Every Journey Starts the Same Way…

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

~ Carl Bard

That’s right! I’ve got my pom-poms out! I’m ready to cheer you on. There is NO time like the present to get started. Not tomorrow…not next week. Not when everything aligns perfectly. Don’t wait another second! Get started now!

Seriously, it’s never too late, but that doesn’t mean you should wait and see if you can be the exception to the rule.

Get off your butt and get moving! Get it started. You won’t finish, you won’t succeed tomorrow. You won’t reach your vision in the near future. Nope. Remember, it’s a long long journey. It’s a life walk. Don’t expect to get there overnight. But don’t let that keep you from starting!

Did you open this email thinking, “Hey! I need a kick in the butt to get myself moving?” If so, consider your butt firmly kicked by my enthusiastic boot. But, know that I execute the kick with love in my heart. Love for you and for your vision. Love for your potential…let’s start realizing it rather than waiting around for the perfect storm!

Ok, there a few (very few) of you who are already well into your visions. AWESOME! You are the example which can help the poor procrastinators among us get moving. You are the shining model of success (yup, if you are actively chasing your vision you are a success). So, you can ignore the first part of this note. So, have you helped light a fire under someone else? Have you given someone else that gentle (or firm) push to get started on their vision?

Don’t tell me you don’t know any other visionaries! I won’t believe you. If you’ve been working your vision, you’ve been networking. If you’re networking you will have attracted other visionaries to yourself.

Share your enthusiasm, your fears, your successes, and your failures. Pay it forward (or backward).

So this week’s message is simple:

  1. If you haven’t gotten started – GET STARTED!
  2. If you are working your vision – help someone else get started.
  3. If you are working your vision and have been helping others get started…AWESOME! Share your story with me (I could use a guest post occasionally!)

Remember, your vision won’t change the world if you don’t do anything!

Who Do You Love?

“Love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself, and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.”

~ Dr. Leo Buscaglia

I keep telling you to continuously share your vision.  I keep reminding you that others won’t like you and some will actually hate you – because of your vision.  I even give you the cheerful news that your vision will most likely outlive you – chances are good that you will NOT live to see your vision come true.

Downer huh?

Well, I think I should spend at least one of these notes to tell you how wonderful you are.  And you ARE wonderful. 

So, you need to love yourself (and all that other stuff too…but hey!  If you truly love yourself, you will accept yourself, forgive yourself and you will be good to yourself).

I don’t mean languish for hours in front of a mirror.  I DO mean that you have to take care of yourself.  Yup – the things you’ve heard for years and years… 

  1. Eat healthy
  2. Exercise
  3. Don’t do drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
  4. Avoid what drives you to sin
  5. Think happy thoughts 

You need to do the right things not just for others – but for yourself also.  If I were to do a study on visionaries I’m sure I’d find that one common trait is selflessness.  It seems that visionaries (the good kind) want to improve the world and make life better for others.  They are supreme givers.  The only weakness is visionaries forget to love themselves as much as they love their cause.

Now don’t get me wrong…I don’t want you to lessen your passion for your cause.  I don’t want you to let up for a moment on your vision.  I DO want you to realize that you have to love yourself so that you can fully love others.  You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of others.  You have to accept and forgive yourself if you are going to ever accept and forgive others. 

It’s not just so you’ll live longer and preach your vision longer.  You need to be healthy in mind, body and spirit if you are going to successfully share your vision.  You need to be articulate, witty, personable, and committed.

Remember, You are a Source of Many Wonderful Things – and your vision is just one of those!

Are you a control freak?

The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure

~ Sven Goran Eriksson

It’s not a new argument, I’ve heard it many times before; “but I can’t control if people actually change.” As if this stops the vision dead in its tracks. Somehow if we can’t control the outcome we shouldn’t bother trying to make the world change.

But, I wonder – what in this world can we truly control? Especially when we’re talking about change where other people are involved? Even if we want to just change our own lives – there is little more than our attitudes, thoughts, and feelings we can truly control.

We need to stop trying to control and instead settle for leading! Sounds strange doesn’t it? Leading should be as hard as controlling…but it’s not. Few people want to lead – but we all CAN, while most people want to control what happens – but no one truly can.

If you can truly control something – it’s not a goal, and definitely NOT a vision. Nope…if you can control the outcome, then it’s a task (at best) and likely a responsibility.

LEAD! Lead by example. Lead by sharing your vision. Lead by giving and helping others succeed.

Do NOT water-down your vision because you can’t see how to achieve it! Don’t back off even one iota because you can’t see how to make it happen. If you could control it, you would have already made it a reality – and actually someone else would have already! Your job is to steer the ship.

