Tips for Fishing and Living # 42

Tip #42:

“…trout that doesn’t think two jumps and several runs ahead of the average fisherman is mighty apt to get fried.”                                          Beatrice Cook, Till Fish Do Us Part, 1949

Sam loved to tell about whatever latest thing he was planning to do. He told of each plan always with gusto and conviction. “I’m getting a website.” “I’m buying a boat.” “I’m going back to school.” “I’m going a take a trip around the world!” Within each of his various exciting plans, however, was an implied word: someday, or a vague soon. The specifics and actual details, even when pressed, would be, at best, mostly vague and lacking.  

He would expound about these latest ideas to anyone and everyone who would listen. He’d say things in such a way that people would readily get enrolled into whatever he was planning to do. People enthusiastically believed him. Over time after hearing of one more grandiose scheme after another falling by the wayside, these same people stopped listening. Those who knew him and who had come to see plans never develop, eventually stopped listening and believing altogether.

What did seem likely was that Sam mostly enjoyed just talking about these dreams, rather than actually doing anything that might bring them into fruition. Talking about these things seemed to be an alternative for actually doing them.

Richard was someone who also talked about his dreams. He told of what he was up to, but not quite with the same zeal as Sam. In fact, Richard tended to speak of his plans, for the most part, only when others asked. He’d then reluctantly tell about his latest venture, but clearly he wasn’t interested in impressing the listener. In fact, it wasn’t that he lacked confidence, rather it seemed as if he felt superstitious about telling others about his goals for fear that this would somehow risk a diminishing of the goals being completed. He kept discussions short and sweet. But anyone could tell Richard was seriously pursuing his goals.

There was another big difference between these two men: whenever Richard described a dream he was able to bring the listeners up-to-date with what present actions were taking place. Maybe he was currently engaged in designing something out. Perhaps he working on some road block that he was attempting to work through. In this case he was in the process of figuring out how to move past whatever he’d come across.

Richard often spoke of his milestones. He could say where he was in the project and how long he expected to complete it. He’d tell you if he still needed to do more research, or if he was going about raising money he needed for some phase of his project. He might tell of some newer alternative goal he now had based upon some new discovery. A so-called “wrinkle” was not seen as an end point; it was an opportunity to better refine his original goal.

Years later Sam was still talking his someday plans, if not so loudly, along with sometimes dismissive notions and excuses regarding various prior dreams that never quite worked out due to it being the wrong time, or due to the bad breaks, or whatever else was deemed as stoppers. Meanwhile Richard was well his way to a life of realized dreams, with bigger and bolder ones to come. Richard had established his skill set as a solid foundation for actualization of great goals.

Sam was a dreamer; Richard was a visionary. There is a world of difference between dreamers and visionaries. Dreamers love to imagine great and distant futures. It is as if there is some kind of fulfillment within the dreaming aspect that they readily enjoy. Dreamers gets enjoyment in the creation of these dreams.  Dreamers take satisfaction talking about these fabulous ideas; but they fall short when it comes to taking action(s).

Visionaries conceive of a future and then use this to spring board their dream into reality. They do so by getting focused, and by having compelling reasons for why this future is vital and essential to them. They also have compelling insight as to what their life would be like without their realizing their goals. They know what they will gain from their goal, AND what they will miss out on having by not obtaining their goal.

The visionary’s true breakthrough is in their core belief that they can actually have such a future; that they deserve having it. This is so critical. It is often what separates them from dreamers. Dreamers are people who remain in the dreamer stage because they don’t really believe they deserve to have whatever it is they fantasize about having. Thus, it remains merely a dream. “This sure would be nice, BUT…”

Visionaries first believe in the future they desire to have, and see it as both possible and something they deserve. They are able to see themselves having this future. They can imagine it; and not only can they imagine it with their thoughts and by visualizing it in their life; they can feel it, as well. While they are imagining this future they are able to viscerally experience it.

