I like the book of Proverbs. Whenever I feel the need to reconnect with myself, I go back to the basics with the writings of king Solomon. His verse “Where there’s no vision, the people will perish” (Proverbs 29:18) always ignites my passion to imagine and create in my mind a life larger, deeper than the one that I’m living today.
Bestselling author Orrin Woodward recently tweeted out a quote that reads: “Winners learn from the past, live in the present, and lead into the future.”
I understand I can not change the past. I have to accept it with its successes and failures; peaks and valleys; triumph and disaster. And, I have to treat those impostors just the same (Rudyard Kipling).
Leadership is about casting vision which is expressing tomorrow’s reality as an idea today, as defined by co-authors Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady in their New York Times bestselling book Launching a Leadership Revolution which I recommend you for the new year and the new you.
I have found this to be true in every area of life. In a country where there’s no vision, the people will perish. This will be the same situation in a community, a marriage, a business, a school, a church, a family etc…
I just listened to a sermon on an Haitian radio station, and the preacher is asking GOD to bless Haiti and for Haitians to live as they used to in the old good times.
I totally disagree. I understand GOD never goes back. The past is past and buried forever. Those who are calling for a return to the past are reactionaries, not visionaries. They have their sight glued too much on the rear view mirror.
I called for a HaitiShift for Haitians to take into their own hands the future of the homeland. This will call for a change in the mindset to move from the past focus mindset to the future, vision mindset.
We want our future to be bigger than our past, and with GOD, we are moving forward, out-passing our limited beliefs to live the life we’ve always wanted as a country, as a community, as a family.
Stephen Covey, author of the 7 habits of highly effective people, taught us to start whatever endeavor we are pursuing with the end in mind. Covey also said that we created things first in our mind before they become real.
The failure mindset
My mentor Orrin Woodward, in a recent blogpost, said “Failures follow an opposite path which ensures more failure.”
“Failures replay the past, react in the present, and rationalize away the future.”, Woodward said, going further in his thinking, he unpacked each step of the failure mindset and proposed another plan. I could not said it any better than the master himself.
The following is what Orrin Woodward wrote in a recent post:
First, failures do not learn from the past. Instead, they beat themselves (or others) up for their past mistakes. Replaying the past to blame or justify is a sure recipe for failure. Wearing a victim lens in life may reduce the short-term pain but only by ensuring long term failure. In short, a person cannot learn from the past when he is playing the victim card.
Second, because failures don’t learn from the past, they often repeat it. Wisdom is the fruit enjoyed by those who accept personal responsibility for all of life’s outcomes. True, unfair things happen to everyone, but how a person responds is the key. Failures, because they do not seek wisdom, end up living reactively rather than proactively.
Finally, because failures constantly replay past mistakes and are reactive rather than proactive, they have little time to focus on the future. Of course, this ensures they will not effectively lead themselves nor others into a brighter future. Instead, failures rationalize away their futures on altars of past failures. How sad.
Winners have a different mindset. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past because it is history. All that is left from the past are the lessons one can learn from them. It doesn’t matter how bad it is in the present because it’s just a function of reaping what you have sowed in the past. However (drum roll please), to truly change one’s life, it is absolutely essential to envision where one wants to go. For without a clear picture of the future life a person desires, he will not generate the internal motivation necessary to create real change.
Failures have to see it to believe it and thus never believe or do anything without seeing first. But this means they merely react to what is presented to them rather than pro-act to create something new. Winners, on the other hand, believe it, see it, and thus work like crazy to make what they “see” come true. That’s the SECRET! Successful people apply consistent effort to turn their mental dreams into physical realities.
Yes, winners work hard, but so do many failures. It’s important to understand that it’s not the work that separates the successful from the unsuccessful; it’s vision. More specifically, it’s a vision believed so deeply that it becomes a metaphysically reality. The physical work, then, is just investing the time to formally present externally what is already known internally.
Accordingly, the key question for all success is: are you disciplining your mind to see your future reality? I know, I know, the reader is probably thinking – but I don’t have time for that. Think through that statement for a second. A person who says he doesn’t have time to envision his future, is like a tourist who says he doesn’t have time to look at the local map. Although the tourist may save time in the short run, he ends up repeating many steps and loses out on many rewards in the long run. In a similar fashion, so too does the hard worker without vision.
I believe it’s time to learn from the past while living in the present, and leading (with massive vision) into the future? In fact, I believe this so strongly, I co-founded LIFE Leadership to help people live the life they’ve always wanted.