To lead you need Faith, Passion, and Perseverance. You have to fully believe in the “What” you are trying to achieve…don’t worry about the “How.” That will come. Perhaps from one of your disciples. Perhaps from a stranger. Perhaps from within. I don’t know where it will come from, but it will come if you keep sharing your vision.

A simple example: If your vision is to cure a disease – to remove it from our world; you don’t have to be an infectious disease scientist…You have to be a leader. To put a man on the moon and bring him back safely didn’t require JFK to be aeronautical genius.

Give up control!

Take on the challenge – Live your Vision, because if you do…You Will Change The World!

Predicting the Future

The best way to predict the future is to invent it
~ Alan Kay (renowned computer scientist)

In a recent online post, the writer had this to say about the above quote: “Aside from masterful technologists like Mr. Kay, few among us have the capacity to actually create the future.”

I found this utterly depressing and totally wrong. The idea that only a few masterful technologists can invent the future is myopic and pessimistic.

As a visionary you can and if successful WILL invent the future. Mankind has been inventing our future since Adam ate the apple. It’s one of our blessings and curses – that we of all creatures can invent our futures. The question has always been, What type of future will we create? It’s up to us. It’s up to you.

What is the future you plan on inventing?

Many think a leader’s job is figure out the road the organization is on and the impending changes so we can react accordingly. But a true leader does more than predict the future, she shapes it. A true leader designs the future and then makes it a reality.

None of the worlds’ successful visionaries were satisfied to leverage the inevitable! Instead they dreamed of the most unlikely futures and made them reality. Pick your favorite visionary (if you haven’t found one yet – go out and research a little), and see what the future looked like before she started spreading her vision.

You can invent the future – and your vision is the first step in making it a reality!

Remember, Your Vision Will Change the World!

What do you do?

(An age-old question asked when you first meet someone)          

I try to keep up.  I try to stay tuned in.  I read Inc. magazine (the best I’ve found), skim through Fast Company and have the Zite app on my Ipod.  I subscribe to a few Linkedin groups and will take the time to look at the emails from Linkedin titled:  Top Content, Tailored For You.  One of the posts in this past week’s content covered the problems with a common question you ask someone you first meet;  “What do you do?”  The writer had an interesting insight.

Rather than explain what you do by giving your job title (that doesn’t really answer the question) or a laundry list of tasks you perform, she suggested you “share what impresses you about the work you do.” 

You know where I’m going with this.

I like the suggestion, but I’m willing to bet that the thing you do that impresses you the most is the work you’re doing toward your vision.  Regardless if your vision is work-related, spiritual, health, or retirement-centered…the most exciting thing you could share will be your vision.  Take the opportunity when asked, “what do you do?” to share what you’ve done recently to make your vision come true. 

Basically people ask the question as an ice-breaker.  Most don’t pay attention to your answer unless it’s different or fits their current needs in life.  If you say you bake cupcakes and I was planning a birthday party, you will have gotten my curiosity.  If you say you are trying to change the world, you have my attention.  (Any movie or book is good for at least one paraphrase).
The next time (and every time) you meet someone new, try out that 30 second elevator speech about your vision!  When you’re asked, “so, what do you do?”  Tell them, “I’m working hard to change the world.”  And then go on to tell them how.

I saved the quote for the end this time:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
~ Confucius

If that’s true of a job, just think of how much you will enjoy your life if you focus on your vision!

Remember, Your Vision WILL Change the World

Resume Builder

“Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently. This builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust.” -Lance Secretan

So, there’s another description of a Visionary. If you are visionary, you reek of authenticity! No doubt about it. If you are living the life of a visionary, there is total alignment within your body, mind, and spirit. If there is even a question of alignment, chances are you are allowing yourself to be distracted.

Live your vision, every day and night. Your vision doesn’t take a vacation. It won’t allow you to put it in the bottom drawer of your dresser to only be pulled out in the winter. It’s not a favorite hat or handbag. It is an all-the-time thing.

Like an artist – singer, painter, printer, writer, or actor who is consumed by their calling, you are consumed by your vision. Artists, true artists who surrender themselves to their vocation, don’t have time for distractions. Artists can’t afford to waste time – the burning need in their souls won’t allow for it. Oh, that we should all live with such passion. Not all of us are artists. Not all of us are visionaries. But visionaries and artists are very much alike.

We are all “consumed by passion.”

So, when you are describing yourself, feel free to add those terms to your resume:

Passionate. Authentic. Driven. Artist.

Remember, your vision will change you, and if you stick at it, the world too!

Press On!

Have a dream, make a plan, go for it. You’ll get there, I promise.

~ Zoe Koplowitz, marathon runner who is afflicted with multiple sclerosis and diabetes

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

~ Calvin Coolidge

Two quotes for the price of one!

