How to Become Your Success Vision

Last week I wrote about Shape Your Vision.

This week we look at Shape Your Self

What has to happen to you in order for you to reach your vision – your reward?

If your vision is to be a teacher, you must be hired to a teacher position.
In order for someone in a position of authority to hire you as a teacher, you must have specific credentials that certify that you have been trained to teach.
That means you must complete the college work for teacher preparation.
And you must pass the state certification tests.

You can have all the natural talent for teaching, but without the evidence of qualification, you will not get the job.

Get out the research materials and find out exactly what has to happen in you to order to qualify for – possess the credentials for – your vision.

Not all visions require a college degree.
All visions require personal change.

Three ‘A’ Factors You Can Shape

I believe there are three factors that are critical to the success of your mission.

Appearance. Attitude. Aptitude.


I was required to take some Art courses in my undergraduate degree.
Ceramics looked like something I might enjoy.
I was amazed at the process involved in creating pottery. You can take a blob of nondescript clay and transform it into a useful, attractive, vase that bears no resemblance to the beginning of its life.

The clay cannot do this by itself. Someone must take the raw material and do work with it.
The work without the clay would be a pantomime disaster.
The clay without the work would remain mud.

Others are always integral to your success in reaching your goal.
Shape how others see you.
Change the way you dress. Not just the style of clothes. Change the way you wear them.
Dress for the Vision you have.

Study others who are successful in the vision you have for yourself.
Dress like they do.


You will discover a change in yourself as you become comfortable in your new attire.
This is good.
You will become comfortable in the role that fits your vision.

Some wise Success authors have coined the expression, “Fake it till you make it.” I’m not sure that is good advice. People can spot a faker.

Attitude doesn’t have to be faked. Be real. Be who you are. Be confident in who you are becoming.

Be honest. Don’t claim to be a millionaire when you aren’t.
You can honestly say, “I’m on my way to becoming a millionaire.”
Substitute your vision words for the “millionaire” in the statement.

The way you walk says a lot about you.
Head up. Hands out of your pockets. Small smile.
Walk briskly. Like you have an appointment somewhere and have only a short time to get there.
No cell phone in your hands with your face locked on it.
Make eye contact with others you meet. Smile and nod a greeting.

Fight discouragement. Others may complete their vision in four years. That doesn’t mean you have to.

One of the best ways I know to stay positive is to help others achieve their dreams.
The Bible says, “Give and it shall be given unto you… In the same measure that you give, will it be measured to you.” Luke 6:38


Be teachable.
Others can always teach you something important, if you’re prepared to learn.

Don’t limit yourself.

I read of a man born without legs who aspired to become a dancer.
In order to reach his vision for himself he created a whole new way of dancing.
He reached his goal and inspired thousands of people to Believe Without Limits.

I once had a student in my high school English class who regularly told everyone that she would one day be a Medical Doctor specializing in Pediatrics.

Based on her performance in my class I secretly doubted her ability to achieve that goal.

Today she is a Pediatric MD.
There is value in Speaking Your Vision.
You will come to believe what you repeatedly say.

Create the Change in Yourself that propels you toward your vision.
Shape Your 3 ‘A’ Factors
The dream will be yours to enjoy.

Write to me about your journey to your vision.
Comments are encouraged.

Why You Need A Vision

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.
But –
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.
What has to happen in You in order to earn a reward.

“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.

Question 1
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.

Reasons –
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

How To Develop Confidence

My mother knew a lot of Child Psychology. She had no formal degree, but she knew.

When I was about 12 years old she asked me to make a cake. By myself, but she would be in the kitchen with me.
“I’ve tried this recipe a couple times,” she said, “but I can’t get it to come out right.”
All of the ingredients were set out on the counter. The recipe was propped up so I could easily reference it. I began measuring, adding into the bowl, mixing – one line at a time.
The oven was pre-heated.
The raw batter in the cake pan was placed on the middle rack.
The timer was set.
We waited. I don’t remember what I did while waiting. But I checked through the oven glass many times.
The cake was rising just like a good cake should.
Mom also checked, and every time announced, “Looks good. I think you’ve done it!”

Tomato Soup Cake became my specialty.
Every time we had it Mom would repeat, “I don’t know what he does, but I can never get Tomato Soup Cake to turn out right.”
I read recently that it is proclaimed by experts that “Mothers make the difference in establishing confidence in children.”

Too Late

It’s maybe too late for the readers of this blog to depend on their mothers for this miracle.
Does that mean there’s no hope?
Can you at your age do something to develop more confidence?

Yes! You definitely can increase your self-confidence!
Self esteem is a related term.

If you are a parent, or a grandparent, of young children, you have a strong influence on the self esteem that is developed in them.

Confidence-Building Activities

No matter your present level of self-confidence or self esteem, you can take action to increase to a higher level – without becoming conceited or obnoxious.

Confidence is what you want, and change is required in a few areas of your life to achieve it.

