What's the coolest thing you've always wanted to try but haven't done?
Have you always wanted to live in Florence? Try an open-mic night? Take a class on ornamental horticulture? Climb Mt. Everest? Take a six-month sabbatical?
Here’s a question: Why haven't you?
Related: Why You Should Set Radical Goals
If you deeply desire to turn that long-held dream into a reality, these three steps will help you transform your vision into action:
1. See it clearly. It starts with two simple words: goal clarity. If the end result appears fuzzy to you in any way, then you will struggle to accomplish it. Most people simply do not spend enough time defining what "success" really looks like.
There are two ways to mentally make a plan for climbing the metaphorical mountain:
Option 1: Stand at the bottom and look up. Scary, is it not? The mountain looms ominously with the summit densely shrouded in fog. You can hardly see past the very first step.
Option 2: Stand at the top of the mountain, look back down, and ask the question, “What steps did I take to get here?”
Looking back down the mountain from the summit gives you the goal clarity you need.
For example, I started playing ice hockey recently and my goal is to join a local league team this fall. There's one problem: I can barely skate. So I signed up for lessons and I practice routinely. I find it a difficult and challenging endeavor, but the vision remains crystal clear.
I see myself putting on the jersey of my future team. I picture myself celebrating after a goal or, even better, following a hard-fought win. I see it before it happens and I find my motivation within that clear vision.
2. Believe it passionately. You must also fervently believe in your endeavor. Passionate beliefs give you a sense of purpose, dedication, direction and endurance.
I play hockey, but I don’t play ragtime piano. Don’t get me wrong. I love ragtime, with its jaunty tunes and the physical dexterity required.
But I’ve also counted the cost and, at the end of the day, I simply do not feel passionate enough to justify the countless hours it would take to accomplish such a feat.
Count the cost and plan your priorities based on your personal values and passions. But don't settle for pursuing any less than that which you know you are capable of.
As Nelson Mandela said, "There is no passion to be found playing small -- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
3. Pursue it aggressively. Vision paints the picture. Passion fuels the fire. But action alone gives life to our goals.
I felt embarrassed in my skills that first night of hockey class, but I fervently decided right from the start to simply outwork everyone else (even those who were 30 years my junior!). I immediately hired a private coach. I ingeniously installed a makeshift surface on my garage floor. I routinely answer the 4:30 a.m. alarm clock to make the 5:15 a.m. practice even when I'm dead-ass tired. And I'm having a ball!
Here’s the good news: When the vision is clear and when the belief is passionate, then the action becomes a joy -- not a chore.
What is it for you, my friend? What vision awaits a bold and decisive move? What life adventures await you?
Answer those questions, and you will change the world.