Being a visionary isn’t easy. A lot of time’s it’s not fun. As I’ve warned you many times, chances are you won’t even see your vision come true…it probably will take longer than your life time to come true. But still you persist. Why?

Is it enough to know it is the “right thing to do?” Is it enough to realize that anything worth doing requires more than you can give on your own? Is your self-esteem strong enough to weather the stones and arrows of those who are against you? Is your self-worth solid enough to help you persist?

Know that you are not alone.

Know that you ARE doing the right thing, for the right reasons, in the right way.

Know that you ARE loved. Know that you ARE appreciated.

Know that your vision will change the world – and even if no one ever says it, know that we thank you.

You belong to a very exclusive group – a group of people who care more about others, care more about the future, than they do about themselves. You are a rare commodity…someone who will do the right thing when no one is watching, when no one will know, when no one will ever thank you.

Well, almost no one.

“Thank you!”

“Keep up the good fight”

Live long and prosper

“Live long and Prosper”

Our greatest asset is a bold vision

~ Fr. John Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame

Many times we think of our vision as a burden. A calling is not always an easy thing to live with. It defines us but it also drives us – relentlessly. Artists have experienced this for centuries – the compulsion to create. Lovers – lifelong companions have felt the pangs of separation. Having a vision can be a painful proposition.

But, having a vision is also a great gift.

We need to value our visions. We have to give them their due and celebrate our calling. We have to embrace the direction we’ve been given. It’s a great opportunity as well as a responsibility.  

I’m currently reading “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge and one of the major points is that to be healthy into our 80’s requires something I hadn’t expected. There’s the need for exercising (daily) and eating right. But to my surprise a major factor in our health (per the book) is commitment to something. Not a promise or relationship, but a dream…a vision!

Value your Vision. It’s a great gift.

Live long and prosper…and while you’re doing it, Change the World!

Remember, Your Vision Will Change the World,

 

(I’ve got to add pics to these!)

How to be a Visionary

Helping Visionaries Realize the Future Today

I will start posting my weekly Vision Setting messages here as well as sending them out via email.  The purpose is simple, the goal is lofty, and the method is clear.

Purpose

I’ve been working with individuals and organizations for over five years, helping visionaries better define their very large, very scary, world-changing goals.  Of all the ways I can help people realize their dreams – helping those who want to change the world (for the better) is the most rewarding.  One of the best ways I’ve found to help others is to remind (nag) them of their vision…not the goal itself, but the pros, cons, trials and tribulations which come along with being a visionary.  Of course I like to also remind them of the rewards. 

Visionaries aren’t prophets or psychics.  Visionaries are the small minority of people who dream big and are willing to dedicate their lives to their dreams.  My favorites are also my heroes; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Gandhi, Jesus Christ, and Albert Einstein. 

My Goal

My goal is lofty, as are the goals of all of the visionaries I work with.  And like most goals, it’s a simple one.  I want to help 10 Visionaries succeed at changing the world (for the better).  I was happily surprised to find so many visionaries with goals which are world changers.  Almost everyone I meet has a vision, a dream, or a really large and scary goal.  Sometimes it’s to leave the security of their current job and strike out as an entrepreneur.  For one it’s to retire and set up shop on a ranch in New Mexico.  But, there are only a few (still more than anticipated) who have dreams which are at the “world-changing” level.  So, my vision is to help at least ten of the visionaries I find to succeed and realize their dreams. 

My Method

Not everyone succeeds.  And even of those who succeed, history has told us quite clearly that most will not live to see their dreams realized.  It is an easy extrapolation then for me to determine that I am unlikely to see my own vision (10 successful visions) come true.  So, to realize my vision, I have to help many more than ten.  One hundred may be enough, but I like to hedge my bets.  I’ll try to find 1,000 visionaries with world-changing dreams.  If I can help them, I run a good shot of realizing my dream.  Not necessarily in my lifetime.  This is the cross a visionary bears…that they can work their whole lives toward a vision and never see it come to fruition.  Imagine the faith and passion required to drive someone when it is more likely that they will not see the full fruits of their labor. 

These are the people I am called to help. 

A Note

You may have noticed that I kept clarifying the type of visions I want to help succeed…ones which will change the world for the better.  You may not think this distinction is necessary…but I do.  I have to discern the vision and the heart of the person who has it.  There have been many world-changing visionaries, some unfortunately successful, who had visions which did not make the world a better place.  There are common traits among them which thankfully make it easy to discern their hearts.  I avoid these visionaries…  No, I don’t try to change them – since it is a boon and a curse of all visionaries that they are also zealots for their cause. 

Winston Churchill said, “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

So the trick is to find fanatics who have a good heart and a worthy vision.