Just Say the Word
We all have different ways of looking at the world; some people think in images, some in phrases. One of the simplest Ideal Life Monuments can be made of words. Create a bulleted list of desires or an elaborate description of what you want. Tell yourself about what a day in your life will be like 10 years from now, then 20 years from now. Write down what the room you wake up in is like. Spell out how you feel and what you wear. Tell yourself the story of this day all those years from now, focusing in on the people you meet and the work you do, the things that surround you and the way that you interact with them all. Include as many details as you can.
A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words
Grab a stack of magazines, a glue stick, and a pair of scissors and go to town. Cut out five, 10, 100 images of the world you want to live in and build your own picture of the life you want to have. This doesn’t need to be art, just a visual snapshot of where you’re going that inspires thoughts of what you’re striving for each time you see it.
One Solitary Symbol
Warren Buffett, one of the greatest investors of all time, recently invested in a company that leases private jets to corporations and the very well-to-do. According to him, the ultimate luxury is being able to go where he wants to go, when he wants to go. Bob, a friend of mine, agrees with him wholeheartedly, and keeps a picture of a Lear jet on his desk to remind him of how he wants to be traveling in a few years. For him, this picture says everything there is to say about how far (and how fast) he wants to go.
Is there one thing that does it for you? A car, a house, a place that says it all for you? Figure out what that symbol is, then put a picture of it, a model, a sketch, or even a set of plans somewhere close enough to you so you’re always reminded of where you want to be, what you want to do, and what you want to have.
Remember, in whatever form of expression you choose to document the vision of your Ideal Life, it must speak volumes to you. You don’t have to share it with anyone if you don’t want to; however, I will tell you that many Young & Successful have found that doing so with at least a few trusted supporters helps to strengthen their commitment to their dreams.
The Young & Successful know that money and the freedom it can buy aren’t really the point. Few of us will ever be handed a blank check that will allow us to do everything we always wanted to do, but we don’t need money to give us the power to choose. That is a gift we give ourselves, once we come to realize just how much we’re really capable of. It is our own personal visions of an Ideal Life that motivates us, gives us the drive we need to transcend the barriers that real life keeps putting in our way. Our Ideal Life is what helps us keep moving toward what it is we really love; it shows us that these barriers are merely challenges, and not something that we should allow to stop us.
The First Step in Your Journey
Common sense tells us to be practical when it comes to planning our futures. But incredible success rarely comes to those who take the safest routes. The most revered business leaders, artists, teachers, and even scientists all started out with a grand vision of what might be possible. Now it’s your turn. Take a few minutes to reflect on the realizations you’ve had and the decisions you’ve made thus far. How has your perspective changed? Can you see where you want to go a little more clearly? By now you should be able to picture many of the elements of your Ideal Life in vivid detail. This vision represents your greatest motivation.
Now go make it happen.