Surround Yourself Within Your Vision

My Vision

If you have seen my Instagram post from today, you will know that I am writing this post from James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

You may think that I am travelling; however, that assumption would be incorrect. I am not here as a traveller, but instead, I am at the airport as a visionary.

You see, my vision for the future is to travel the world as a writer and speaker. Where do people need to go to travel the world? THE AIRPORT!

I have purposefully planted myself within the realm of the destination that I have for my life. I am at the airport. Sure, I don’t have a ticket YET, but one day I will. As I sit at a cafe, next to the “Domestic & International Flights” departure gates, I am consumed and engulfed within the environment and context of my future. This is where I want to be. No…this is where I WILL BE.

 

Why?

For the most part, I write my articles for this website at a local Starbucks. I love Starbucks coffee, and enjoy the environment. But, I don’t want to simply consume my environment. Instead, I want my environment to WORK FOR ME.

I can attest that as I sit here, and write at the airport, I have a feeling of excitement within my spirit – and yeah, as I said, I don’t even have a ticket anywhere! The excitement is because this setting…my goal…my dream…is activating the confidence and belief that I have for my future. My goal of travelling the world is becoming more real…like I can actually reach out my hand and touch it.

I am convinced that when you place yourself in the environment of your goals and aspirations, the excitement of the moment will inspire you to reach new levels.

Sure, I could still write the same articles at Starbucks, and probably get the same hits and views, but Starbucks doesn’t fuel my spirit like the airport can. The airport is a tangible representation of my vision. My vision is possible. Check that…my vision is my destiny.

Airport!

Jim Carrey

I love the story of Jim Carrey and how he took a piece of his vision and applied it to his current situation.

As a struggling comedian/actor in the late 1980’s, living out of his van in Los Angeles, Jim wrote himself a cheque for “acting services rendered” for the amount of $10 million dollars, and placed it in his wallet. He even dated the cheque for a specific time in the future. By doing this, he gave himself a deadline. For the next few years, whenever he opened his wallet, he saw the cheque. Although he was broke and homeless at the time, whenever he saw the cheque, a passion was refuelled and ignited on the inside to accomplish his vision. As fate would have it, within weeks of his deadline, he received a $10 million cheque for acting services rendered for the movie Dumb and Dumber.

By placing a cheque in his wallet, Jim Carrey was activating his vision. Instead of just dreaming about being a rich movie star, he took an extra step, and gave himself something tangible and real to remind himself of where he would be. Jim Carrey made his vision real before it was real.

Here is a short clip of Jim Carrey on the Oprah Winfrey show telling his story.

 

Application/Challenge

I remember a few years back, I had a vision to teach at two different schools near my house. Instead of just wishing that one day I would be hired, my wife and I would go to the school, park in the staff parking lot, and walk around the perimeter of the property (after school hours, of course).

I remember as I was walking around the perimeter of the school, I could feel my vision becoming activated. Even though at the time, I was employed at a different school in a different district, the simple act of placing myself within the environment of my vision, like the airport today, gave me an inspiration and excitement for my vision that nothing else could or would equal. Guess what? Within a five-year period, both schools hired me to be a part of their teaching staffs.

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Is there a particular university that you want to be enrolled in? Then I challenge you to go the university! Sit in the cafeteria. Walk around the bookstore. Walk around campus. Place yourself in the environment already, before it’s  even “real”.

Is there a particular job you want? Like me, go there, walk around the property, and make it REAL to you, instead of a far-off wish.

Do you want a 90 average in school? Like Jim Carrey, write yourself a visual of the future. Go on a computer, and begin to draft a report card that you envision for yourself, full of high 90’s in difficult courses; then place it somewhere that you will be reminded of it often.

Whatever your goal or vision, begin to surround yourself with tangible evidence that you can see, feel, and touch right now, today! Your vision will become activated in ways you never saw or felt possible.

Get better.

