Posts Tagged ‘Vision’

Most people start the new year setting goals conveniently disguised as New Year’s resolutions. However, people who do this are focused on the wrong thing. Before they set their goals or resolutions, it behooves them to first establish a North Star.


polaris-north-starJust as it is used in nautical terms, your North Star is a fixed point you can use to guide your life and ensure that you are heading in the right direction. It can serve as an unshakeable marker that will guide you through the turbulent waters of your life.


With that in mind, before setting your goals it is beneficial to think about and declare your North Star. If you don’t, you are essentially sailing rudderless, aimlessly floating in an ocean of possibility hoping you will reach a destination you desire. Or even worse, you may end up setting goals that are not aligned with your North Star, thus setting a course in the “wrong” direction.


My inspiring friend Dan Galperin (www.manpowerproject.com) once asked me a question that serves as a beautiful and fun way to establish your North Star. He asked:


What are the 5 impossible goals of a lifetime that would blow your mind?


Once you have declared these lifetime goals, they can serve as your North Star and guide your annual goals. Your goals each year should align with, support, and further your North Star – even if by just a few small steps at a time.

Here are the 5 Impossible Lifetime Goals I declared this year as I set my North Star.

  1. Plant 10,000 trees.
  2. Have $5 million in the bank.
  3. Become a Best-selling author.
  4. Be in a relationship with a stunningly attractive (inside and out), amazingly sensual, incredibly spiritual woman.
  5. Speak in front of 10,000 people.

Rather than struggle with your New Year’s resolutions this year, most of which are broken because they are not inspired by a person’s North Star, why not start 2017 by electrifying your life with a declaration of your North Star!


“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a year.”

– Matthew Kelly (& Bill Gates)


When dealing with goals, especially lifetime goals, don’t get overwhelmed by the magnificence you are declaring for yourself. You do not need to accomplish everything by tomorrow. Thinking that way is a sure recipe for frustration, which will likely lead to you giving up.


Rather, take your time and design a thoughtful, measured plan taking you from Point A (January) to Point B (December). Break your goals into smaller milestones which you can accomplish over the course of the whole year. By doing so, you will ensure your success and witness exhilarating progress toward your dreams.


This is the best way to succeed for the year . . . and your lifetime!




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There is a lot of talk about the Mayan prophecies and 2012 being the end of the world.

I don’t believe it.


What I do believe, if I may borrow from the 1990’s band R.E.M., is that it will be the end of the world as we know it.


2012, or any new year for that matter, offers the opportunity for great transformation in our life. It is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and start fresh. I think that is what 2012 will be; a year that marks great transformations in people’s lives.


When I take a moment to look at what is occurring in my life, I notice that the biggest issue that has challenged me my whole life now stares me right in the face, confronting me. It’s as if the Universe finally said, “OK, Rich. I have had enough of your avoiding the one issue you need to face so I am going to put it square in front of you.” And this time, I see that there is no escaping it.


Once I saw this for myself, I noticed that a few of my closest friends are experiencing the same thing. They are being challenged to step up and face that one issue in their life that haunts them. That one issue that prevents them from living a more joyful life.


It wouldn’t surprise me if in 2012 we each will be given the opportunity to face our biggest challenge and transform our lives forever.


In the book Conversations With God there is a great line that states, “You will get the message as many times as you need it, in as many different forms.” I have seen this truth play out over and over again for my clients as they seek personal growth. In my coaching, however, I add a phrase so that they understand the importance of hearing the message – “And each time you don’t get the message, the Universe turns up the volume.”


I think 2012 is about turning up the volume to 10 so that we all clearly hear the message we are supposed to “get”. More importantly, I believe that “getting it” and the transformation that is available to everyone, is about living the life you imagine for yourself and know you truly deserve in your heart. It is about stopping the struggle and suffering we endure in our lives and finally allowing ourselves to live a life we dream about.


As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world, as in being able to remake ourselves.
– Mohandas K. Gandhi


I believe that the human spirit is capable of creating just about anything we can imagine in life. One of the best ways to usher in this kind of change . . . change we want to create and be the cause of . . . is to create a vision, set goals and establish a plan to make it real.


For those who want to allay their fears about the end of the world and focus on living this year, here is a great article from NASA debunking all the different end of the world scenarios put forth by people.

NASA Debunks End of World Theories

Of course, if you prefer to believe that the end of the world is indeed coming, feel free to enjoy this ominous video capturing the end of the world as we know it . . . and, you better start living fast.  Only 355 days left!  Luckily for us, this year is a leap year, giving us one more day to live.  Those Mayans sure knew how to plan!   🙂


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On a recent trip to Israel, I experienced many wonderful observations about life and living. Many of them were about religion, spirituality and belief. One powerful insight, however, had nothing to do with any of those areas.

Our guide, who fought in Israel’s foundational wars of 1967 and 1973, shared some amazing stories about the spirit of the Israelis as they confronted their enemies. In some cases, the stories sounded nothing short of modern day miracles. And they were. But upon deeper reflection, I realized that they were brought about as much by human inspiration as they were by Divine intervention.

This realization was crystallized when someone asked our guide how the small nation of Israel managed so many successes against many larger nations with greater armies. His response was an answer that can lead all of us to victory in every aspect of our lives. It was not about superior planning, greater numbers, logistics, equipment or luck. His answer, in my opinion, is summed up in one word – commitment. He simply replied, “We cannot afford to lose one war.”

The Israelis know that if they lose even one war, they will lose all they have worked tirelessly for not only these past 60 years, but for much of their existence. And their accomplishments in that short period of time are amazing. They have literally turned deserts and barren land into forests and orchards. I have never seen so powerful a transformation as I did while traveling their country.

Spirit of 1776In our guide’s concise, yet incisive answer, not only did I understand commitment at an entirely new level, but I realized the power of fighting for something vs. fighting against something. The distinction between the two is one that has given birth to nations and had a people thrive against almost insurmountable odds. Each and every day, in almost every action, Israelis wake up knowing what is at stake for them. It is almost as if it is coded into their DNA.

There is a huge difference between fighting for something vs. against something. If you are fighting for something, you are inspired by what is in your heart and feel as if you are being pulled toward a vision that is greater than yourself or where you might stand in the moment. You feel as if you have a direct responsibility to care for that vision and have a direct impact on its success.

When you fight against something, you are directing your energy, or even worse, surrendering your energy, to what it is you oppose and do not want. Your whole existence becomes not about your vision and what you want to create, but rather someone else’s vision of what you do not want. It is a resistance that blinds you and pulls you off track, rather than a vision and commitment that pulls you forward and inspires you.

So the question with which I returned to this great country, a country born of the same spirit, was quite simple: What am I fighting for? What commitment is coded into my DNA that gives rise to a vision toward which I wish to direct my every action?

I leave you with those very same questions.

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