I didn’t want to write this post.
I knew it would literally make me exhausted.
But I’m writing it anyway, because that’s my ‘job’. To pour my heart out on the page to help you the reader.
Finding your vision is something that every man must do.
It is a personal journey. It is a journey that only you can travel. I can merely show you how I found my vision with the hope that it will inspire you to get off your ass and find yours.
The reality is that finding your vision isn’t necessarily easy. You have to dig deep. You have to really look inside your heart and examine what fire burns within you.
My vision is not your vision.
Your vision is not my vision.
What you are driven deep down to do is unique.
It’s special. It’s carved from your personal life experiences, hardships, life trials, heartbreaks, joys and triumphs.
The road will not be easy. The road will zig-zag, but this article might just help your journey be less of going in circles and more of a straight line to success.
When I was seventeen years old I was selected as one of three students to give a speech at my high school graduation. Because of how my birthday fell in the year, I graduated at seventeen, but it wasn’t because I was Mr. Genius.
I sat down just a week before the graduation ceremony on my computer and started to type. I was seventeen. My life experience while varied, was limited, but I used what I had at the moment. My life.
You have to understand that in order for you to find your vision you must look to yourself and what your true passions are.
If it does not keep you up late at night, then it is not a passion.
If you do not lose sleep over it, then it is not a passion.
If you do not sacrifice, then it is not a passion.
I wrote the speech and in it I talked about my dog Buddy.
Buddy was for all intents and purposes a lesson in the power of perseverance. I had begged my parents for a dog for over two years before they relented with the strict guidelines that I take care of him 24/7.
We went to a dog kennel in Wisconsin (we were living in Illinois at the time) and picked him up. He was the healthiest looking Beagle in the litter. He had a cocky vibe as I looked at all the pups and he caught my eye for his real swagger that he exuded.
I picked him.
He whined the first night and like a faithful master I slept beside him holding him close. I loved the fuck out of that dog.
The years passed and with it my discovery of girls, going on dates and possibly getting some action. I still loved Buddy, but I spent less and less time with him as I had when I was younger.
He would look sad. He would gaze at me with a look of “I know man, chase the girls, I’ll be here when you get home”.
One morning I went downstairs to feed him and he sat in the corner of the bathroom that was his ‘room’, but didn’t eagerly jump up to eat. This motherfucker would run through a stone wall to eat, so in my gut I felt a weird feeling.
I called his name and he just whimpered.
He shuffled his body closer to me pulling his back legs with his front legs, but his ass never left the ground.
He was paralyzed.
I can’t remember the exact medical definitions, but essentially some discs in his spine had slipped and he now literally could not move.
My heart broke. It would be the first time, but definitely not the last.
We rushed him to the vet, meanwhile I’m making promises to God (which of course got broken) the entire drive over.
The vet examined him, did some x-rays and came back with a verdict: unless he went under intensive surgery he would need to be put down.
Even with the surgery there was no guarantee that he would ever walk again.
I was crushed. Buddy was my friend.
My parents pow-wowed for a few minutes and decided to get the surgery done. They didn’t really have the money, but they were going to make it work somehow and I quickly volunteered my meager savings account balance to help.
Buddy went into surgery and then had to stay for a couple of days for recovery.
When we went to pick him up, his entire back from his tail to the top of his head had been shaved.
He still couldn’t walk and wouldn’t be able to until we did daily physical therapy with him.
Every single day I would walk him a few steps with a sling that the vet had provided.
He’d struggle, but never once whimpered. He would just put his head down and slowly put one leg after another in front of each other, his back paws scraping the grass.
On actual Independence Day of that year (4th of July), after weeks of therapy, he walked on his own.
Buddy was back.
Years later I was getting ready to write my high school graduation speech and Buddy was sick again.
The healthiest looking dog in the litter was once again undergoing something that I didn’t know how to solve, but he would always come over and greet me when I walked in the door.
In the speech I wrote about Buddy. I wrote about his struggle to walk and how perseverance made him walk again.
I wrote about how I did not know what life had in store for me, but I knew that perseverance would be key.
I told the auditorium that unless one focuses on their vision with a laser like intensity, then failure would surely come.
Parents cried. Students cried. Some of the kids parents even accused my mother of having written the speech, because how in the hell could a seventeen year old kid emotionally move hundreds of people?
She never even read it, or saw the pages before I delivered it. It was my speech. My speech.
When you tell your story, it is unique, it will be passionate and it will resonate with others somewhere.
Buddy taught me about perseverance. He taught me about not giving up. He taught me that obstacles will come no matter what, but it’s in how you navigate around, or even through them that matters.
Years later, rocked by ups and downs and sitting beside a dumpster homeless contemplating where everything went wrong, I remembered Buddy.
As weird as it seems, it was as though he appeared in front of me and gave me a look of, “It’s going to be okay. I’m still here. Remember how you helped me walk again? You’re not a failure, you’ve just fallen. You’re not a loser, you’ve just lost this round. You will succeed, but you have to get back up”.
I got back up.
I did everything I could do to make money and get back on my feet.
I even was on food stamps for a short while in order not to starve.
It was painful.
It was embarrassing.
But it was a process.
You see, finding your vision starts and ends with yourself.
Only you know what is your real passion, what keeps you up at night and what makes you lose sleep.
I can only tell you that from that day I gave the speech, I knew that I would eventually affect thousands and even millions of people’s lives through my writing and words.
Thousands of men around the world have bought and read my books.
Thousands of men read this site daily and I’m working on reaching millions.
This blog started as a way to help men a mere year ago and in 2014 did 6-figures in revenue. To have such a successful start blogging in the first year, is almost unheard of in the blogging world, but it really started over 12 years ago with one speech and a young man’s vision.
There was a spark when I gave that speech. People felt something. I gave it my all. I ‘bled’ in front of them and exposed my soul.
I could have played it cool and been witty and made a ‘smart’ sounding speech, but I had to be completely real and deliver what I had at that moment in my life.
If your vision is to write a blog and live a location independent lifestyle, then you have to write about your own experience.
You have to write about your struggles and most importantly, what you have done to overcome those.
Don’t just write about pain and never offer a solution. No one wants to hear or read whining, but if you offer a solution, then you provide hope and hope is in short supply for many people right now.
Be a provider of hope.
Whatever medium your vision is in, provide hope.
Find your vision by looking inside.
Discover what that passion is and what it is that keeps you up at night.
Cultivate that passion.
Pursue that passion with everything that’s within you.
Sacrifice for that passion.
Lose sleep for that passion.
Overcome obstacles for that passion.
Persevere through the pain for that passion.
That is how you find your vision and when you can bring your vision to others in the form of your completed work, you will impact more people than you ever thought possible.
But you must start now.
You must use yourself because no one can tell your story, but yourself.
You must push through the fear of failure in order to complete your vision.
I wish you the best in your quest and I’m sure somewhere in Heaven, Buddy does too.
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Read More: The Day I Died