Motivation Monday: Begin With The End!

Truly Successful People Begin At The End

Rhetorical statement or Chinese riddle? Neither. This is a trait of truly successful people that spans space and time. It is an extremely powerful practice that not much can overshadow when put into place. It ensures that distractions do not take over, set-backs do not become permanent, and minutia do not overwhelm the big picture.

I want to share with you today the power of vision, the power of practice and the power of resilience. You could call these three practices the success trifecta that 20% of truly successful people in the world have and the other 80% do not. This is the difference between success and failure, contentment and covetousness. Take notes and take a few minutes to really do this stuff today instead of simply read it and think, Nice article. You only get one shot at life. Isn’t it time you started living?

The Power of Vision

The power of vision is HUGE. Any great leader begins with a vision to give their followers hope, to give them something to strive towards. Without vision, there is NO REASON. Without reason, no one will do any desired action or practice. I cannot stress how HUGE vision is in your life and the sooner you get this, the sooner your life will transform from something okay into something grand that lives up to your full potential.

The most common example of vision is the Bible. Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets had harsh judgements on the people, yes, but they also shared visions of hope, of relief, of a time without hardship, toil, and strife. They shared visions of a renewed presence of God with his people in this future land, something the people had wanted since the fall. In the New Testament, Jesus possessed a driving vision that allowed him to continually suffer persecution, misunderstanding, heartache, frustrations, and even death without losing sight of his future prize. He shared his vision in parables that told of the coming kingdom of God. He also shared the future hope of the return of the son of man. If you are a Christian, you might rush over these passages and discount their true meaning because our lives are rather cushy, but these words were extremely powerful to a people oppressed by Rome. Jesus, too, began at the end with the power of vision.

What Vision Is

Vision is beginning at the end. It is taking the time to fully think out the thing you desire in the future to the point that you can see it. You have a clear idea of what success will look like, feel like, taste like. The investment in vision happens before you start working towards any goal because it is what drives you towards your desired end.

If you are not accustomed to investing in vision before you begin working towards any goal then you may think this task is unnecessary, but I ask you this. Is your life, right now, everything that it could be? Do you reach 100% of your goals quickly and without trouble? Are you living to your full potential? Do you use other people’s lives as the litmus test to whether your own is great?

If you answered no to any of the above questions then you desperately need vision. I assure you it is time and effort well spent

How to Create Vision

Before you begin any worthwhile project and goal, it is essential to begin at the end with vision. Use the below questions as a guide to create vision in your own life.

  1. What does success look like?
  2. How does it feel?
  3. Will you be happier if you have x,y,z result?
  4. Will you have less stress?
  5. What will you gain by accomplishing x,y,z goal?

Get out a piece of paper, dig in, and answer all of these questions. Until you can see, touch, taste, and feel your desired result, chances are that you have trouble reaching, if at all.

The feeling is the key.

By attaching an emotion to your desired result and truly feeling it, you increase your probability of success by 80%. You’ve heard the saying, You may not remember what a person does, but you always remember the way they made you feel.

Emotions are extremely powerful and we remember emotion more than fact most of the time. When you attach emotion to your results and really take the time to feel that emotion when you think of your desired result, you codify your vision and it will sustain you through any bump in the road.

The next part of our trifecta is the power of practice. Alone, it is useful, but when coupled with the power of vision it propels you forward faster than you’ve ever thought possible.

The Power of Practice

I don’t believe that personalities, traits, and characteristics cannot be changed. I don’t believe that someone is naturally a pessimist and unable to change it. Nor do I believe that someone is an optimist without practice.

Practice is the act of doing something over and over again until you’ve got it. And we practice who we are each and every day, intentionally or unintentionally, for good or ill.

For example, I want to run a world class business that transforms thousands of peoples lives through various products and programs each and every year. Because I currently have full-time employment in the local school system I have to sacrifice all my free time to focus on this business. In the past, I would have used this as a crutch and excuse not to move forward. It would go someting like this: I really want to run a legendary business that truly helps people, but I’m too tired to stay up late working and much too tired to get up early. I also train people, so I just don’t have time to build my business right now, but maybe in the future I will. I am also young and don’t have lots of experience running a business and what if people don’t like what I have to say? Rest is important so I will sit on my butt and watch TV when I get home and unwind for the day. And I’m married so I have to spend time with my husband, which doesn’t allow much time for my business to get my 8 hours of sleep each night. Plus I already have a full-time job that is safe and cushy. Why would I want to add anything else on my plate?

