Cherish your vision

“She who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it.” – As A Man Thinketh

Several weeks ago I shared with our readers the story of Anne Jensen, a California woman, who celebrated her 80th birthday in a very special way — skydiving for the first time in her life.

Several months ago I told readers about Doris Eaton Travis, the last of the Ziegfeld dancers. She just celebrated her 102nd birthday and later this month will continue her annual tradition of dancing on Broadway.

Anne and Doris are just two of many examples of people who believe it’s never too late to live your dreams.

Most of us give up on the dreams that are important to us far too early. We think of all the reasons why we’ll never reach our dream (age, lack of money, lack of time, lack of education, etc.) instead of all the reasons why it’s important to us. Doris and Anne have at least two lessons for us:

1. Age and time are our own self-imposed limits and barriers,
2. At some point we must act, even if the odds appear to be against us.

Bob Proctor likes to quote Napoleon Hill when teaching in this area: “What a different story people would have to tell if they would adopt a definite purpose and stand by that purpose until it had time to become an all-consuming purpose.”

Breathe some new life into that big dream you’re about to let die. Fall in love with it again and become an obsessive lover of it. As Bob says, “You’re not on this Planet to live someone else’s dream.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

The 52-word formula for success

“He conceives of, mentally builds up, an ideal condition of life; the vision of a wider liberty and a larger scope take possession of him; unrest urges him to action, and he utilizes all his spare time and means, small though they are, to the development of his latent powers and resources.” – As A Man Thinketh

Read carefully those 52 words and you will find the keys to success in any endeavor.

Allen is describing a young person who is unschooled, mired in poverty and working in unhealthy conditions. He goes on to write that the young person follows the formula above and becomes a person of “world-wide influence and almost unequaled power.” He finishes the story noting that “He has realized the Vision of his youth. He has become one with his Ideal.”

It’s a formula for success that’s so simple that most people might overlook or discount its effectiveness. And it’s built around one guiding principle — what Napoleon Hill called “a definiteness of purpose.” That’s what creates the unrest that moves us to action; that’s what gives us the energy and drive to spend our spare time and means in developing ourselves to achieve at levels we’ve never reached before.

One prominent study found that 94% of the 3,000 people interviewed had no definite purpose for their lives. Is it any wonder then that so many people reach their twilight years feeling like life has passed them by.

We have the choice to live our life on purpose or without a purpose. Life doesn’t make the distinction, it simply rewards our choice. And the rewards may not always be what we had hoped, as this old poem from Think and Grow Rich illustrates:

“I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”

And that’s worth thinking about.