1. Change Your Appearance
2. Take Inventory of Yourself
3. Talk To Yourself
4. Set Goals
5. Polish Your Interpersonal Skills

The Details – How-To

1. Appearance
What people see as ‘you’ includes your Clothing, Grooming, and Movements.
Start with the inexpensive areas if you have a limited budget for a new wardrobe.
Grooming: Hair style, hair cut, hair color, beard – your general grooming – is a good place to start. Get some input from trusted friends and advisors.
Movements: The way you stand says a lot about your confidence. Stand tall, shoulders back, head up. Say, “Yes, this is me!” with your posture.
Walking: Confident people walk faster than others. Pick your feet up, don’t slide; take confident steps, which tend to be a little longer than hesitant steps.
Sitting: Don’t slouch. Sit up tall. Always have reading and writing materials with you – and use it while you’re waiting.
Working: Stay busy. Keep the materials out that you need to get your job done. Organized for easy access.
Clothing: Observe what your bosses are wearing. Dress like them.
At Home: If you complete some or all of your work at home, you need an organized work space – an office if you have the space. Avoid clutter. “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”

2. Self Inventory
Make two lists
A. Your Strengths
B. Your Accomplishments
Get a friend to help you with this step.
Keep the list where you will read it daily.

3. Self Care; Self Talk
Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you.
Tell yourself the good words that will encourage you to keep going.
Exercise, diet, recreation, friendships, worship – some of the ways that we can take care of our selves.
Take up some new activities: painting, music, writing – artistic expressions.

4. Set Goals
Change takes time. Be realistic. You might need some advice from a trusted friend or advisor.
Be patient as you put your plans into action.

Ultimately, confidence is built on what you can see that you’ve accomplished.
Every day you need to see that you have reached, or at least, moved closer to a personal goal. Set your goals accordingly.

5. Interpersonal Behaviors
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Be an Encourager, a Friend. Sound like you have confidence in others as they do their work. Find ways to compliment others. Speak as if you have achieved your goals.
Eliminate complaining and whining.

When possible, avoid places, people, and activities that make you feel bad about yourself – at least until you are stronger, more confident.

In the words of Lao Tzu: Confidence is the greatest friend.
Make that friend.

Comments are welcomed.

Seven Spheres of Life: Relationships

At the restaurant yesterday, I asked for a Mango drink. Mango nectar and water. It was delicious.

As I sipped it, I began thinking about some of my favorite people. They qualify as delicious also. Without them my life would be less.

Naturally, I also thought briefly of some other relationships I have had. Bitter. Distasteful. Spit-it-out bad.


We have many kinds of realtionships.
Recreation team members
Church friends
Drinking buddies
Club members

And there are acquaintances – people you know casually, but don’t spend social time with.

How can I look at a relationship to determine if it is Mango delicious, or Spit-it-out harmful?

Do you remember anyone teaching you how to make friends? I don’t. Mr Rogers may have for lots of people. I grew up without TV.

I did learn the Biblical injunction: if you want friends you must be friendly.

In my mid-twenties I got divorced. Suddenly the social group that I had considered ‘friends’ were unfriendly. I don’t remember getting unfriendly. But, I was no longer included in the invites.

I worked for the church, I socialized with church members. It would be pretty accurate to say that I had no close friends outside of work and church.

No, don’t feel sad for me.

I learned a lot. I matured a lot.

Looking back at the experiences surrounding the divorce, I began to recognize some clues that should have warned me about the unhealthy relationships that wove around in my life.

Let’s focus on the positive qualities of a healthy relationship. By understanding healthy relationships, unhealthy ones will become obvious.

Maslow wrote about human needs and developed what is known as “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” an ordered list of five things that humans must have. Click here to study this topic.

Relationships occupy the middle position, right after Physical needs and Safety needs.

Good Relationships are the anchor points that enable us to feel good about ourselves and achieve our full potential.

Friends help us move into the Fifth Level of Maslow’s Hierarchy, where we are empowered to reach our full potential.

But it’s an obvious point that some relationships make us have negative feelings about ourselves and drag us away from “self-actualization” or, reaching for the stars.

How do I go about measuring a relationship to see if it is diminishing me or elevating me?

A real evaluation will involve writing.

Just thinking about it probably won’t accomplish the goal.

Start by making a list of your friends and acquaintances – a written list.

Then look at and think about each individual and your relationship with him or her. Take notes.

There are some simple, straight-forward ways to get a true picture of a relationship.

How do I feel about myself and my goals for myself after spending time with _____? (Fill in the blank with a name.) Be honest with yourself. Just get the feeling.

Feelings can be more accurate than logic.

A person may be connected to many parts of your work or personal life. But the relationship may be bad for you.

Don’t look at family connections right now. If you are in a committed relationship, and you are questioning whether it is healthy, evaluate your contribution to the relationship and determine what You can do to make it better.

Some times an unhealthy friendship can be turned around when you work on being the friend the other person needs.

It’s okay to change.

It’s okay to inspire others to change.

Friendships involve Giving and Taking. Both parties need to do both – Give and Take.

