2012 End of Year Talk: Having a Vision for Your Life

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Below is an edited and shortened version of our December 13, 2012 Meditation Class Talk and beneath that you will find some written excerpts from the highlights of the talk:


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A few weeks back I talked about the Indianapolis Colts, Coach Pagano, who is battling cancer. He gave an inspiring speech where he said, “You can live your life in vision or in circumstance.” A simple interpretation of that is that you can live your life consciously or with random chaos. Are you just along for the ride or do you know what you want?

I am always looking at ways to change. What can we improve?

We have to have a vision for what this place is and what it needs to be. Any change that is possible, that is considered has to fit this vision. Does it fit where we want to be down the road? Does it fit the kind of culture we want here – the way it affects people’s lives, the way it develops things? Does it fit? And if it doesn’t fit, then it quickly gets discarded.

So lots of things can be considered but very few things will pass through. I can say change is coming. What exactly, we don’t know yet, but we are always working on it. We are always looking to improve.

Vision becomes sort of the litmus test – anytime that I evaluate anything, because of the principles that are taught in this art, it is the litmus test… if you truly understand the principles you can look at anything and you can say good or not so good. You have a way… So how can we evaluate?

Then there is the question of spreading too thin. What is my goal? Is it my goal to accumulate stuff, or is my goal to go very deep and essentially master myself and my world.

You have to ask yourself, if we can’t make a change without it fitting into the vision, then how about you?

When you have a decision to make, how do you make that decision? Well, it is really good money, or people will respect me more if I do that or it’s warmer there, the change of scenery.

What kind of decisions have you made? Then ask yourself, “Does it fit with my vision for me in my future?”

It’s the end of the year, New Year’s is coming and everybody thinks about making those New Year resolutions. It’s not uncommon to talk about goal setting and every year I bring it up. People don’t always like that.

I remember years ago reading about a Harvard study where 3% wrote of graduates wrote down their goals. 97% did not. That same 3% made many times more than what the others did combined in their lives. They knew where they wanted to go.

There is an Alice in Wonderland quote, to paraphrase, it said something like, “If you don’t know where you want to go then any road can take you there”. That is true. Without goals you can wander around just along for the ride. No reason. No direction, no focus.

Why is it so hard to write it down and commit to something? Why does writing it down seem so difficult, so stressful?

There are two things that can cause this stress. One is a lack of clarity. You don’t know who you are. The other is lack of belief. You don’t know what you are capable of. You have too much self doubt. You cut yourself short.

If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t…

Whatever you believe to be true, is you. If you see you can do something down the road, if you can see it in your mind, then you can. But you have to be able to break into down into chunks and that is where goal setting comes in. Goals are the roadmap. How do I get anywhere? I need to know the steps to get me there. Some set of directions.

Of course, there is another thing. When does a GPS not work? Ever have that problem? What is the complaint? No satellite. What does that mean? “I can’t find you.” I don’t know where you are. If you don’t know where you are starting from how can you get anywhere? So these lofty possibilities out here that you can’t even fathom, that you don’t believe. Well, have you ever really taken a good look at where you are at?

It could be fitness, weight loss, relationships, career, money, it could be anything. Where are you now? If you are a millionaire, it’s not hard to make two million but if you are homeless and you want a million it is going to be a different direction, a little bit of a different path.

Certainly, it’s not impossible. If you believe it is true, you absolutely can do it but your directions are going to be very different. If you are coming from New Orleans or New Jersey to get to Florida then it’s a different starting point, big difference in how long it takes.

How do we find that out? That is where this practice comes in.

Do you have a vision for what you’d like your life to be like? Chime in below!




Shifu Ahles
Shifu Raymond Ahles, the owner and Chief Instructor of the Blue Dragon School, is a certified instructor of Ba Gua Zhang Kung Fu & Chi Kung and a 7th Generation Lineage Disciple in the Ch’iang Shan Pa Kua Chang Association. In addition to his 30 years plus teaching experience in the martial arts, Shifu Ahles also holds a B.S. degree in Exercise Physiology, he’s a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has an extensive background in the healing arts of Oriental Medicine including certifications in Advanced Amma Therapy, Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture. He is a licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist in NJ.




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