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500+ for 50 – day 18: perfect vision

“Faith is the ability to see the invisible and believe in the incredible and that is what enables believers to receive what the masses think is impossible.” (Clarence Smithison)

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges for any man is the necessary creation of a well-defined vision of the future accomplishments that he wishes to achieve throughout the course of his life.  Most people are circumstantial thinkers.  They live within the confines of their present surroundings.  And while there’s something to be said about appreciating the “now”, if you want to swim in a bigger pond, you’ll need to see yourself outside of the fish bowl in which you currently reside.  You’ll need to start living the life you wish to have years from now today in your mind.  Unless you are willing to see it, you will never achieve it.  To realize success, you must first define your vision.

Many people don’t know where they’re going or what they truly want out of life.  They simply follow society’s course load until they arrive in a full time working position that will serve to provide them with the resources necessary to reach life’s next defined milestone.  It’s a shame, but often we become so wrapped up in the process that we forget to slow down and define what it is that we really wish to achieve.  It’s no wonder why so many people find themselves feeling lost and miserable in their careers many years into their working lives.  Did they ever stop to create a vision for their future?  Or did they simply start down a path with no real destination in mind, hoping that somehow they’d attain happiness and fulfillment as a result of their willingness to trudge forward on life’s curriculum?

Growing up I had absolutely no idea what it was that I wanted to be.  I only knew that I loved sports and that for the foreseeable future I wanted to promote every opportunity that I had to further my opportunities to excel in them.  My passion was football.  Unfortunately, football is not a feasible career path for the average individual.  Less than one tenth of 1% of all high school players will ever be drafted to play in the NFL.  And that wasn’t really my dream anyway.  I had my eyes set on a Division 1 collegiate scholarship.  What I wasn’t thinking about was life after graduation.  I wanted to put that off as long as I possibly could.  I was not ready to deal with making a decision on what would be my life’s work.

When I graduated college, I started down a path, following a paycheck and an opportunity to excel in a competitive environment.  But I never really had a final destination in mind.  I was just living my circumstances and trying to make every effort to get ahead in life…one step closer to the next milestone.  And that mindset and course of action prevailed for the next six years of my life until the day that I finally collapsed under the weight of a pile of adversity and surrendered my life to God.  When I came to know Christ, I was led to a whole new mission for my future that I had never even thought about before.  And I realized that without faith, there really could have been no true plan or course of action established in my life.

My relationship with God allowed me to develop a vision for my future that freed me from the pressure and burden that I felt under society’s conventional system of personal growth evaluation.  I came to realize that there would be no one who could more accurately measure my success in this life than God Himself.  So I set out to embrace the talents and skills that He had offered me in an effort to share my gifts with the world and fulfill His calling for my life.  I had defined my final destination – it was at home with Him.  But I also hoped to make some fulfilling pit stops along the way.  And those required a bit more imagination and mapping on my part.

Unfortunately, I always seemed to encounter lots of trouble envisioning my future successes in life.  Admittedly, I was very much trapped in my own fish bowl.  It felt as though I was regularly fighting tirelessly to simply tread water.  And I grew deeply involved with those feelings of confinement, thereby further limiting the vision of what my future might entail.  Rather than closing my eyes and allowing my imagination to dream me off to my destiny, I made the mistake of gazing out the window, or even worse, looking back into the rearview mirror.  And what I saw discouraged me.  It held me hostage.  I would never escape if I wasn’t able to effectively visualize better outcomes.

Then one day while I was watching The Secret I was introduced to the concept of a vision board.  A vision board is a visual representation of the goals and accomplishments that you desire to achieve in your life.  It’s a simple thing to create.  All that you need are a bunch of magazines and photos, a blank piece of poster board, and a glue stick.  Simply cut out the imagery representative of all that you wish to embody and achieve in your future and then glue those images onto the board as you desire.  Finally, hang your vision board someplace where you can engage it multiple times throughout your day.  Your finished product will serve as a visual depiction of your future, and it will act as a tremendously useful resource for stimulating your imagination process and developing your focus. 

Sometimes the view from the window is simply not going to be a fair representation of the direction that we wish to head with our lives.  So it’s critical that we utilize our imagination to envision the life that we seek beyond our present circumstances.  If we wish to swim in a bigger pond, we have to also be willing to view ourselves as a bigger fish.  And we need to really get involved in the feelings of freedom that we embody in those moments when we are able to effectively imagine the realization of our dreams.  Because when a committed vision and faith get together, miracles are bound to occur.

I’ve seen things in my own life that have absolutely blown me away.  The vision boards that I created back in 2011 still hang above my desk in my home office space today.  And when I review them each morning, I’m able to note several items that I’ve already been able to check off of my list of goals to be accomplished…many of which I never had any idea how I’d be able to attain.  God works in mysterious, magical ways, my friends.  If you allow Him to define your vision and then focus your heart and soul on all that you desire with unwavering faith in His ability to bring those things to pass in your life, there will be no limits to your success.  And you will live a life that is rich and fulfilling in every way.

We need to dream like a child who lives by faith and not by sight.  If we are willing to “see the invisible and believe in the incredible” then surely we will have every opportunity to “receive what the masses think is impossible.” 

May God Bless!

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