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Be True To You & Your Inner Circle

Be True To You

There have been many different studies based on the life regrets of dying people. Over and over again, however, no matter the study, there is one regret that is consistently near or at the top of each list, and that is: “I wish I would have lived a life true to myself, and not the life expected of me by others.”

This article then, is simply an encouragement and plan for you to chase YOUR dreams, and live YOUR purpose and vision, so that you may reach YOUR destiny.

For you to live true to you, it is absolutely essential to cultivate the biggest factor in living a life of no regrets; and that is…

Your Environment

I have learned that the environment you CHOOSE to place yourself in is the single biggest factor in whether or not you will accomplish the dreams and goals you have for your life.

Your environment is the circle of people that you choose to spend the most time with. Essentially, your environment is your INNER CIRCLE of family and friends.

For you to live true to yourself, it is essential that your inner circle be comprised of people that share the same values and beliefs as you.  When those in your inner circle share the same values and beliefs, they will understand YOU. They will understand your goals and dreams. As a result, they will lift you up and encourage you, instead of distracting you or tearing you down.

Your Inner Circle

Here are some thoughts on selecting and evaluating your inner circle:

  • The bigger your dreams, the smaller your circle. Let’s get this out of the way right now: if you have HUGE dreams, I guarantee you will need to immediately remove some people from your inner circle. Why? Because when you have huge dreams, fewer people will be accepting and understanding of those dreams. You will make people uncomfortable. However, when you have mediocre dreams, you don’t have to be as selective because most people can accept and welcome mediocrity much easier than they can excellence or greatness. When people chase excellence, mediocre people get scared and intimidated, and respond by tearing you down. If you have heard people say, “You can’t do that” or “That’s impossible”, please, do yourself a favour and begin to remove those people from your inner circle. Today. I have heard it said that sheep flock together, while a lion walks alone. Be very selective!

 

  • Have a  common GOAL and VISION. Just like how a championship level sports team will be made of people who share the same goal and vision, your inner circle needs to be modelled the same way. As a teacher, nothing discourages me more than watching a student with ‘A-Level’ aspirations allow a peer with ‘D-level’ aspirations into their inner circle. Why? Because PEOPLE GENERALLY FALL TO THE LOWEST LEVEL OF EXPECTATIONS ALLOWED BY THEIR ENVIRONMENT. That means the student with ‘D-level’ aspirations will drag the ‘A-student’ to their level, instead of the other way. Sadly, in time, the ‘A-student’ will no longer resemble a person with high aspirations. Instead, they will begin to be late, make excuses, do just enough to get by, and hide from challenges – the student with high aspirations will no longer be distinguishable from the lower level. It’s a sad story.

 

  • Never allow ‘outer circle’ people to creep into your inner circle. In the example above, where a student with ‘A-level’ aspirations was dragged down to the lowest level of their environment; there is a simple solution to avoid the pitfalls of a mediocre environment: STOP SPENDING SO MUCH TIME WITH THAT PERSON!! If you are unable to completely cut a ‘D-level’ person out of your life, because they are a close family member or life-long friend, simply begin the process of moving them into your outer circle. Slowly but surely, begin to spend less and less time with that person, until their expectations of you are no longer significant. They may say that you are dreaming too big or working too hard, but it wont matter because they will be out of your inner circle. Instead, those in your circle will be encouraging you to keep working and chasing your dreams.

Conclusion

Evaluate your inner circle immediately. If you have a gut feeling that someone shouldn’t be there, that’s an excellent sign that they shouldn’t, and you should begin the process of removing them right away.

You might be thinking to yourself, “What if I hurt their feelings?” I say back to that, WHAT IF YOU MISS YOUR DESTINY? Is it worth it? Well according to study after study, living for others is not worth the price. I challenge you, don’t live a life of regret. Stop living for others and begin living a life true to you. It may hurt today, but I promise, you will be celebrating tomorrow.

