To quote the good book, “Those without vision, perish.” It took a while for me to know the true meaning of those words. I’ve always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl. Everything has always worked out one way or another. If something didn’t go my way, I chalked it up to a learning experience and moved on. The interesting thing is that every time I purposefully change the direction of my life, something wonderful happens.
My education had always been a struggle for me. I spent four years in the undergraduate program at Ball State University on the verge of failing out of school every semester. It was not from lack of ability; it was from lack of effort. I took a full year off between my fourth and fifth years of school not knowing if I wanted to complete my bachelor's degree. That year was emotionally, financially, and physically exhausting. I took a good long look at my life, saw where it was leading, and I simply was not okay with the outcome that I saw. So, I got my act together, came back to St. Louis for three months, made a lot of money teaching swim lessons, went back to Ball State and ended my second senior year with a double major in Journalism and Exercise Science, a minor in Business and for that year, a 3.85 GPA.
The reason my second senior year was such a success was because I envisioned the direction my life was heading. I saw the consequences of not finishing my degree and it scared me into action. Becoming vision- and goal-oriented made me put forth the work and effort to achieve my objectives.
Another trajectory year was 2011, the year I began participating in endurance events. Through that process, I changed into the person I wanted to be. I cried, cussed, laughed, pushed hard, mentally and physically broke myself down, and attempted to become the absolute best version of myself. I subjectively envisioned the outcome of the sacrifice and effort of that year and I succeeded in everything that I set out to do. I completed two half Ironmans, a half marathon, and numerous smaller races.
Every year since then, I’ve made a Visionary Plan for myself. This plan includes two to three specific goals that I want to meet by my birthday the following year. Some years, it is more business oriented, other years it is personally oriented. Some goals are on the small side and some are larger than life. For this particular year, I have two professional goals and one personal. I am very excited to see where life is headed during the next 365 days.
To have vision is probably one of the most important parts of life. Yes, there are some who can wander around and meet their goals without a care in the world, but those people are few and far between. Most of us need the discipline of point A to point B in order to succeed. I, for sure, am one of them.
My hope for people is that they take a little time to sit down and think about what direction their life is headed. If the direction is desirable, keep on going, baby! If it is not, make a list of three tiny things you could begin this very day that will help you with a brighter future. Implement those tiny visions and see how much you can change the outcome of your year.