See it, believe it, achieve it.
Where there is no vision the people perish.
– Proverbs 29:18
Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you can imagine it.
– George Lucas
Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then we shall find the way.
– Abraham Lincoln
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.
I could go on and on with the great vision quotes. The bottom line is that vision is the creation of our world before it exists. This is true for inventors, for entrepreneurs, for artists, authors and, yes, it is also true for you and I. Vision is the precursor to reality in our lives. This is why we have to be careful to make sure we have positive, empowering vision that informs the life we want, instead of vision that creates reality we don’t. I know that some reading this will think it is hocus focus foolery, but it is not. The fact that the mind and the thoughts we allow, create and foster in it are extreme indicators of the outcomes in our life is a fact beyond dispute at this point; while the great philosophers have always known this, science has since proved it. But, like all knowledge, it only matters rather you do, and what you are willing to do about it. In this blog I intend to to give the exact formula anyone can use to accomplish, or at least move towards, anything he or she wants in life, as well as some real examples on how I have done this and do this in my own.
The first step towards creating a new reality is to see it (vision). I saw the place that Krav Maga Martial Arts would be for years before I opened the dojo. Right before I did, in October of 2000, I wrote the mission statement that we are living today. I am in an entrepreneur mastermind and see the great difficulty some have in writing their Vision and Mission statements. Mine flew out of my mind and onto paper as easily as I am penning this. The truth is, I had been writing it for decades; I just had to get it out of my head, into my business and then back out into the world. This is the way it is with anything. So first action item is, decide and then imagine and then create in your mind the vision of the life you want.
The second step is to believe. The great American entrepreneur Henry Ford said so poignantly, “rather you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right”. Even after we create for our life a vivid vision of what we desire (and strong desire is incidentally also a secret ingredient to making this all work), we have to believe we can make it come true. Our subconscious mind is master, and harder to fool than any other person is. Your mind will only begin actually working to manifest your vision if you are all in. You must believe in your vision, in your team, in your God, and in your own ability to become, to do and to get what it is that you want. This part is simple, not easy. Like most things, developing your belief muscle takes a lot of training. But like all things, the more you work at it, the better you will get.
The third step is an oft overlooked one in our world today; you have to work your ass off. I do believe that whatever success I have enjoyed to this point in my life came as the result that I work hard. My vision and belief were actually kind of weak early on; but God gave me opportunities and I worked hard and so I was blessed. As a young paratrooper in the US Army, I won an Army Green to Gold scholarship. I went on to have a successful military career as an Army officer. I worked hard and trained hard studying martial arts all of my military career in spite of the fact that I had to do it around crazy hard work and frequent deployments. I was having my first birthings of vision at that time. Even though I thought I would do my 20 and retire as an Army Colonel or something, I often fantasized of what it would be like if I had my own martial arts school. Sometimes I would be thinking about what I would do differently and better. I also often taught on bases and schools I was working at, further rehearsing the vision I didn’t even know I had yet- to one day open an amazing dojo empowering thousands of lives through martial art!
While we have empowered many lives over the last 19 years, we are nowhere near done yet! My vision, belief and desire are stronger than ever, and I don’t just think about it. Everything that I do every day is meant to move me towards my vision. At work, I sow into an amazing team and hope to help them accomplish their vision and goals while they help accomplish mine. In my private life I sow into my kids and grandson as best as I can, because helping them grow into people who fulfill their vision for their lives is also a part of mine. And, rather teaching a class, working on a system or writing this blog, I am sowing into my vision to make an impact on my world. Even as a young man, and either in spite of or because of low self esteem and a lack of confidence (believe it or not) I had at that time, I knew that I wanted to make a difference. More than anything I wanted to become someone who could speak into other people’s lives in a way that developed self esteem and grew confidence. To this day it inspires me when one of my students comes back to tell me about the positive difference I made in their life. I feel alive, validated and fueled to keep doing what I do when this happens.
I almost removed the last part of the last paragraph because I wasn’t sure it directly supports what I am trying the share in this blog. But then I realized that the feeling of satisfaction I get when students tell me I’ve made a difference for them may actually be the last step:
- develop a vision for what you want for your life
- believe you can achieve it
- do the work it will take
- check to ensure you’re on the right vision. If it doesn’t bring you joy and/or positively affect others, perhaps it’s time to start over.