Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.
—MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT SHELLEY
Good personal planning involves no more than determining how you will get from your present circumstances to the future you have created through your vision.
The trouble with many plans is that they are based on the way things are now. To be successful, your personal plan must focus on what you want, not what you have. If you focus on what you have, your future will be limited by your present circumstances. If you focus on what you want, your imagination will be set free to explore the possibilities.
Suppose you live in rural Kansas and you have a burning desire to see the sights of a big city. But you look around you and all you see is farmland. If you focus on present circumstances, you’ll say, “Well, I guess I’ll just have to learn to like farms and ranches. That’s all we have around here.”
But in reality, you’re not a prisoner of circumstances. You don’t have to be tied to your farm in Kansas. Youare in the geographic center of the continental United States. You can travel north to Minneapolis–St. Paul, west to Los Angeles, or east to Washington, D.C. Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
Suppose you want to see Los Angeles. “That’s half a continent away,” you tell yourself, “and I live out in the country, miles from nowhere. ...