The goal of the batter is to hit the baseball. This is why every kid who holds a bat is told, “Don’t take your eye off the ball.”
Later, when endurance is needed, we say, “Keep your eye on the prize.”
Can you name the ball you’re trying to hit? Can you name the prize?
As a consultant to business owners for more than 30 years, I can tell you without equivocation the question that is the hardest for the average businessperson to answer. This is the question: Drum roll, please. (rumble-rumble-rumble-rumble) “What are you trying to make happen?”
With death hanging in the balance, mountain climbers turn my question into the imperative command: “Don’t Look Where You Don’t Want to Go.”
The first step in any journey is to see your destination.
Your mind is an amazing thing, crammed with invisible and unknown mechanisms* that move you unconsciously toward whatever future you believe to be real.
What future do you believe to be real? Do you have the audacity to believe in a happy ending? Do you have the courage to move toward that ending with every action you take? Persons who are frightened, angry or bitter will see this and call you “naïve.”
Sadly, this will be most people.
Your choices and your actions are merely reflections of what you see in your mind. What do you see?
The first step toward accomplishing a thing is to project it onto the visuospatial sketchpad of working memory. This is the scientific phrase for “see it in your mind’s eye.” You can do only what you have first imagined.
What do you imagine?
Boredom is a kind of death. Human beings need strong emotion. This is why we would rather be angry than bored. Anger is a type of excitement.
Fear is another type of excitement. The success of horror movies is proof of this.
Our thoughts are informed and our moods are altered by the voices we let into our minds. What voices do you invite in?
In the dark, oppressive days of colonial America Thomas Jefferson wrote sparkling words about the bright future he saw in his mind, “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal…” I believe Jefferson’s ability to see this bright future was rooted in something else he wrote, “I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.”
My greatest luxury in life is that I have a terrifically strong wife. Pennie pays attention to all that’s happening in the world and shares with me only those things she believes I’d like to know. The Princess of my world is one of those rare people who feels no fear and is slow to anger. For these and other reasons, Pennie can gather news about current events and not be affected by it. I do not have her gift. Most people, I believe, do not. Had the Princess and I not been married these 35 years, I’d have had to choose between being woefully uninformed or being made miserable by the demons who smile from behind teleprompters and microphones.
Call me childish and broken if you want, but I avoid woeful country music for the same reason I avoid self-important newscasters: my world overflows with possibilities that seem not to exist in theirs. Sad country singers and somber newscasters try to drag me into their world but I hang tightly to the one I prefer.
In my world, each of us is swimming in opportunity and everything is possible. I see opportunity all around you. You can see it too, can’t you?
My highest wish is that you should have a crystal clear vision of what you are trying to make happen.
1. See it clearly in your mind. This is the first step toward a happy ending.
2. Commit. Don’t waffle. Waffling diminishes focus, negates serendipity and triggers boredom.
3. Talk about it. Words are rockets that launch thoughts into reality.
4. Take action. The size of the action is less important than its relentless regularity. Miracles are made of Exponential Little Bits.
5. Don’t look where you don’t want to go.
Roy H. Williams
* “The moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”
– W. H. Murray, The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, (1951.)
UPDATE ON OUR OPEN EXPERIMENT: We’ve had only 11 applicants so far but they are very interesting people. We asked our applicants to tell us about themselves, remember? Here’s one that brought a smile.
Photo at Pagetop: 7 feet tall and featuring a 5-foot paper airplane,
Journeys of Imagination is the bronze sculpture by Gary Lee Price that sits in the center of the McInnis Stardeck on top the tower at Wizard Academy overlooking Austin, Texas from the middle of a limestone plateau that rises 900 feet above the city. It’s a great place to lie on your back and look at the stars and talk about the meaning of life. Yes, we still do that here. Wizard Academy is sort of like summer camp for grown-ups. Every student returns home calmer and wiser, with refreshed vision and renewed energy. Pick a course of instruction at www.WizardAcademy.org
The BIG ONE is coming up Sept. 13-15. Are you coming?