“Life’s too short to spend it trying to keep others happy. You can’t please everyone. To fulfill your destiny, stay true to your heart.”

Get Better.

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Trust The Process

No, this isn’t a Philadelphia 76ers fan page. However, there is a lot of wisdom in Philly’s mantra: Trust The Process. In basketball terms, it means being patient, to allow your young stars to develop, and instead of focusing on today’s results, focus on the process of daily learning and growth, and eventually, success, in terms of wins and championships, will be a reality.

What’s notable though, is that the wisdom and results of trusting the process can be applied to everyone, in any walk of life – not just athletes on a professional basketball team.

I will now explain how I have applied the process very recently, and how you too, can apply this tool to get better as well. Let’s go…

The Process Applied

As a basketball coach, I had the opportunity this past week to apply the principle of trusting the process very directly, much like the Philadelphia 76ers would. Let me warn you though…THE PROCESS REQUIRES PATIENCE! AND…A LOT OF IT! If you are not willing to be patient, trusting the process will not work for you. Much like the children’s story of The Tortoise and The Hare, slow and steady will win the race.

Anyway, I help coach a varsity basketball team. As a trained instructor for PGC Basketball, one of the top basketball education programs on the planet, I am acutely aware of team culture and environmental dynamics.

Most athletes on my team were determined to be a part of league play. Being in the league though, wouldn’t be trusting the process; it would be focusing on the results. Champions are more concerned with the details of the daily grind than winning or getting the promotion. I am more interested in being a champion than a participant.

League play, at this point in time, would be too difficult for my team. The majority of the roster is composed of inexperienced athletes who are just now being exposed to the game. The process, instead of challenging teams who have played for years, would mean organizing exhibition games with other teams who are more at our level. Exhibition games aren’t very glamorous, but are needed for OUR PROCESS. Exhibition games take patience. At the other side of patience though, is a process that will eventually translate into far greater success than being results oriented ever would.

The Process And You

I remember being a high school student and having the goal of getting 90% in math. It never happened. Not once in four years. Why? I truly believe it was because I wasn’t process-oriented. Instead, I was results-driven. I wanted the result of 90% – nothing wrong with that goal. But instead of focusing on the 90% grade, I should have focused on the daily process of earning 90%. My daily process should have included asking questions, working hard in class, and studying every night at home. If my process would have matched my vision, the 90% would have been earned.

Here are some other examples:

  • While the promotion at work would be fantastic, focus on the daily process that will eventually get you there. This might mean arriving early and staying late. It could mean taking extra courses. It could mean be more sociable to your boss and coworkers. Write down the process that will translate into a job promotion. Don’t just focus on the promotion itself. The process is far more important.
  • Getting accepted into the university of your dreams is an awesome goal. Plan the daily process that will get you there. You will probably need to volunteer, study every night, ask questions, avoid parties, and get a lot of sleep.
  • Quitting an addiction would be life-changing. Instead of focusing on the destination of actually quitting, focus on the daily process that will bring you there. Be in the moment. You will need to avoid triggers at all costs, have accountability partners, a strong support system, and get inspiration from those who have already won the battle.

Trusting the process includes having an incredible focus on the MOMENT. Enjoy where you are NOW. Enjoy the journey…and always be patient. Those who are impatient will have the same misfortune as the hare, and will not live up to their potential. Those who are patient and are willing to trust the process, like the tortoise, will accomplish more than expected.

The Challenge

We all like instant results. But instant results are often less than what could have happened if we would have been patient and trusted the process. Like my 90% in math, identify an area where you are results-driven. Use this week to develop a process-driven plan that if followed, could achieve your desired result.

I have learned that the most successful people work hard every day, and enjoy the process and journey more than the destination. The process will catapult you to a destination that being results-focused never could. The process is like flying in a jet, while being results-oriented is like riding a bike. It will take longer to learn to fly and pay for a jet, but like the tortoise, you will eventually win the race.

Get better.

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