I’m going to tell you a quick story.
And although it starts off with my experiences, if you stick around I’ll teach you how you can apply the same process to achieving your highest ambitions. I know, that sounds lofty, but you’d be surprised how many successful people use the exact same approach.
So, here’s my story. A friend of mine recently asked a simple question that led me to an unexpected revelation: “Why do you always wear black clothing?”
My first response wasn’t too eloquent. I simply said, “I dunno, that’s just my thing.”
But then it made me wonder, why is that my thing? That caused me to go down a rabbit hole to the moment it all began. It was 2007 and I was working out at Crunch Gym in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
I was always in good shape during my college years, but I started to fall off once I moved to New York City. So, I decided to get back in the gym and shake the rust off. Like most guys, the first thing I wanted to do was hit the bench press, which meant I had to wait.
And while I was waiting this guy walked by me and he immediately made an impression. He was around my height, 6’4″, and had similar features to me as well. But, there were two big differences. He was at least 15 years older than me, and the dude was in great shape. I’m still impressed just thinking about it. You could tell he took his fitness seriously and had dedicated years to building himself up.
At the time I was 29 years old and it was great to have a real example of how I could look at his age if I just stuck with it. So, I used him as a blueprint to copy. I would secretly study his workouts and then do the exact same routine the next day. I also noticed that he was constantly chewing gum as he worked out so I picked up that habit too.
Oh, and one last thing: He only wore black clothing.
As you may have guessed, I started buying black workout clothes too. Eventually everything from my shoes to my wristbands were black. It was like a uniform I would put on, and it would instantly get me in the zone to do my best work in the gym.
Around the same time I started working at tech companies with a more relaxed dress code. Since I was able to wear t-shirts and hoodies to work it made sense to put on clothes I could wear at the gym too.
I could change more quickly when it was time to work out, and I wouldn’t need to buy as many outfits. Fast forward to today, and that’s why I still primarily wear black clothing. But there’s more to the story.
Fifteen years later, I’m not just dressing like the guy I saw in the gym. I look like him too. I’m the same age he was back then and have a very similar build.
So, why am I telling you this story? It’s because I wanted to highlight how important it is to have a vision for your life. Part of my vision was to look like that guy, and I put in the work to make it happen. But what is a vision? Your vision is a mission statement of what you want to accomplish in your life, both personally and professionally.
This statement can be used as a guide when determining the career to pursue, making important life decisions, planning how you’ll accomplish goals, and realizing your life dreams. If you don’t have a vision yet, check out this handy guide that will walk you through the process.
Need an example of how a vision can help with your professional life? Take a look at the image below (I posted this on Facebook and declared my intention to write for a well-known business publication).
My first Entrepreneur article was published just seven months later.
Right now you could be seven months or fifteen years away from living in the vision you want for your life, but it all starts today.
How to get started
Block off time to complete your vision exercise and share it with someone you trust for encouragement and accountability. And I know this may sound like fluff, but you’ll be amazed at how many successful people got to where they are simply by having a clear vision of who they wanted to be, then putting in the work to make it happen. But if you can tolerate more fluff, here’s one of my favorite quotes.
“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.” ― Robin Sharma
So don’t miss out on this opportunity to document the vision for your life. If you block off just 30 minutes to write it down, you can radically shift and improve the next 30 years of your life.
And if you like these exercises check out my free LinkedIn Learning course, Developing a High-Performance Entrepreneur Mindset. It’s only six minutes long and provides additional activities for you to try out.
Don’t wait to build a better future, get started today.