The following is from Mark Erwin’s soon-to-be-published book:
“As a child, I watched ‘Dallas’ and that was my vision for my life for as long as I could remember.”
Actor, Producer, Grammy Winner
Your call to action will be your Grand Vision. This will be what success will mean to you. A good way to develop your Grand Vision is to dream while you are awake. Daydreaming used to be considered a waste of time. I disagree. We would be far worse off if J.K. Rowland, Picasso or Bill Gates had never day-dreamed. It is estimated that we spend one-third to our waking hours daydreaming.[i] During daydreaming the mind is very active. Marcus Raichle, a neurologist and radiologist at Washington University, sums it up: “When your brain is supposedly doing nothing and daydreaming, it’s really doing a tremendous amount. We call it ‘resting state,’ but the brain isn’t resting at all.”[ii] Day-dreaming is fine as long as you then follow up with action.
Find Your Thinking Place
Go to your most solitary place to allow your muse to wander. For some it might be a long walk or a solitary drive. Others prefer a favorite chair or room. I prefer sitting at the base of a tree in the woods without any distractions other than nature at its finest. Think of a date in the far future. That may be ten or twenty years, or more. I prefer to think in decades. Now, visualize who and what you are then and why. Now bring it back to the immediate changes necessary to begin down that path. Role-play in your mind and visualize yourself in the role. Think about whether or not doing what you see will make you energized and happy. At each step, ask yourself, “What will life be like if I make this change?” Another way of seeking a vision of your future is to think about your funeral. What do you hope your friends and family will remember you for? Now, write your Grand Vision down and carry it with you. A written vision statement is far more powerful than one which is not.
My Grand Vision was that I must rebuild my family’s lost fortune. You see, my mother was the daughter of a wealthy oil baron who died when she was six years old. She grew up in wealth and privilege but wasn’t able to manage her gifts or find happiness. After many years of uncontrolled excess, by the time I was in my teens, my mother was a thrice-divorced alcoholic suffering from severe depression, and our family was nearly broke. I decided my Grand Visionwould be:
“To rebuild my family’s wealth and reputation.”
Perhaps you want to become a great teacher, an inspired preacher, a terrific salesperson or a renowned artist. Or you might aspire to become financially independent or governor of your state.
Just think—while you’re still in high school, you could decide you want to become president of the United States. That’s exactly what my friend Bill Clinton, a poor kid from Arkansas, did in his teen years. Another example is a good friend of mine in his 50s who has already built a very successful business, and has a new Grand Vision: “To become a sought after national consultant and speaker.” Like the most successful people, he is once again reinventing himself.
I have developed many Grand Visions and have achieved all of them. Today, my Grand Visionis:
“Make a Difference—Do Good—Have Fun—and Never Retire.”