A person who only takes from you will drain you, and leave little for you to give yourself.

Evaluate your role. Are you balanced? Giver and Taker?

There are quizzes online that you can take to evaluate relationships. Most of them have to do with romantic relationships.

A good relationship has certain qualities:
Respect – mutual, both directions
Acceptance – of individuality, of differences
Communication – open, as equals
Self-control – emotional and physical
Value places value on your personal goals

Think about a friend. Take one of the ingredients from the list of qualities and assign a value between Negative 5 and Positive 5 for how that person demonstrates Respect for you.

Then take the next quality and evaluate. (I have a form in the Worksheet to help with this.)

Relationship Sphere Worksheet

The hard part might be what you need to do when you realize that a relationship is damaging you.

You can try to communicate with the person and ask him or her to change. But my experiences have caused me to believe that there are people who are takers, and they don’t see a need to change.

Sometimes there really is only one choice: end the relationship. Move that person to the Acquaintance List.

I’d love to hear your comments on this post. Positive or negative. How could I make the post better?

Thank you for reading.

Seven Spheres of Life: Health

You can have all the riches and success in the world, but if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.” – Steven Adler

When was the last time you thought seriously about your health?

The last time you were sick, right?

We tend to take our health for granted, until there’s a problem.

Too often working for a healthy self isn’t a top priority, until illness whacks us and we can’t live our normal lives.

We need a plan for living that keeps us from getting whacked. Sound good?

Let’s work out a plan for ‘Healthy You’ that increases your enjoyment of life now and that reduces risks of health issues for the rest of your life.

My Story

My father volunteered me to be the 24-hour-per-day care-giver/nurse for a quadraplegic who wanted to go to college. The only care-giver.

I had never learned to say no to my father. So Jim moved into the dorm. And I with him.

The room was normally a guest room with a half-bath – sink and toilet, hospital bed and my cot, a chair and desk.

My life stopped. Everything I did was centered around and for Jim.

By the 4th quarter of the term, I was emotionally drained. Physically exhausted.

I didn’t realize at the time that I had slipped into an unhealthy funk.

My grades suffered, my social life was a disaster, and time for spiritual considerations was nonexistent.

But I didn’t realize it at the time.

That’s common when emotional health is at the root of being unhealthy.

After college I somehow secured a job at a Christian camp working to build a walkway through a swamp. The instructions given me were – here are the supplies and equipement – build it.

It was hard, physical work and that turned out to be just what I needed. The exercise and sweat were medicine for my body, my thinking, and my emotions.

I learned that ‘Health’ is a blanket that covers the physical, the mental, and the emotional self.

The good news is that focus and effort in one part of your self, benefits your other selves also.

Reasons to Get Healthy

How does improving your health improve your life?

Regular, consistent exercise rewards you in many ways.

  • Prevents chronic illnesses (cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases)
  • Improves attention, concentration, and other functions of the brain
  • Maintains healthy thinking
  • Improves sleep
  • Lowers stress
  • Reduces dependence on unhealthy habits
  • Reduces physical illnesses

It’s Your Move That Counts

Take that first step into creating a healthier You – #BestYou

Increase the amount of daily physical activity you do.

You don’t have to buy a Gym Membership. You don’t have to buy Home Gym Equipment.

If you believe that you are too busy to start ‘going to the gym’ for exercise, here’s a short list of practical modify-what-you’re-already-doing ways to get it done.

If it’s raining, snowing, or too hot, head to the local mall for a walk as you windowshop.

Exercise at home. Push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, lunges, and stretching are good for you and are free of expensive equipment.

Take the stairs as often as possible. You might start by taking the elevator from a different floor than the one on which you work.

Drink plenty of water.

Sip water throughout the day. Drink enough and you have a guilt-free excuse to go for a walk to the washroom and back!

Staying well hydrated may also reduce feelings of hunger, and can often reduce chronic back pain.

Go for a family walk after dinner.

Guard Your Emotional Self with Intent

Nurturing your mind is as important as nurturing your body, and it will make you better able to deal with the stresses of your life routines. Be brave and consult with a mental health professional if your friends or spouse tell you that you need to.

Start Here

Work on Positive Thinking about Yourself.

Remind yourself of your personal value.

Read Zig Ziglar, Norman Vincent Peale, Og Mandino, James Allen. What these authors wrote are in ‘old books’ but they contain timeless wisdom.

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford

Your thinking will either give you permission and power or hold you trapped and timid.

Everything you put into your mind shapes your life. The books you read, the music you listen to, the movies and TV shows you watch. Your reality and expectations from life grow from how you spend your time.

Changing your input, changes your output. The old computer programming comment was: GIGO (Garbage In : Garbage Out)

What you feed your mind will be reflected in your thoughts and choices.

Just as what you feed your stomach is reflected in your body.

Create a healthier mind and it will show up in your physical health.

Download a Health Sphere Worksheet to help you create plans for a Healthier You.

I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts and ideas with me.

Use the online Comment option, or email me :