Got 2020 Clear Vision?

Posted by Kurt Daradics on December 31, 2009

Folks over estimate what they can do in a year and under estimate what they can do in ten.

No doubt you'd agree how quickly this past decade has flown by. My one regret is that I wasn't nearly as intentional about the effects I wanted to create. I didn't find my North Star (community empowerment) until quite recently. As I reflect upon the past decade and get clear about my vision for my life by 2020 there are a few stories that I would like to share with you:

Petunia Pickle Bottom

My best friend Braden Jones and his wife Denai started a company in my hometown of Ventura in 2001 called Petunia Pickle Bottom and gave birth to a new industry. Even more remarkable than the amount of jobs they've created and profits they've generated, is how they did it. They were true to their passion around design and quality, and this has generated countless wins and amazing experiences. For example, the time that Oprah gave Julia Roberts a Petunia bag live on the show once, or how about the time that Martha Stewart gave her entire live studio audience Petunia bags! Bottom line, they love what they do. It sustains them through growing pains and gives them an opportunity to travel all the time and also be with their two young kids.

Jack Johnson

Another example that has inspired me to follow my dreams is watching my college buddy Jack Johnson follow his passion around songwriting. One of the things I most admire about Jack is how humble he's remained, considering that he's now a bona fide international pop star.

What Jack did was simple, he followed his passion, curiosity and talent around songwriting. He didn't have any big vision to instantly boil the ocean. Although, I think Jack knew instinctively that he has the power to manifest a sea change, and no doubt he's on that path, but he simply seems to be enjoying the journey one mile at a time and not getting ahead of himself. He once told me that if it (the tours, albums, lifestyle) were to end tomorrow he'd be grateful for the experience and go right on living his life. Jack seems to have a zen like detachment from the material and any results, but still balancing each foot forward and riding the wave that he paddled into.

Elliot Smith

Here's a sad story to illustrate the effects of NOT having a vision and hope for the future. Elliot Smith came to my 27th birthday party at the Derby in Los Feliz, a year later he stabbed himself in the heart. He was dating my friend Jen Chiba and I had been to that fated "Basement on a Hill" many times and have stood in the very spot that he died.

My sense about Elliot from the few times that I met him was that he was a ship without a rudder. He had lost hope and it was expressed in his most haunting (and beautiful) music. I often wonder what Elliot's life could have been had he had a clear and positive vision for the future.

Now what is your Northstar?

What effects do you want to create by 2020?

Or in other words, what do you want to have occurred ten years from now?

Consider this: who you are now has everything to do with how your perceive your future to be. For example, if you really really knew that you were picking up a million dollar check tomorrow from closing a big deal, or embarking on the most amazing all expenses paid vacation how would you feel? Now, imagine the doctor just told you that you have cancer, there is no cure, and you have a month to live, how would you feel then?

Who we are, and how we feel, has everything to do with how we perceive our future to be. The trick is that first we have to be able to put the past where it belongs, behind us.

Most of the time this takes a fair amount of work and I don't recommend going about it alone.

Zero out the compass. Remove any skew in your navigation system. Tune your radar.

Jack called me in 2000 and invited me to go on the road with him as his road manager. I turned him down because I didn't think I'd do a good job, mainly because part of the gig would require me to run sound which was was something I wasn't comfortable doing because I was born without ear canals and had 35-40% hearing loss and had always struggled with being hard of hearing. I have to admit, I've looked back at the choice and wondered what my life would be like had I taken that path.

April 2007 I had a miracle surgery and they implanted a digital hearing device into my brain (i know right!) and I'm like the Million Dollar Man, complete with bionic hearing. I guess this is a good example of tuning your radar. I spent a lot of time in my life with doctors trying to find a solution to my hearing problems.

Early 2009 I went 'straight edge' and this has been given me remarking clarity and performance benefits. At risk of sounding preachy, I'm just going to say it, some folks just aren't willing to make the sorts of sacrifices that are required to win. I truly believe if you have a strong enough 'why' (desire) you'll invent the 'how'. Here's my post on the difference between winners and losers.

Who you gonna call? Got mentors?

All champions have coaches. I have tons of them and I meet with them monthly or quarterly, or hop on the phone or shoot an e-mail when I have a question or need some help. Here's a flavor of what I'm talking about.

Scott Leese

*Scott is graciously giving my friends a free coaching session to help discover and align mission and mark out well defined New Years resolutions for the first 50 people that respond to this blog post or contact him at scott/at/scottleese/dot/com. No catch. Just helping folk get launched on the start of a great new journey of your life.

Scott has been a executive life coach and consultant for than 20 years, working with high performance Olympic athletes, entrepreneurs, artists, actors, political consultants to help align their next level of goals and performance.

Working with Scott has transformed me. We did some exercises where we went back into the past and cleared up lots of static and then created a future that I'm finding myself living into right now. One of the biggest benefits working with Scott is quieting the static and noise in my head, having more confidence, and believe or not being able to look people in the eye with a sense of peace and empowerment. I did not have these things prior to my work with Scott. He has a steady hand and asks great questions too. Scott has been a great role model for me too.

The Landmark Forum

If everyone in the world completed the Landmark Forum the world would work. What I love about the folks at Landmark is that they're truly commuted to their vision of empowering folks with 'living a life you love, and loving the life you live'. They do this through a Socratic styled Q & A classroom lecture format that I really respond well to. Disclaimer, their format and concepts can occur are rigorous and not everyone can stomach it. Here's an example of how they hold integrity.

Arthur Joseph @ Vocal Awareness

My friend Shira Lazar introduced me to Arthur at Vocal Awareness. His client list is mind blowing, folks like Pat Riley, Quincey Jones, Pierce Brosnan, Arnold Schwartenegger, and so on. Arthur's gift is helping you discover your breath and empowering you through voice. Before working with Arthur I didn't know how to breathe. Literally, in one session he transformed my life by showing me how to 'allow' a loving breath, and then we started to work on how to harness this into my speech. Growing up hard of hearing naturally gave me some speech impediments, and we've been having some great success getting me 'camera ready' as Arthur likes to say. I've noticed a remarkable improvement in my diction, tonality, and appearance of my speech, and it's been lots of fun playing with this energy, not to mention another major boost in confidence.

Duke Stump @ The Northstar Manifesto

Duke was VP Brand at Nike, then CMO at Seventh Generation. Duke has embarked a brand new adventure with The Northstar Manifesto, a dynamic culture and leadership studio focused on cultivating and nurturing Bonfires with Soul.

Model nature, be like the Japanese gardener, and let your vision and the effects you want to create inform your strategy and positioning; and you'll eventually get there. This is what I've been learning from my friend and mentor Duke Stump. His blogs are a great place to think about what 'bonfires' you'd like to build around your personal and corporate brands.

Got 2020 Clear Vision?

So, get clear on your vision.

  • What effects do you want to create?
  • What major milestones do you want to have occurred three years, five years, ten years out!?
  • Have you always wanted to learn to play guitar? Perhaps you learned how to play and you've always wanted to play in a band?

Whatever your dream is, I encourage and applaud folks to live life by design, wherever possible:

  • Tune in to your passion, curiosity, and talents.
  • Have joy, regardless of the circumstances and challenges
  • Put the systems in place to support you
  • Any skews in your navigation system you could dial in?
  • Enjoy the journey, remember it's not a sprint, and eventually you will get there.

Most folks over estimate what they can do in a year and under estimate what they can do

in ten.