How To Find Purpose In Your Life
What I love about Albert Mensah's story is that it engages several powerful principles, and it illustrates the pulling power that comes from being clear about what you really want. For most of us, going to a movie is probably not sufficient to produce a powerful lifelong vision. However, in Albert's case, that is exactly what happened. The reason the movie had such a powerful effect on Albert was that he became powerfully clear in his own mind about what he wanted. It wasn't complicated: He wanted to come to America so he could have shoes. Why the movie had the effect on Albert is not as important as the effect it produced: complete clarity about what he really wanted, and that is the most important piece of the vision-creation puzzle. I call this the clarity effect.
In Albert's story, we see that he became clear in his mind about what he wanted before he was able to actually do anything to pursue the vision. It was purely the power of the vision that enabled him to take the action steps in subsequent years that eventually led to his college scholarship and a new life in his adopted country. Becoming clear about what he wanted allowed him to discover and attend St. John's school, where he made his first real connections to America. That happened a few years after Albert first saw the movie that sparked his vision.
Upon being accepted by St. John's, Albert discovered the library and the power of reading and education. It was in reading books that Albert discovered the possibilities of becoming a pen pal. From becoming a pen pal, Albert discovered the possibility of receiving a college scholarship from an American college. Albert's relentless persistence in writing to American colleges and universities ultimately led to his scholarship, which became his ticket to America.
Do you see the series of small progressions that led to Albert coming to America? What he did at any given time was to go as far as he could see … and then he could see farther.
When Albert first saw the movie and the vision of America became fixed in his mind, he had no opportunities before him that would actually take him to America. He was merely clear in what he wanted, and he had seen opportunity in that movie. Because he was clear in what he wanted, every thought in Albert's mind was constantly engaged to find some meaningful thing he could do that would move him one step closer to his dream. Because of that, Albert was constantly pulled toward the vision. Nobody had to push him. His behavior to do whatever it took was driven by his belief that it was possible for him to make it to America. All the changes he made were voluntary and came as a result of being clear about what he really wanted.
Whatever your vision, Albert is a great example of the value of really believing in what you're pursuing and making voluntary change. Each great journey or success is a series of small steps and manageable tasks, and with the completion of each, more opportunities and paths will become evident and will open up to you. Having true clarity about what you want will pull you toward success.
Recognize the Opportunities in Your Own Life
One of the seemingly miraculous effects of becoming clear on what you want is that you begin to see new opportunity everywhere. When you are not clear about what you want, it may seem that your opportunities are slim or none. Actually, without a clear vision, there probably isn't much opportunity you can identify, because there is very little going on in your head that gives you the ability or the desire to recognize opportunity. When you become clear about what you want, you suddenly begin to see that everything in your life up to that very moment has uniquely prepared you to do the very thing you now see so clearly. You are also able to make the connections between the daily events of your life and how they are really opportunities that will take you one step closer to your vision.
Do you feel stagnant in your business or in your personal life? Do you feel you have accomplished all you can with what you have? This is where George Burke, the Atlanta entrepreneur found himself: He thought he couldn't be any more successful in his business, yet after he developed a clear vision of what he wanted, he doubled his business revenues in only eighteen months. I would say to you that none of those feelings – of stagnation or complete accomplishment – are actually true. You just need to become clear about what you want, and new opportunities will be certain to appear. The opportunities you discover will come in the form of small, reasonable steps you can take that will move you a little closer each day to turning your vision into reality.
Taking small steps is what all of life is really about, and this action is the true basis of achievement. The mathematical possibilities of winning the lottery are almost incalculable. In the same way, the mathematical possibility, of doing one huge thing to achieve a dream is equally remote. You can find isolated examples of overnight success, but for most of us, "overnight success" actually results from taking lots of small steps that are connected to our dream.
Docking a Ship Seems Impossible, But It's Actually a Series of Small, Easy Steps
Have you ever been on a Caribbean cruise? When those large cruise ships arrive in the smaller ports, docking the ship is a marvel to behold. On the dock is a large cleat, and somehow the ship's crew must manage to secure a rope from the ship to the cleat. The rope is huge, and it is far too heavy to simply throw to someone standing on the dock.
So the first thing that happens is that someone from the ship throws a small ball of twine to a person standing on the dock. The ball of twine is easy to catch and easy to handle. That ball of twine is connected to a small rope that can also be easily handled, yet is strong enough to haul in a much larger rope, which is the real objective. The big rope is attached to a huge winch onboard the ship. The deckhand on the dock reels in the twine and the small rope and then drags the big rope over to the cleat, where it is easily attached. At that point, the powerful winch on the ship takes up the slack in the big rope and positions the huge ship snugly alongside the dock.
This vividly illustrates how we need to approach opportunity. You may see something really big in your vision, but it may be like the big rope – too big to lift and too heavy to throw. What you need is a series of smaller connections that will allow you to better manipulate and manage your larger opportunity. The only thing you have to worry about is whether the opportunities you pursue are really connected to your ultimate vision. To find out more, you can check out How To Find Purpose In Your Life.
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