You will only ever be as great as your vision. If you cannot imagine it, then you will not seek it out for yourself. If you do not seek it, you will likely never get it.
But if you have a vision that is burning you with passion and desire, then it is highly likely that you will dedicate your every waking moment towards that vision, and not stop at any hurdle, any impossibility, any challenge will be consumed like fuel to the fire, and you will find a way to achieve your vision.
However, you have to keep fueling the vision so it can keep burning.
When I was preparing for law entrance exams, I lived this. I used to dedicate some time every single day reading more about the legal profession, about pay packages, about lifestyle of successful lawyers, about how powerful they were, and about how much they charged for an hours work or a single appearance.
That kept me burning with desire to go to a good law school. I was ready to do anything to get that. Nothing was going to stop me.
That said, it was very hard for me to crack the law entrance because my English was very poor. But it was not OK to fail. I had to get through, and I was ready to do anything. It was one of the most productive years of my life. I memorized the entire Webster Collegiate Dictionary so that I could improve my vocabulary. I finished Word Power Made Easy (finally)! I was so obsessed, I will get through hefty books in a matter of days. I would wake up thinking of how to crack the exam and go to sleep thinking how to crack the exam. I would think about it while I was eating, walking or even tying my shoelaces. That was my life. I ignored everything else.
I had burnt all the bridges behind me. I didn’t take admission in any good college after 12th so that I could focus on law entrance preparation. I took admission in a night college, where I eventually stopped going and didn’t bother to take any exams. If I didn’t crack any law entrance, I had no backup options. I had to, had to, had to get it.
I topped the NUJS entrance exam, the first exam that happened in the month of January. The first exam I took. Other exams were in April or May. Before those exams, NUJS results were out and I took admission. I was the 2nd topper actually. My goal was not to top but to get through. I worked so hard, my vision of me getting through a good law school was so powerful, that I got to the top.
So, how do you create a vision this powerful?
Here are some useful tools that professionals use to create a powerful professional vision.
Generating the vision
Walt Disney used to say that if you can dream it, then you can build it. He indeed had first dreamt of Mickey Mouse before creating the character, which is Disney’s iconic and most loved ever. He believed in dreaming before building.
This is not so far from what Nikola Tesla, the father of modern AC electricity would do. He could visualize his theory, or invention in his mind before he built anything.
It all starts with visualizing success. A vision is what you want for yourself and is ready to make all your choices from that place. This is different from a mere wish. A vision is something that drives all your action and your choices.
But at first, it is just a faint picture in your head, backed by a desire. You need to feed that picture with more details to make it a powerful vision. You want that picture to manifest itself out in the world.
You have to reinforce that picture time and again so that it becomes second nature to you. You should create reminders and surround yourself with such reminders. This is where making a “vision board” comes very handy.
How to make a vision board
A vision board is a collage of images and notes you keep usually in your bedroom, where you see it as you go to sleep as well as when you wake up. It is a daily reminder of your goals and dreams.
Pinboards are great for making a vision board. You could simply use a chart paper also. Now you can visualize the life you are going to live like a lawyer. Which court will you practice in? What will your office look like? Which big companies will be your clients? What kind of car will you be driving? Which university will you get your masters from? What subjects will you be an expert in? What skills will you acquire? What prestigious places will you publish in?
Look, not the same things motivate everyone. For example, I don’t care much for a car. Nor for a masters degree. But these things excite and inspire a lot of people.
This is your vision. So figure out what will inspire and encourage you to take unreasonable, massive level of action.
Put up images, notes, letters to yourself, or whatever works for you.
Jim Carrey didn’t make a vision board, but wrote a cheque of 10 million dollars and placed it into his wallet when he was poor and struggling to find work. He says it worked for him!
It may be hard to make all your choices from this vision, but that is the training and the challenge.
My friend recently asked me, hey have you ever been to the National Gallery of Modern Arts? I said: no, have you? She said: well you like art, right? Wanna go there sometimes?
No. I don’t want to. I said no.
I didn’t have to think much. It’s not aligned with my vision. My vision is to build LawSikho into a powerful community of legal learning and create extraordinary lawyers. I will spend my time pursuing that. My entire life is about that. Even if my friend asks me to hang out, I process it through my vision first. Is the action aligned with my vision?
You may think that this is too obvious. Everybody must be doing what they are aligned with and intend to do. Absolutely wrong.
Inspect your own life and how you spend time. For most people, they spend far more time thinking, worrying, procrastinating rather than actually doing productive, focussed, real work. Also, they get easily waylaid by other people, technology and businesses. Think of how much time you spend mindlessly scrolling through social media or fighting over politics or some other thing where your actions make no real difference. Nir Eyal wrote an entire book on how Silicon Valley companies get consumers to form mindless habits and try to make them spend more and more time on their platform.
That is misalignment between what you want and what you actually do.
However, the idea would be when you start asking hard questions before you take any action. What if you asked before every action: Is this forwarding my vision or wasting my time or taking me backwards?
Then it will be super easy to make the right decisions, and equally hard to make the wrong ones.
This is alignment. After you have the vision, you have to align your life with the vision. Nothing should come between you and your pursuit of that vision.
It is a declaration rather than the truth. There will be people and circumstances that will come in between. You will not get diverted only if your vision is strong and you are determined to achieve it.
You are going to eat, sleep, breathe and live for your vision. And that is how you are going to achieve the vision that you dream about.
Thoughts don’t even move a needle. Motivation does not get shit done. You need hustle. You need action. Action makes things happen.
Massive action is great. More action you take, the better, as long as all the action is guided by your vision. However, at a lot of times it will be hard to take massive action. But you can always take small actions. You can always dig in your heel and progress inch by inch.
You will keep going even when it is going to be very hard. And that is what becomes possible when you have a powerful vision.
Work on it. Prepare you vision board. Place it where you sleep and will get to see every day.
Don’t forget to make learning and development a part of your vision board. If you keep learning and developing yourself in the direction you want, nobody can stop you from being immensely successful.
What action can you take to create a vision or even move closer to making your vision a reality that you could take right now? Would enrolling in one of these courses help?
Here are some amazing intelligent courses that make you do the real work step by step, systematically, so that you can emerge as a powerful, extraordinary lawyer.
Executive Certificate Courses
- Certificate Course in Advanced Corporate Taxation