She stood there in front of me at my desk. Sixth grade math begins the change to Algebra. She had just failed a timed quiz on Addition.
“I’m not good at math,” she said. “I’ve always gotten bad grades in the subject.”
Then she added, “I wish it would change.”
“Wishing isn’t going to change anything,” I replied. “For your grade to change, you must change!”
We then worked together to develop a plan of action for her to create the change she needed and wanted. She had the potential for excellence in math all along.
But she hadn’t seen it in herself. And she didn’t have a plan to create the change she wished for.
In order to hit a target, you must first see the target.
Her vision for herself became the target.
I won’t give the details of the plan, because the story is just to illustrate.
Over the first semester of that year she mastered the foundations of all four operations.
If your Vision of Your Best Self is unclear, out of focus, incomplete, it is difficult to hit that target.
You might even say that it would be an accident if you did.
Maybe it would be more comfortable to use the word ‘lucky.’
Do people realize their dreams just out of luck? Maybe. But the odds would be millions to one.
But wishing is not going to produce in real life the results seen in Fairy Tales.
What about if I work hard? Isn’t that likely to get me to my goal?
That would depend on the connection between your work and your goal.
You see, often we mistake rewards for the goal. “I have this reward, so I must have reached a goal.”
The commercials and shows on TV, movies, music, entertainment – you might generalize and say Society Today – is focused on rewarding yourself just because ‘You deserve it.’
If you already deserve it, you don’t have to work for it. Just being You qualifies you for everything you can dream.
Does Life work that way for you? It doesn’t for me.
Rewards are easy to get. A few credit cards, a loan or two, good credit – those make it possible to give yourself rewards without actually reaching Your Potential – without attaining The Vision that you have for yourself.
Rewards without effort quickly lose their allure.
Rewards without effort result in boredom, even in the midst of abundance.
And Boredom results in depression, when it is allowed to live in your mind.
Shape Your Vision
It is easy to focus on the rewards that you associate with Reaching Your Potential.
But, as shown above, a reward that is not earned becomes a trap that distracts you from working toward your real target.
There’s nothing wrong with motivating yourself with pictures and dreams of a beautiful home, cars, boat, travel.
But, attach the reward to a level of achievement.
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“When I master Chinese I will travel to walk the Great Wall.”
This way you are focused on reaching personal growth goals.
You will have a clear, focused vision in which you see yourself achieving your potential, at the top of your game, acknowledged by those who are important to you.
Shaping your vision should not be viewed as an easy task, one that you can sculpt with little effort.
Just thinking about your future achievements while driving or playing golf or sleeping will not be sufficient to create a detailed vision in which you are the star.
Wishing for change will never achieve change. Change takes work. Hard work.
What will reaching my Vision look like?
You will need some paper to write on. Lots of it.
I know how easy it is to believe that “I won’t forget, so I don’t need to write it down.”
I know how easy it is to lose scraps of paper that I used to scribble my thoughts on in a moment of inspiration.
So- I recommend a Notebook.
I have found Composition Notebooks to be the best for me.
The wire-bound ones get the wire caught on something and the result is a pointy nuisance.
The wire gets crimped and the pages no longer lay flat.
The pages tear out too easily.
They are just large enough to be difficult to carry around.
The covers are not stiff enough to make a comfortable writing background.
I get too much on the larger page that needs to be organized later.
First, write out what your Vision will look like when you have Reached Your Goal.
This will maybe take many pages to get the picture just right.
Write, edit, rewrite.
An Example Vision
“I will be standing on the stage before an audience of thousands detailing my discovery of the sequencing and interconnections among the components of literacy that will make the classroom teacher more effective and the students more successful.”
Getting your Vision into just-right words may take more work than you think at first. But keep working. Keep tweaking.
You are worth it!
Shape Your Vision.
Next week: Shape Yourself : Create A Plan