Most of you would say these are valid reasons NOT to grow my business right now. And I used all of these as a crutch for a time because I compared my life to those around me instead of comparing it to my full potential. But I know I can achieve more. I know for a fact that I am not living to my full potential and that I will not be satisfied until I do.

I had bad habits to break. Some of those are surfing the internet when I should be writing, staying up late to watch X-Files, using “tiredness” as an excuse not to work for an hour after school, checking my email constantly while claiming “productivity”, not getting up early, etc., etc. And I’m not perfect. It’s only through practice that I am breaking these bad habits and starting my journey towards reaching my full potential.

Each day I practice reliving my vision by seeing and feeling it. This motivates me for the day and propels me forward. Trivial things like food, clothes, and sleep are just that … trivial. All will be taken care of, but I have 30 minutes to make progress towards my vision right now. At the end of 30 minutes will I be one step closer to my vision or still in the same place?

Practice is about:

  • faking it till you make it
  • forming positive habits through consistency
  • investing time in your future, your life

You must practice vision to reap it’s benefits. You cannot take the time to create your vision and then leave it in a notebook or the back of your mind and expect to achieve results. You must continually remember it and consistently take steps towards your desired end through practice.

The third part of our trifecta today is the power of resilience. Combined with vision and practice, resilience combines the powers like Captain Planet for one unstoppable presence.

The Power of Resilience

Resilience is bounce back. Life happens sometimes and we cannot change our circumstances, but we can decide what will defeat us. Hardships will come no matter what, but if you practice resilience in your life, you will not be defeated. You will continually get back up and move forwards.

With diet or exercise, this means that you don’t throw everything to the wind if you mess up one day and eat a donut. Resilience means that you continually look at your plan, remember your vision, and get back on the horse.

Consistency is key to results. And resilience is the path to consistency. All is not lost at one mishap. It can only defeat you if you let it.

With vision, however, resilience is easy. With a clear vision, you know that your life could be different, desire those results, and don’t let little things sidetrack you. And if you practice your vision, practice success, and practice resilience, you will be tough to beat!

So I encourage you to take the time to develop your vision today and begin practicing success. Because it doesn’t “come naturally” but through effort.




  • Joyce

    Reply Reply August 1, 2011

    This is very inspiring Gerilyn…thank you for choosing to organize your thoughts and setting aside time to put them online for us to benefit from!

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply August 2, 2011

      Thank you Joyce! Glad you liked it. It always means so much to hear from y’all! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pat

    Reply Reply August 1, 2011

    Your inspiring article reminds me of something I often do: before standing before my students, I take time to visualize myself teaching. Of course, I have notes of the concepts to cover, but I see in my mind’s eye how I will say certain things, how I’ll respond to my students, how I will engage student discussion, etc. Having a vision, even for a small thing like teaching a class, is a valuable tool for self-improvement and for having a successful (interesting and engaging) class.
    Thanks for your thoughts re: vision. And you know how interested I am in resilience. I really like the way you correlated vision with resiliency.

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply August 2, 2011

      I like it, Pat! Now, to teach Clint that he has a mind’s eye because he is very insistent that he does not! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I always appreciate your encouragement! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mike

    Reply Reply August 4, 2011

    I used to feel like I had a vision and was working toward it…lately, I seem to realize that my vision is taking detours and gets stuck in the traffic jams of life and other unexpected events…I think it is time to recalibrate and envision a new ending, but I’m not sure what that is yet…I gotta figure out how to get unstuck!!…Thanks for the encouragement!

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply August 4, 2011

      I hear ya Mike. It’s so easy to get side-tracked and distracted. It helps me to make it a practice to look at my vision daily or weekly. The constant reminder lifts my spirits through tough times and payoff is huge! ๐Ÿ™‚ It took me years to get this… I know what you’re thinking – I’m not that old! – but I started trying to do this in 2007 and it never seemed to “take”. I also wrote my vision and never looked at it again. You’ll figure it out! Just the fact that you want to recalibrate puts you years ahead! Congrats!

      And I’m sure that new precious beautiful baby girl doesn’t distract you one bit ๐Ÿ˜‰ Congrats to you and Cindy! So pretty!

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