About 10 years ago I decided I really, really wanted to have a corvette. I mean I really wanted to have it. This made no sense and it was a ridiculous idea! But, did I mentioned I really wanted to have one? So, I began to imagine having this particular car. I started questioning all my various old attitudes concerning who could or should, or could not or should not, own a corvette. I started talking to corvette owners. Whenever I saw someone getting in or out of their corvette I’d say “hello” and compliment how awesome their corvette was. From this came my recognizing that corvette owners came in all different shapes, sizes and types.

I also began to save money for my corvette. This became my corvette fund. Every time I got some extra cash I’d put it into my corvette fund. This fund grew and started to add up. I began to look at corvette advertisements, and I started to think about what specifically my corvette would be. It decided it would be used one, a late model in excellent condition, with a manual speed transmission, and it was to be a convertible. I had several colors I was open to so I didn’t lock this spec. down.

I went to various dealerships to see corvettes they had on the grounds. Eventually I had a photo taken of me sitting in a corvette. I looked GOOD. I started test driving different late models. I also placed the photo, along with other “corvette” things, onto my vision board. While I knew I wasn’t going to purchase a brand new one, the photo helped me remain focused.

After three years my fund seemed to have enough money to possibly buy a late model corvette. So I began looking in earnest for a good car and one I could afford. I went about doing so with absolute conviction that my corvette was out there waiting for me. I went looking for it, convinced I would locate it. Eventually I found a private seller who had recently remarried and had a son about to go off to college. He was reluctantly selling his corvette. He was asking considerably more than what I had saved. I told the seller that I knew his corvette was worth all he was asking and after explaining I would be unable to purchase it, I left. About 30 minutes later the seller called to say he’d decided to place his car with me – someone he felt would take good care of it, and so he wouldn’t have to sell to some teenager. And would sell his corvette for the amount of money I had offered.   

On May, 22nd, 2011 I bought my very own 2004, metallic blue, six-speed manual transmission, convertible corvette! What I had been visualizing for roughly three years was a reality.

Owning a corvette more than likely makes no sense at all for you. This is perfectly ok. Having or not having a corvette is not the point at all. Getting exactly what it is that you want, however, is all that I hope to encourage you to take on, and take on with gusto.

Visionaries go about doing whatever it takes to get their dream to become reality. They develop workable strategies in order to achieve this desired goal. If need be, they obtain new skills needed, and are willing to do what they aren’t currently doing, in order to bring about their dreams. They’ll acquire these skills if needed. They’ll do things today, tomorrow, or the next week, month, year – until they manifest the intended outcome. They are unwilling to settle or stop themselves with, “I’m not good at that,” or any negativity. They dismiss any and all old or out-of-date beliefs, as well as, behaviors, that don’t serve their present pursuit.

When I took on my goal of owning a corvette it was also as an experiment. I really wanted to teach myself what it takes to powerfully achieve any goals. This was, after all, just a car! Why not get the car of my dreams?

In doing so I took on numerous things and changed certain ways I had been doing things. I gave up the belief that I was not “a corvette kind of person.” I gave up my belief that I don’t have the money and I am not good at saving for things. It took a three-year savings plan that grew until it was enough money. I didn’t want to take out a loan. My corvette fund actually grew faster than I had originally imagined it could. I kept visualizing myself owning and operating a corvette, and I enjoyed the owning and operating one, in my mind, well before I physically had one.

 I also gave up old habits that didn’t serve me toward my goal. I didn’t assume things that may have been helpful before were still helpful. So I developed a new yardstick for today: does this help or hinder me? I learned things that weren’t currently within their arsenal of skills; things I now needed to achieve my goal of becoming a corvette owner. For example: at first talking to corvette owners was strange and uncomfortable. But as I did this I quickly discovered these people loved talking about their cars, and it became easy to have a these conversations.

