A wise man once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Knowing this to be true, today is the day to take that first step. If you already have taken that step then congratulations on your exciting journey ahead!
How many times have you wondered if you are taking the right first step? I have done this at times in my life, and it never fails, I always realize that if you are determined to take action, then at some point things, people, circumstances will be placed in your path to help you on your way, and ultimately help you reach your vision.
This post is about having vision, keeping that vision clear in your mind, and staying determined to reach it.
Sometimes we shuffle to the left, then to the right, we might even go backwards a few steps to find the right path. Criticism comes in to play, condemnation, and complaints from others soon creep in, but with a determined heart, these distractions will blow off with the wind! These things come in to our lives because lesser human beings will always criticize and complain, and may even try to thwart the good things that you are trying to achieve. Your job is to stay focused on your vision.
The power to control your course is actually up to you. Today is the day to take control and realize that there is one person who can change your direction in a positive way – and that person is YOU! When you have passion for what you do, and you take action, then your vision will unfold right in front of you. People will follow your lead, and the world will be better off for the simple fact that you stayed focused on your vision.
Let me ask you a few questions: When you woke up this morning, how did you feel? Were you excited about the day in front of you, or did you wake up with the weight of the world on your shoulders – and just wanted to pull the covers over your head and stay in bed? Or, did you wake up with excitement and say to yourself: “Today is full of opportunity for growth and maybe even some positive change in my life!” When you have a vision of what you would like your day to be like, and act in a way that moves you forward, then the dark forest of doubt, and the slippery slope of self pity will be swept away. YOU have to be determined to push those negative thoughts away.
Think of this like following someone else who is forward thinking – and you would choose to follow them. If they criticize others, have only negative things to say about pretty much everything, or waller in the quicksand of self pity…is that someone you would follow into battle? The obvious answer is “no” you would not, – rather you would choose to follow someone who is confident, and self-assure. You would choose to follow a leader who cares about you, and who is willing to fight for you and your team/family/friends. Well, guess what, if you choose to follow someone like that, then follow yourself – and YOU become that kind of leader!
There may be mountains or other obstacles in your path, but when you do everything in your power to move those mountains, and keep an eye on your vision, the journey will be much more rewarding. Your vision…your dreams are for you, and never apologize for your dreams. Never let them go – keep your hopes, passions, dreams, and your vision alive by taking action, with a determined heart to succeed.
Sometimes we don’t have all the parts and pieces perfectly lined up or at our disposal, but keep your focus and do not become deterred by these obstacles. You may have to rely on others to help you accomplish your dreams, but that is perfectly ok. There may be incredible obstacles that are in your way, but there are always ways around those obstacles.
Have you ever seen the poster that shows a setting sun on the horizon, and placed in front of the setting sun are four large boulders in the ocean. The caption of the poster is “When you take your eyes off the goal, all you see are the obstacles.” The primary point is that the obstacles of deep, cold waters; and large objects standing in the way, are usually what we humans focus on first, rather than seeing past those obstacles and focusing on the beauty of the setting sun.
The primary mission of companies today is to generate as much revenue as possible while controlling costs, which leads to more equity or profit. There are a myriad of obstacles introduced on a daily basis that threaten the primary vision of any institution, large or small. The distractions can and do become overwhelming and drain the energy, sometimes the life out of the organization and its members.
Too many distractions creep in and rob us of achieving our full potential. The poor economy…slow or no sales…the competition launching a new product…employee relations and human resource challenges…internal strife with managers…and a thousand other things. The key is to remain focused on who you are – and what you do best, and how your talents and skills are of value to your company – whether you are an employee, a leader, or an owner – you matter!
When you are truly committed to something, distractions can be managed and even ignored to bring about the completion of your task. Think of the following 7 principles in staying focused. They may not all work for you, but I have found that when you follow these simple principles, you stay focused, and you are able to direct your positive energies to the task at hand.
1. Establish well-defined goals – your goals are the foundation of your plan and your plan is the roadmap to lead you to your destiny. Setting goals in not a new concept, but it is a wise principle to use and a habit that you should establish. Remember a goal not written is only a wish.
2. Create and stick to a priority list – sometimes a simple list of priorities can keep you stay focused on what needs to be accomplished – and when. I like to have a priority list to refer to when distractions enter the picture…it keeps me…focused.
3. Track and Report your progress – Remember this: what gets reported gets done. Whether you are reporting to your self or to the board, when you are able to track your progress and show how you reach certain milestones, you can keep on the straight path without deviations.
4. Break tasks into smaller pieces – a big project can look so overwhelming at times. I’ve found that when you take the big picture and break it down to smaller elements, individual pieces don’t seem as daunting, and each time you complete one of the smaller tasks it’s invigorating and empowering.
5. Reward yourself – you need to give yourself a pat on the back once in a while and reward yourself for your discipline. That can be as simple as blocking out time for you to read a book; watch a game; see a movie; go out to dinner; go on a vacation; or watch your favorite TV show.
6. Visualize the end result – Constantly seeing the end result in your mind is a great motivator. Visualize what you want to accomplish. If the end result is truly important to you, it can serve as a powerful reminder that your sacrifices along the way will be worth it, and you will live out your vision!
7. Ask for help – Unless you have a big red and yellow “S” stamped on the chest of your blue spandex uniform, I would suggest that you reach out to others once in a while and ask for help. The cool thing about asking for help is that it shows a little humanness, and people really do like to help others. Others won’t mind helping you because they can share a little expertise and provide a little compassion to others…we humans, for the most part, are just wired that way.
Proverbs 29:18 reads: Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
When we take on a task, or to lead others into a new venture, we must paint a picture of what the final result could look like if we apply knowledge, experience and hard work. It is much easier to follow someone who is passionate about achieving the end result, than it is following someone who is just going through the motions.
So, when we talk of visionaries, we should show what a visionary is, and why they are important.
“Visionary” According to Webster’s Dictionary: Main Entry: 1vi·sion·ary Pronunciation: \ˈvi-zhə-ˌner-ē\ Function: adjective – having or marked by foresight and imagination <a visionary leader> <a visionary invention>
I believe there are two crucial elements to being a visionary:
1. A visionary is one who can sjnee the big picture and take action; and
2. They are able to motivate others to move beyond their natural boundaries, and achieve something extraordinary.
Visionaries are leaders that tend to make others want to follow them. The world is filled today with visionary thinkers, people who have revolutionary ideas about reinventing our post-industrial society and embracing more innovative ideas on making something even better. Revolutionary thinking pushes the definition of status quo and challenges the current system to improve on what we have.
There are actually two parts to this discussion that are open for debate. The first, is the thinking that rather than simply “going along with the flow,” a more inspirational goal is to “challenge conventional thinking,” and do something good for mankind.
The first element “going along with the flow” is what many visionaries deemed to be boring and uninspiring. So, they along with others, decided to do something about it and think a little deeper, and come up with innovative ways to change how things are done. You be that visionary who can inspire others to do extraordinary things. People will follow you everywhere seeking your wisdom and advice. Good luck on your journey!
Brian Hazelgren is an American business leader, motivational speaker, author, and father. Brian is the CEO of RX2Live – a medical services company dedicated to helping people find their optimal health, and helping businesses to grow! You can reach Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can also visit Brian’s personal website at www.brianhazelgren.com. #RX2Live.