It was October 2015, I was sitting in a crowded hall full of people, listening to Brian Tracy, a legendary motivational speaker and a self – development author. I got the event ticket as a means of reward & recognition in my previous job and came with very high expectations and jubilation: I was about to see a very well known author, one of my inspirations and role – models in real life.
And… to be honest, he failed. No, not only to meet my expectations because they were too high – perhaps, everyone’s was, especially given the popularity of the author and the price we paid. No, that given day he just sucked on stage. He might not have rehearsed enough or maybe the event was not that well planned. All in all, THE big Brian Tracy ended up covering only 40% of the planned agenda of the program and leaving the most awaited topic of the day about sales strategies behind. It was a big disappointment. A weird feeling, leaving me in doubt about the big and exciting world of personal growth.
Yet, that day, I captured one interesting thought that Brian shared on stage: ” What if you could write a business plan for your life?” He emphasised how most great businesses are the result of well – planned, constantly adjusted and well – executed business plans. Entrepreneurs invest a great amount of hours and effort into thinking about the mission, vision, unique value proposition (strengths) of the business, yearly goals, quarterly rocks, financial plan… I could go on and on. Running a business is a complex thing.
But how many of us actually sit down and document our character traits, our unique ways of showing up in the world, strengths, vision for life, yearly goals…? Yes, we are all familiar with New Year resolutions, that fail by second week of February. But what about the clear plan that gives us some sense of direction?
This is where Brian Tracy got me. I was thankful enough for the event, regardless of it’s success. Or lack of it. Deep into my thoughts, I was rushing to catch the first bus home and be on time for my private German language class. Yet, I could not focus. I needed time for myself. I needed time to focus on my life plan.
It was a familiar feeling, that state of flow when creativity comes to you as a gift of the divine and in that moment the world vanishes. In the deep inspiration, I made my life vision, my ambitious dream plan of where I want to be in 5 years.
Later that night, when I showed it to my boyfriend at a time, he laughed. He laughed from my ideas, as everything I wanted was nowhere close to where I was in my life that day. There were no signs I am going to get there. So he asked me a few questions, to check why I wanted it, how I am going to get there and thoughtfully evaluated how realistic my goals were.
These questions were enough for my “life plan” to be deeply buried in a drawer. There was nothing but a gut feeling that I am going to get there. I had no means to justify or explain the hows of my “life plan”. And I thought I am not being precise enough, so my document was destined to rest in between other important, but never reviewed papers.
What was easier – to review a manifesto of my character, that I wrote back in 2014, during my low moments in life. So it followed:
” I am a student of life. I try to discover as much as I can and learn from those around me through the art of conversation and sharing past experiences wherever possible. I take the world on with a smile, both – the good and the bad. All of it combined teaches me compassion and ultimately enables to understand another.
Full of energy and love for my fellow man, I strive to bring smiles to those that come into contact with me. I am convinced, that happiness is not just for the lucky ones, and I spread joy by leading by example.
I embrace the power of connection and co – creation! And I constantly evolve through the inner and outer journey through the world, discovering and collecting spices of life and combining them into unique learning experiences for others.”
I don’t know how I wrote it. Up until now this piece moves me and captures the essence of me.
I think the extract from the book “The sweet far thing” by Libba Bray best describes that feeling:
-“Do you ever feel that way?”
I search for the words. -“Restless. As if you haven’t really met yourself yet. As is you’d passed yourself once in the fog, and your heart leapt – ‘Ah! There I Am! I’ve been missing that piece!’ But it happens too fast, and then that part of you disappears into the fog again. And you spend the rest of your days looking for it.”
That was the moment of clarity. I was lucky enough to catch it, to capture this piece, which brought me a sense of knowingness. This piece was, perhaps, unjustifiable too, but that was enough for me to know this is how I feel about myself.
Later on, this feeling, reinforced and combined together with thousands of other multiple experiences, poetry inspirations, notes for myself and other encounters that shaped me a great deal, led me to Mindvalley, and led me to where I am today.
While looking back, I understand it was not a sheer determination and a clear goal of where I want to end up (say, Mindvalley). Rather it was multiple reflections on paper, put into that drawer, that allowed my subconscious thoughts to see the light. That drawer full of visions, dreams and manifestos became the base foundation to the real, extensively detailed life plan 2.0 that – little did I know – got written a few days ago. I didn’t write it. It got written – through my core, through the essence of who I am. Through that manifesto a few paragraphs above.
While writing this blog post, I found another note that I wrote to myself in October 2016, exactly a year after THE Brian Tracy seminar: “Most people are not successful, because they don’t want success. They just kind of want it. If you want success, you have to want it as much as you want sleep, you have to even give up sleep!
Step into your fears and continue to push yourself through. Miracles will happen.
Begin every day telling yourself: ” HERE I GO AGAIN. AND I’VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES. THIS IS MY DAY, AND NOTHING OUT THERE IS GOING TO STOP ME!” “
As I recently understood, my character and fierce determination is what got me where I am. In February 2017, I spent three days – 30+ hours – deeply thinking about 12 categories of my life. In January 2018, I spent another 20 hours refining and putting these categories into a detailed business plan for my life: my life vision, my foundational goals, yearly goals, quarterly rocks, financial plan, and I even committed to the board of advisors which will hold me accountable to show that I am on top of my game and executing my plan.
It sounds crazy. But if I needed to pinpoint a single game – changing technique of personal growth in the whole 2017, it would be those 30+ hours of deep thinking put on paper. And because it actually really worked magic, I will share more about it with you in my next blog post.