structures were built 10 years ago, 50 years ago or a 100 years ago. 

Granted, the image above is obviously not modern. But if you saw this building in real life, you wouldn’t know which year you have time traveled to: 10 000 years into the past or a few hundred into the future? It has a timeless, non-era-specific quality to it. And the following place as well: Is it a thousand, 500 or 100 years old? Hard to say (if it weren’t for the ancient clothes the people are wearing).

While many things we have envisioned in the past have come true, they have not necessarily been appreciated or used the way we dreamed. This is also reflective of things in our personal life, where we dream of one thing coming true, and when it does we perhaps don’t make use of it or don’t even want it anymore. For example:

We do have driverless cars. We have had them for some time now. I remember back in the early 1990s, I was driving on the passenger seat of a student of mine. Suddenly he took his hands off the steering wheel and the car was driving by itself (looking back now, I don’t even know whether this was known back then or even legal). But then he went back to manual mode, saying “I thought I’d want this. But I don’t like it. It feels much better to be in control of the car. You give your mind something to do”. I fully agree.

You’d be surprised at how many things have come true but were not widely appreciated and so disappeared from the market. What we think we wanted is not always what we wanted. An added benefit of pre-visualizing what we want, is to know whether we really want it. If it gets boring after a few rounds of visualization, it’s not what we really want. But if the passion is still burning, no matter how often we think of it, it’s something we will feel driven to do. 

Some things have come true exactly as visualized, such as this 1959 visualization of a vacuum cleaning robot. 


How can you make sure that your goals are things you will still want once you achieve them? 

Well, you won’t. If you achieve it, you won’t want it, because you already have it 🙂

What I mean is this: How can you make sure it will make your life better? 

That’s where experience comes in: The longer you live, the more you get a feel for what you really want and really don’t want. You become discerning. The more goals you achieve, the more you filter out goals that are good for you and those that aren’t. So go ahead and achieve many goals. The more, the better, because then you refine your true hearts desire. 

As I’ve demonstrated in an earlier article, everything we experience today, was pre-visualized in the past. TV, Internet, Airplanes, Cars…everything was on peoples minds long before it manifested as reality. But not by it’s exact name, such as the following fun fake-retro posters suggest.

Sometimes making past dreams come true is merely a matter of money. As explained in my book “Time Travel”, physicists say that we could use wormholes to time travel, but such an endeavor would be more expensive than all the gold in the world, at this time. 

The following three images show sci-fi dreams that were made true or are currently being made true. Quiz: Can you intuitively tell, which of these is already real and which is not yet real?

Sometimes vision matches reality, other times it falls short of what was envisioned. Why? Because it’s easier to envision a thing than actually getting it done. Everyone has ideas, but that doesn’t mean they come true. A good example of this, is the following image from San Francisco 100 years ago.

You might be thinking: “What is that? I know San Francisco, but I’m pretty sure none of this is there”. And you’d be right. None of it is there. So what happened to it? It was all torn down. Wait…what? Why? Because it was a temporary build for the World Fair. A cheap-build. 

They had the vision to build this tremendous place as a temporary set, but no Will to make it more real. One could say, it was half-manifest. Imagination is only the first part of reality creation. The second part is Will. The third part is action. This scene in it’s real version, therefore, exists in a parallel-universe version of San Francisco.

As for the future? Whatever we are visualizing today, we will see some of, in the future. 


  1. Every phase of your life has a certain feel to it, but there is also a timeless you, a real you, that exists in the background throughout all phases. This is Soul or Higher Self. If you are able to think, do or show something that cannot easily be categorized to a known era or area, you are touching upon the timeless realm. All creativity comes from there. 
  2. Reality Creation is a matter of Imagination, then Will, then Action.
  3. If you wish to be more influential in the world, you have to think way out of the box.  
  4. A good goal will make your life better before and after it’s achieved. That means, the path to it is already fulfilling and it will keep being good for you, after it’s manifested. 

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