Visionaries are also willing to ask for help. They’ll seek out the best people to assist them to reach their desired goals. Ask. Ask, Ask. Ask. Several corvette owners readily volunteered important and useful information. They advised me about good years, and not so good years, of corvettes. They informed me about area corvette clubs and how these would prove to be potential sources in finding sellers, as well as, where to find good and reliable corvette repair shops.

It’s also critical that successful people develop effective ways to manage the inner voices that otherwise stop us from moving forward or completely derail us. You know those voices. We’re all subjected to them. They’re the voices that say things like: “who are you to want this?” Or “You don’t deserve that.” Or “You are not smart enough, worthy enough,” etc.

Such people become proficient at is telling those voices to “Shut up!” Eventually they give them no attention at all because they’re way too busy moving about with their present plans. They just don’t have any tolerance – or time – to give these screaming vultures, any longer.

An effective way to stay focused is by surrounding yourself with other like-minded people. Support groups are ideal to keep you determined and unwavering. My support group turned out to be other corvette owners. The people I stopped to talk with, as well as, the numerous people I met at various corvette shows I attended during my three-year experiment.

A Mastermind group is a peer-to-peer mentoring concept used to help it members solve their problems or pursue their goals with valuable input and advice from other group members. In 1925 Napoleon Hill in his book The Law of Success, and later in his other book, Think and Grow Rich, he promoted such groups as powerful methods for committed people in achieving their goals. Mastermind groups often have people who are pursuing various goals, but have the one common purpose of fulfilment and doing so by being held accountable.

There are numerous advantages with groups:

  1. You realize you are not alone or weird for wanting bold or audacious goals.
  2. You get to express your feelings without fear of ridicule or judgment.
  3. You gain helpful information so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
  4. You improve social skills.
  5. You gain and retain hope and inspiration by other members’ achievements.
  6. You reduce your distress, sometimes with a single, helpful suggestion.
  7. You grow and increase in self-understanding.
  8. You help others, and by doing so, motivate yourself, as well.
  9. These groups are affordable to use. The peer aspect doesn’t require coaching, consulting or counseling fees.

Hill was a great believer in the Law of Attraction. This law is the belief that sees positive or negative thoughts bringing about corresponding positive or negative experiences into one’s life. The belief is based on the ideas that people and their thoughts are made from “pure energy,” and that a process of like energy attracts like energy through which a person can improve their health, wealth, and personal relationships. While there are those who dismiss this as unscientific, advocates will say that “Thoughts Become Things.” Another way to say this is that we generate whatever it is we focus on. Saint Theresa of Calcutta was known for never accepting an invitation to any anti-war rallies. She would go, instead to a pro-peace march. She knew the power of focusing on what you want, rather than on what you do not want.

Proponents of the Law of Attraction believe we do ourselves harm by focusing on that which we do NOT want. They believe we create far better results when we place our attention and energy on whatever it is we DO want. A popular slogan for this is “that which we resist, persists.” If you are dieting and you see a picture of a hot fudge sundae, and immediately you start thinking, ‘I can’t have a hot fudge sundae,’ you will cause yourself much suffering. You’d be better off having the sundae and getting it over. Whereas if you think of what you do want, such as, ‘I am committed to successful weight loss and I crave a smaller waist size,’ you’ll then be far better off. Focus on what you want.

Another old slogan is this one: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.” Like the fish in the quote above we’re apt to get fried whenever we make careless, hasty, or rash decisions, or whenever we go off with half-baked ideas.

What separates dreamers from visionaries is that dreamers merely dream dreams; whereas visionaries dream AND they take corresponding action(s) – ones that will often lead toward manifesting their dreams. However, just doing actions of any kind are not what is needed. In fact whenever we don’t pay attention to possible and often unintended consequences of our actions, we won’t produce our intended goals and will instead pay a price.

 Clarity is critical, along with enough actions to go along with clarity. Life tends to be, more often than not, like a chess match, rather than that of a checkers match. Bold goals along with lofty and well-designed strategies make for more effective and successful – and fun – adventures.