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Beating the Odds

Win More: Develop a Vision

When you’re holding a new book in your hand, how do you decide whether to read it?

Do you look at the back cover? The inside flaps? Do you open it at random?

I use a simple test — just read the first sentence of Chapter One. That sentence says a lot about the writer’s level of skill.

With this week’s anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, I read the text from the first sentence.

Those first few words speak not only of freedom, but of something you need if you are to get more from your life. That something is vision. Here is the sentence:

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”

Can you believe his level of vision? Dr. King saw far beyond what was happening that day.

If you are to get more out of life, you must do the same thing Dr. King did. You must see beyond today. You must imagine the future you would love, then make a connection between your actions and that future.

When Mike Keenan became coach of the New York Rangers with the hope of ending their long Stanley Cup drought, he showed his players a picture of a New York ticker-tape parade as an example of what would happen if they won the championship. They did.

My friend Gary Pritchard, a mental skills coach, says, “Make your decisions not on the person you are today, but on the person you wish to become.”

If you want to beat the odds and get more from life, be sure that you have a grand vision, as Dr. King did. Then do the things that make it more likely that vision will come to pass.


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