As you scan back, these last decades have you noticed that some of your friends or colleagues have developed very successful careers and lives while others seem to be mired in one crisis after another? What is it that differentiates those who get what they want and those who are continuously frustrated and without direction? Can we learn from past failures or challenges and move forward in our senior years with more fulfillment?
There are many factors why people succeed in attaining what they are seeking in life, but I would like to focus on three of them. It’s what I call VAP (Visualisation, Audacity, and Persistence).
Recently, Australian golfer, Jason Day won the PGA Championship – a great performance. Jason has been a top golfer in recent years and one technique that he uses prior to taking a shot is visualisation. He looks in the direction of where he wants the ball to go; you can see it in his eyes. Many athletes use this technique, seeing in their mind what sort of outcome they are seeking.
Visualisation means the formulation of a mental image in a way that will lead to a positive outcome. As American author William Ward stated, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it”.
So how do you see your future? Five, 10 or 20 years ahead, can you see what your life will look like? It is important to have a vision for the future. Otherwise, we are running an ad hoc life and are at the whim of what life throws at us.
If we look at the lead-up to the U.S. presidential in late 2016, we can see audacity at work. One of the contenders is Donald Trump, who we can say, is a very audacious man. Some don’t take him seriously; they think he is a man with a big ego who just wants to make a name for himself. He does say it like it is – in his perspective – and is not afraid of being politically incorrect. It does seem to resonate with people because at this stage in the campaign, he is leading in all the polls. No doubt, Trump’s demeanour and attitude has made him successful in the world of business.
When we are audacious, we are being bold and daring. If we truly believe in ourselves and what we wish to achieve, we need to have this trait. Some would say that this takes courage. It’s true, but when we believe in ourselves or in our purpose, audacity becomes easier.
In the first two years of my chiropractic practice in the early 1970s, I was on the verge of bankruptcy. I didn’t have much business sense. I had too much debt and not enough income. My accountant told me that I should probably declare bankruptcy – not a thrilling prospect for a new practitioner.
One thing I did have though was persistence. I refused to lose. I was determined to make it through by whatever means. I worked longer hours, I curtailed some of my spendings and I got out more in the community to get myself known. In the end, I made it and eventually I developed a successful practice.
Persistence is that ability to exert continuous effort to succeed in whatever area of life you want to consider. If you are a senior and want to take up a new language, you need to put in the effort and be consistent with it. If you want to become a writer, persistence is definitely an asset.
The question now is what you want to do with your remaining years? You will fill your time with something, but you can determine if that “something” will give you fulfillment going forward. Whatever you do, use VAP to create the life and future that you seek.
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