“Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” — As A Man Thinketh
In the original Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfield tells the story of Monty, who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer of little means. During his senior year he was assigned a writing project to describe what he wanted to be when he grew up. His seven-page essay minutely detailed the 200-acre ranch he wanted to own. It included a diagram of the ranch and a detailed floor plan of his 4,000 square foot home.
Despite the passion and effort Monty put into his paper, he received it back with a large “F” written on it and a note to see the teacher after class. The teacher told Monty that the reason he had given him that grade was because his paper was unrealistic. He went on to cite all of the reasons why, and told Monty that if he would rewrite the paper with a more realistic goal, he would reconsider the grade. After considering it for a week, the young man turned in the same paper with no changes, along with the remark, “You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.”
The conclusion of the true story has the teacher bringing 30 students for a summer campout at the 200-acre ranch of the now grown (and successful) Monty who lives in his 4,000 square foot dream home.
If it worked for the son of an itinerant horse trainer it will work for you. The principle is simple: (1) create a dream that is so big that it will keep you excited, (2) define the dream in minute detail, (3) live in the dream so that it becomes real to you on the inside, (4) and then hold on to it so tightly that no one can take it away from you.
James Allen goes on to offer this great wisdom, “Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals…For out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.”
But Monty, perhaps, offered the greatest wisdom, “You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.”
And that’s worth thinking about.