The Power of Creative Vision!
Dear Success Seeker,
The other night I watched movie 'The Martian' which received numerous Academy Award nominations. During our post-movie discussion, the topic of Elon Musk's vision to colonize Mars came up and one member of our group said, "That's impossible; we don't know how to do that."
I had a negative reaction to this statement because it implies that you must know how to do something before you can choose it as a goal or vision. While many people approach life in this way, I consider it one of the biggest obstacles to prosperity and happiness that there is.
When setting goals or choosing a vision, the majority of people look towards the future in a linear way. They cast their eyes forward from where they are today and identify a future that seems practical and achievable based on their current resources, capacity and way of thinking. If you take this approach, you won't get far. Instead you'll end up playing small and experiencing the following:
1) You'll plod along the path of least resistance, avoiding risk, challenge and creativity. Instead of living fully you'll experience a life that is boring and monotonous.
2) You'll remain within your comfort zone and miss the opportunity to fully develop your skills, experience and capacity;
3) You won't achieve your goals and are unlikely to get the things you want in life;
4) You'll never discover what is truly possible for you to achieve.
The truth is that you absolutely do not need to know how to do something before you set it as a goal. Creative minds and big thinkers ignore the realities and limitations of the present. Instead they choose a vision for the future that inspires them. They imagine their ideal future fully created, commit to it and then think from that future backwards to the present. This works because, as Napoleon Hill said, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."
Here's a classic example. In 1961 when John F. Kennedy announced, "Before this decade is out, America will land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth." At that time the Americans were getting badly beaten in the space race by the Russians who had launched the first satellite in 1957 and then accomplished the first manned orbit of the earth. For America to land a man on the moon was both improbable and for most people, totally inconceivable. And yet the vision was brought into being.
Choosing a big vision and living into it works because:
1) It inspires and energizes you, calling you forth to make things happen and deliver your best possible performance;
2) Even when you don't know what needs to be done or how to do it, your commitment creates a tension that attracts the solutions and resources you need;
3) Your vision attracts and inspires others to join your cause. When you are committed to something bigger than yourself, other people will show up and join with you.
Of course there will be complications, mistakes and disasters along the way to your vision. Eight American astronauts died in training before the successful lunar landing. But if you try to avoid mistakes you will end up playing small and never achieve anything worthwhile. You must look at problems as temporary setbacks and not as failures. As the Chinese proverb goes, "A blow that does not kill me makes me stronger."
One of my favorite quotes about vision comes from the Gordon Lightfoot song, Canadian Railroad Trilogy. The lyrics go, "They looked in the future and what did they see? They saw an iron road running from the sea to the sea." In 1871 the transcontinental CPR was a bold, audacious dream that was technically unachievable. Fourteen years later it was a reality.
So look in your future and what do you see? Forget about projecting ahead based on the limitations of today. Start from a blank slate and imagine a future that inspires you. As long as you can fully "conceive and believe" it, you can have it. And even if it doesn't work out as you hope or plan, if you take bold action towards your vision, your life will reach heights far beyond what you can imagine.
To your success!
Andrew Barber-Starkey, Master Certified Coach
Founder and President, ProCoach Success System
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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