The Secret to Your Ultimate Life

I have discovered that hard work is not the key to success. It is most certainly a factor but it is not the key. Intelligence also does not determine success. Some of the most successful people are not necessarily the most intelligent. The foundational key is vision. Vision undergirds a person’s special qualities and causes their strengths to work together in a way that can help them succeed.

This reminds me of my friend James. It is really a cool story and remarkable in its own way. However, it demonstrates how most people function in life. James’ father had a close friend that he grew up with. The two friends got married around the same time and as things worked out, one of them had a girl and one of them had a boy not too long after they each married. As these two friends, let’s call them Bobby and Nelson, met occasionally and spent time together, their young children played together, took naps together, and were as close as if they were family. Bobby eventually joined the Air Force and moved away. He would come back occasionally to visit his parents in the town where Nelson still lived, but they eventually lost contact as Bobby traveled and moved around. One tragic day, Bobby’s family was notified that he’d been declared deceased sometime after he’d been stationed in Vietnam. However, his family still visited Bobby’s parents.

My friend James (Nelson’s son) happened to reconnect with Bobby’s daughter one summer when she was visiting her grandparents. In getting acquainted, and through conversations with Nelson, they discovered they had known each other as young children. As they found time to hang out together, Bobby’s daughter invited James to meet at the beach where she and her mom planned to rent a house and stay the weekend. Bobby’s widow was dating again and the gentleman offered to let James stay in his hotel room. The arrangement was that the gentleman would leave the door unlocked and James could slip in when the beach party was over and have a place to stay the night. However, James forgot the room number. Picture this, a teenager, late at night at a motel trying to find an unlocked door. Oh dear.

They had a remarkable set up. James and Bobby’s daughter seemed destined to reconnect. Not only did they reconnect, but actually enjoyed spending time together enough that they would arrange the overnight beach outing. But in the end, James is searching for his place to stay in the middle of the night trying not to get arrested! He did find an unlocked door, crawled into bed in the dark and hoped it was the right room! So, this is the point. So many people travel through life this way. They may have an amazing opportunity, but without vision and goals to achieve that vision, they are jiggling handles on doors with unknown occupants, hoping something meaningful will open up to them. Every momentous decision in their lives is a shot in the dark. They’re just feeling their way through the darkness hoping they somehow magically stumble across the pot of gold that could suddenly make their lives better.

People who succeed are driven by something invisible. They are driven by a dream, a vision that calls for self-denial, self-control, and self-discipline. Vision is the motivation of a successful person’s life and goals are all the tiny steps that a person must take to achieve that passion within their heart. People reach their destinies by reaching their goals, and achieving goals is a clear indication that they are making progress toward those destinies. As you set goals and follow through on those goals, they will lead you to the places you want to go.

The secret to the ultimate life isn’t really a secret at all; it’s just something we rarely consider. It’s about the presence or absence of a vision in your life and the thoughts (goals) that either give rise to a budding vision or destroy that vision before it can grow. It’s about mindset. We eventually become what we think, and we eventually achieve what we think about in our hearts and in our minds. If we are setting goals that are fashioned toward achieving a vision, the passion of our hearts, we are driven toward success and a future that we can be fulfilled by.

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