I would like to take you on a little trip. So, for the moment, I am going to ask that you rule out the distractions around you. Take a deep breath and find your center.
Unplug from everything and follow along:
Imagine the morning. You are awake and ready for the day. There is nothing pressing and nothing pending. The slate is clean and you are about to leave your home and start the day.
Imagine yourself in your desired surroundings. See your home and decorate this exactly as you would want it to be. Think about the different rooms and the furniture. Think about the shelves and the entertainment center in your living room. Imagine the way the rooms would flow into one another. The sun is beaming in through the windows and the day is bright.
See yourself here. You are ready to leave your home. You grab your keys and the rest of your things. The sun is shining. The sky is clear and blue. The air is warm and the wind is kind. Imagine yourself as you leave the door to your home. You are heading out to start your day. Your schedule is set. You are rested and fed. There is no worry and there are no discomforts. This is you at your best.
You place the strap from your bag over your shoulder and make your way to the door.
Think about this . . .
Take a deep breath and see this as best you can.
You sit in your car. You roll the windows down and maybe put on some music. As you back out of your driveway, you take notice of the trees around you. Everything is green and all the colors of the world are bright and perfect.
You are surrounded by beautiful landscapes. The sun is up and as you drive, you move through the streets of your dreams. There is no stress. There is no fear. No anxiety. Just you and your dreams and the vehicle you’re in, which takes you exactly where you want to be.
Again, there is no stress. There is no rush, Everything that is scheduled is on-time. All of your work is done. Your files are up to date. Your plans are in the works. There are no pending emails or deadlines. There’s only you and your drive to meet your success. . .
I’ve used this vision to guide me to the places I want to be. I have chosen to give myself a picture in order to build my dreams and design them to my liking. The above vision statement has been part of my strategy for a long time now. I use this in order to create a running program that my thought machine takes hold of. This way, my dreams become a habit. I can detail my vision. I can change or improve it.
I can build my hopes to create my dreams and make them all come true to the best of my ability.
Understanding our journey is more than knowing what we want. This is partly understanding where we have been. This is partly understanding where we want to be and partly how we want to get there. This practice is partly recognizing what does and does not work for us.
I have a longstanding agreement with myself:
If I can’t see it, then how can I have it?
This means I have to see my dreams so I know what they look like.
I work on my vision on a daily basis. I put pieces together and work on my trick. Sometimes the picture changes. Or better yet, sometimes my picture improves. Therefore, the goals I shoot for look different than the goals I had before them. Either way, the strategy is to achieve my goals and to feed my vision to keep them valuable. It is often the case where people choose to seek mediocrity that they have forgotten the value of their dreams. Or, perhaps this comes from discouragement. However, by building our personal vision statement, the overall dream becomes so worthy that nothing else is an option. Therefore, we give our vision depth and contrast so that we see this clearly.
Our thought machine holds this picture and thus, suddenly, we begin to operate on behalf of what we want to see in our life. I remember listening to a guided meditation where the idea was to build a picture in the mind. The instructions were to hold it close. Let this form into a running program and allow the view to become a blueprint to build the model of the life we choose.
I was sifting through the program of my first coaching lesson and stopped here, at something called “The Vision Statement.” This was the beginning of where my personal programs changed and how I learned to implement my plans to become part of my life.
In the previous pages, I talked about life as we knew it. I used various analogies to help tie mental pictures into sensible plans. I talked about goals and the life we hope for. The intention here is to outline, understand and improve the quality of our thinking, which is perhaps the best resource that we own. Our thinking and our focus is what leads us in our desired direction. But not without practice or without repetition. This includes a strategy, plan, tactics and implementation.
I have spent years building my trick. I have this thing. At least this is what I call it.
My thing. My trick.
I have this picture in my mind of me in my special little workshop. This is my studio as well as my sanctuary. I build my plans here. I draw up blueprints and measure the model that I’m looking to build.
I can say that my plans have changed and so has the model. I have kept my notes on past models to use as helpful hints that keep me going. My picture has evolved and though my dreams have altered throughout the years, I remain forward facing and forward thinking, regardless of whatever setbacks have come my way.
I have allowed myself the training to have my routines become a habit, which is important because habits are a series of actions that can be done without input from the mind. My routine has become a habit, which is why I wake up before my alarm rings in the morning. I wake up. I walk over to a little machine with a blue-lighted button in my kitchen. I push the button and thank the coffee gods for their addition to my life. I stand there in the darkness of early morning and hear the hissing gurgle of my coffee machine. It is dark outside. The rest of the common world is sleeping; however, I have chosen to be uncommon (and to me, this has made all the difference).
Regardless of whether the day is warm or cold, or if the weather is nice or otherwise, and regardless of the stress or the pending work or problems around me; I make sure to honor the commitments that I’ve made to myself. I make sure to honor this picture that I have formed in my head. I practice this picture each and every morning. I give my vision depth. I see this. I picture myself in the environments of my choice. I see my working model as it runs like a streaming video in my mind. I keep this with me wherever I go.
In some of my recent work, I am contracted to give a weekly seminar that takes place at the end of the day in a big conference room. The webinar is midweek and on camera. Our topics are various discussions of personal and mental fitness. We talk about self-talk and the internal narrative. We talk about relationships and personal value, worth, culture and culture/freedom. We talk about mental health, depression and anxiety. I am live and on point for an hour-long seminar in a corporate environment.
My location during the filming is one that I had never dreamed of, and yet, this is exactly what I’ve dreamed of. Each day while practicing my vision, I have seen myself in scenarios like this. I saw myself leaving my home and getting into my car. I saw myself creating wellness programs and coaching people to build a better life for themselves. I envisioned this in detailed pictures to keep me working and moving towards this vision until it became true.
Each week, I take a photograph from the conference room window of a tall, hi-rise building in downtown, New York City. I shake my head because I am here. Sometimes, I can’t believe it. But it’s true. I’m here.
The vision statement that I shared above is something that belongs to me. This is my passion and my direction; however, the idea of having a personal vision statement is international and the benefits are enough to keep our hopes alive.
Years ago, I stood at the head of a classroom during breakfast time on Sunday mornings in a homeless shelter. This was my first empowerment class. The aim was to promote and encourage the drive to take the necessary steps to achieve housing. I told the class about the benefits of our vision statements.
I started this chapter with a vision statement of mine. The statement has not changed; however, the locations where I share these details have gone from a homeless shelter to one of the largest global consulting firms in the world.
This was a vision of my thought machine.
And now, it’s a reality.