Friday, April 13, 2012

Do You have a Vision for Your Future?

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the greatest visionary leaders of our time. His famous “I have a dream” speech, delivered in 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, is among the most inspiring speeches in human history. His ability to articulate his vision for racial equality was pivotal in advancing civil rights in this country.

Now, one problem with seeing a dramatically better future is that it takes a lot of work to make it come true. And it can be controversial. Dr. King paid the ultimate price for his efforts to bring his dream into reality. While you’re not likely to face such severe consequences when pursuing your own dreams, you can expect roadblocks, mistakes and resistance—most of it unpredictable. Even after a lot of striving, you could still fail.

But if you want your life to have meaning and purpose, you need to think about what you’d like your future to look like. What can you imagine that would be better than where you are right now?

In her terrific business book, The Accidental Millionaire*, Stephanie Frank recommends asking yourself a simple four-word question:

“What do you want?”

To go deeper and build greater commitment to your vision, Stephanie suggests that you devote time to answering these additional questions:

  • WHY do you want this?
  • WHEN do you want it?
  • What will you give up or overcome to get it?
  • What is your PLAN to get there?

These are important questions to answer because, for a dream to become reality—first, you need to visualize what you want, and then you have to work on it. Once you have that clear mental image, you look forward to getting up every morning because you know you’ll be doing what you care about most.

The majority of people never take time to think about, much less answer, these kinds of questions. So it’s not surprising that they don’t achieve much in their lives.

Here’s how to set yourself apart.

1. Devote some quiet time to write down your honest, thoughtful responses to each question.

2. Then take just five minutes first thing each morning to do two things: visualize your dream and mentally rehearse your day.

Use your imagination to create a vivid picture of the outcome you want and how you’ll feel when you achieve it. The sharper the image you build in your mind and the stronger the emotions you associate with it, the more you’ll be motivated and excited about making it happen.

“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” - Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

*You can get a FREE copy of The Accidental Millionaire on Stephanie Frank’s site. Grab your copy now and READ it.


  1. Thank you for your post Meredith. I reposted it on my blog because words of encouragement such as the words you wrote can help people as we go through these dark economic times and the uncertain future we all face as Americans and...worldwide for that matter.

    Staying positive through it all is so important in determining the future of our individual lives, of our homes, of our communities, of our country and of our world.

    Thanks for posting such words of encouragement. Be Well

  2. I have seen you talking in a video about the importance and the necessity to have vision and motivation to make a dream come true but now when i'm reading you the pleasure is nearly the same or more i can't get enough of it .There is some insightful testimonials from the past a clarity in your words & some quotes to illustrate the subject it's just wonderful .

  3. Michael, thank you for your positive feedback and for sharing this post. I'm glad you found it valuable and encouraging!

    Sam, I'm gratified that you enjoy both my videos and written posts and there are lots of both here for you to enjoy.

  4. Thanks Meredith for the crystal thoughts, clear and valuable. I have been given similar advice by successful professionals and entreprerneurs all the same. They all agree that you need to define success to know it when you get there. They also believe if you are presistant enough, there is only one destination: Success. Cheers, hs.

  5. Hesham, I appreciate your positive feedback and affirmation about the importance of vision.


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