I hope you’re welcoming this year with open arms, because it’s a fresh start! No matter where you are in your life right now, you have the chance to guide your course and direction this year and accomplish some amazing things.
But I’m not here to talk to you about resolutions; I want to talk about vision. Unlike with resolutions or goals, vision is the fuel that motivates you to take action. When you’ve got vision, everything else in your life — your career, your relationships, etc. — falls into place.
Without vision, you really have no reason behind what it is you’re doing, and that’s a bigger problem than you might realize. Most of us know what to do, most of us know how to do what we need to do, but for some reason, the majority of us just don’t do what we intend to do. That’s what happens when we lack a driving force to guide our actions.
I believe in my heart of hearts that the message here can transform the entire direction of your career and your life. It’s your vision that defines who you are.
My friend Ray says, “As humans, we hunger for a vision. If we are unable to create a compelling vision for ourselves, we will latch onto someone else’s vision. With no vision for our future — ours or someone else’s — we extinguish our powerful internal fire. The good news? You can reignite it at any time.”
If you’ve been living and working without vision, now’s the time to change that. The first step to a strong vision is seeing yourself in a better situation than you are currently in — and doing so without justifying where you are now. Don’t make excuses for why you’re in debt, or why you’re unhealthy, or why you haven’t had a family dinner lately. You have the ability to reinvent yourself, starting now.
To do it, accept where you are today without reservation and envision yourself in a better situation tomorrow. While you’re at it, eliminate those “non-serving statements” — the negative programming that’s designed to keep you where you are and justify your position. Here are a few common non-serving statements I tend to hear a lot:
“You don’t understand where I’m coming from.”
“You haven’t walked in my shoes.”
“Jay, that’s easy for you to say — look where you are now!”
Whenever you argue your “story of limitations,” you’re only programming yourself to fulfill your own self-fulfilling prophecy. You have to let go of those limiting beliefs that keep you stuck.
- Where you grew up
- Medical condition
- Bad childhood
- Lack of education
These just aren’t good enough excuses to avoid success, let them go.
Now, it’s important to distinguish between vision and goals. Goals aren’t enough to keep you going — goals are not enough to get you past the tough days. You need them coupled with a vision of who you want to become.
Wherever you are, you can get to where you want to go. And I will never, never, never believe anyone’s excuse as to why they haven’t achieved success. Because I know You have the seeds of greatness within You.
So, what does this “vision” look like? The vision can be a relationship you want, a material desire, losing weight, a spiritual aspiration — but it’s all about making yourself a better “you.” In creating the vision, it’s not only what you see, it’s what you feel and what you hear. It’s your emotions. The vision needs to be written down in one paragraph, and part of writing this is thinking big. No limits! Do not worry about the how. The “how” will come after the vision is in place.
Once you’ve written your vision down, it’s time to take action. Part of that is meditating 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes before going to bed. During your meditation time, really hear and see the sounds of your vision. I also recommend some music to listen to for meditation. Check out Angelic Music by Iasos on iTunes, or http://www.themeditationpodcast.com for some great free background music.
To really experience your vision, ask yourself these questions:
- How will meeting these goals make you feel?
- How will others view you?
- What impact will this have on others?
It may sound silly, but experiencing your vision is essential. You can make your vision really come alive during meditation by approaching it with your senses and emotions. For instance, if you envision owning a particular car someday, ask yourself which place you’ll drive it to first. Who will you see while you’re driving the car, and who will see you? How do the seats and steering wheel feel? Do you detect that new car smell? How does the vehicle handle? And what sort of emotions does the new car evoke in you?
Personally, my current vision is to become someone of greater value. I want to cultivate a world of working with accountable and powerful people. I want to become a symbol of growth and contribution. And as part of my plan to achieve this, I’ve set a few goals, one of which is speaking on 35 live stages this year. In my morning and evening meditation, I see and feel myself doing all of this — and I see and hear people thanking me for making a difference in their lives.
Alongside the meditation, I’ve used some affirmations and vision language to help give me confidence in going after success. Consider using some of these:
- I am the type of person that can succeed.
- I am someone of value.
- I have a story that should be shared.
- I am worthy of helping others.
- I am grateful for who I am becoming.
What prophecy are you self-fulfilling? The problem I see most often is people do not run their lives based on impact or results (i.e. the vision). Instead, they run them based on payoff. For instance, when it comes to eating chocolate, the payoff is that it “tastes good.” But if you run your life based on results, you know that eating chocolate “makes you fat,” which is a compelling reason not to eat the chocolate.
Without a vision, you won’t stick to a daily routine, and your routine is what creates your results. When opportunities to “eat chocolate” come along, you won’t have a vision in your head of the results you seek, so you’ll succumb to the short-term payoff — which practically guarantees that you won’t get the big successes you want to achieve.
I think you can see why vision is so important now. So, set a goal with a deadline to sit down, by yourself, and write out your vision. Then, practice the daily meditations, take action on your goals, and see your life transformed this year!