Today, I want to talk with you about vision, and speaking of my barn, this is the reason I actually wanted to talk with you about it today, because as I was plugging away and tearing down walls and using the sledgehammer to bang things up and beat things up in there just the other day, I kind of caught myself wondering, “Why am I doing this? Why am I going through all this work? Why am I going through all this effort?” And for a minute I almost told myself it wasn’t worth it.
But what kept me going when I didn’t want to do it anymore, after being physically and mentally exhausted, is the vision that I had for what I’m going to create out of this place. I vividly, vividly see a place where men come together and they band together and they push each other and challenge each other physically, mentally, and emotionally. I see a place where men come, where they get the tools and the clarity that they need to go out into their own lives, into their families and their businesses and their communities, and be the type of men they know they’re capable of becoming, and also the type of men that the people in their lives are relying upon them to be.
I see a place where fathers and sons come together for our legacy event, and they’re having powerful conversations and they’re engaged in activities that are going to push them further than they’ve ever gone before. I see this incredible, incredible space in my mind so clearly, and that vision is what allows me to continue on, whether it’s tearing apart a barn or doing this podcast when I don’t want to, or continuing to coach my kids when coaching is exhausting. If any of you have been a coach, you understand exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s what allows me to carry on. It’s the vision, and that’s what I want to talk with you about today. Because without any vision, nothing happens. Everything is dead. There is nothing else that is going to take place without vision. And I think vision is … I won’t say synonymous with, but I do think vision and hope are very clearly aligned. I think they’re very close, and my thought is that if you don’t have some sort of vision for the type of man you want to be, and the things that you want to do, and the things that you want to accomplish, then there is no hope for the future. And I feel like without that level of hope, some level of hope, even if it’s just a glimmer of hope, you really won’t do anything in your life and you’ll resign yourself to this state of mediocrity and complacency and underperformance, and then, of course, the bitterness and the contention and animosity and resentment and misery, frankly, that comes with no hope, no vision for the future. No idea of something that you want better for yourself.
So when we do our 12-week battle planning, and I’ve talked with you guys at length about that, I feel like a little bit I’m beating a dead horse, but it is so critical that you have this planning in place. We talk a lot about the objectives, and we talk a lot about tactics, which is how we’re going to get there. We talk about our progress and accountability, and all that stuff is very, very important. But what most men overlook is the first step, the very first step in the battle plan, in the planning in general, and that first step is a vision. It’s not necessarily what specifically you want to accomplish. It’s the broad 30,000-foot view of what type of man you’re going to be, and then how do your specific objectives then help you become that type of man? What do you see? What do you want to experience? How do you feel when you project yourself out into the future? How are you showing up? One exercise that I’ve recommended and a lot of people have recommended in the past is writing your own obituary. How do people remember you? When they’re talking about you and you’re leaving a legacy, what are they saying about you? What do you want them to say about you? And then are your actions in line with them saying those things and feeling those things and having those experiences about you?
This is the vision I’m talking about, and when you have a very clear, emotionally charged vision, something that you’re deeply connected with, something that you can feel, that is almost tangible, that it’s almost real, when you have that, you’ll be able to charge through anything that inevitably presents itself, because on your path to improve your life as a man, not everything’s going to be perfect. Not everything is going to play out exactly the way that you think it will or that you hope it will. Challenges are going to come up. Obstacles are going to present themselves. Roadblocks are going to be present, and without some sort of vision driving you, pushing you, pulling you through those times, you are going to fall into the trap that millions and millions of men have fallen into, which is stop, which is get derailed from your overall plan and objective and then fall short of the mark that you had for yourself, and then of course, we fall into this pattern of resentment and mediocrity, and some of those things that I was saying earlier.
So you’ve got to have a vision. You’ve got to have something pulling you. You’ve got to have something driving you and motivating you and inspiring you to do more. Now, I don’t want this to be woo woo. This is not something where you just think about it and it manifests itself, but what I will say is that when you have the type of vision I’m talking about, and I’m going to outline four to five steps here for you to create your own vision for yourself, is that things do start happening. Not Without your work. The universe isn’t just going to present it to you because you really, really want it really, really bad. You have to actually work towards it. So please, when I talk about vision, don’t misunderstand me. This is not the entire process. This is one step of the entire process, but it’s pivotal. It’s critical that you complete this step and do it correctly so that when we get to the other steps, and we’re going to talk about this in future podcasts, that you’ll know exactly what to do, that you’ll be able to drive on in the face of the things that come up.
So I want to ask you and challenge you. As you’re listening to this, whether it’s on your run or driving to work, or doing some chores around the house, do you have a vision for yourself? Have you projected yourself out into the future, and what does that man look like? How is he showing up? How is he dressed? How is he involved with his kids and with his wife and his community? What activities is he engaged in? Is he mastering some hobby or some skillset? Is he furthering his career? Is he in a new career? What’s he doing for workouts? And how is he able to show up physically and mentally and emotionally and spiritually for the people in his life?
And guys, let me tell you, you, as a man, showing up physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, spiritually, financially, it’s critical that we as men learn how to do this. The role that we play in society as men cannot be overstated. And the reason this work is so important to me is that generally, I see a softening, a weakening and a feminization of men and society. And I think we’re selling ourselves short as a society when we aren’t embracing fully what it means to be a man.
So how do we turn the tide? We work on ourselves individually. Individually first, then collectively within the Order of Man, and as we do this, then we branch and we expand and we grow, and we enlist other men in this battle to reclaim and restore masculinity. But it starts with one man. Starts with one man. It starts with you, and then you impact your sons. You impact brothers or fathers. You impact your neighbor or the kids you’re coaching, or mentees that you happen to be helping. It starts with you, and it branches out from there. So on the subject of starting with you, let’s talk about what this actually means. Vision, guys. It’s hope. It keeps you charging, and then eventually it will manifest itself into objectives and things that you’re accomplishing that will move the needle in the way that you want to move the needle.
So what I want to do is I want to break this down into five steps, and I like these frameworks. I do these a lot on the Friday Field Notes because I want to give you the tools and frameworks that you need to be able to succeed. And if I’m just talking about this 30,000 foot woo woo, “Just have a vision and think really hard about what you want and you’ll be in your own special place,” then I don’t think that’s going to help. I want to make it tangible. I want to make it actionable for you. And as I share this, I would ask that, again, you share the podcast with somebody new who needs to hear it, and then you connect with me on Instagram or Twitter, Facebook. Specifically, Instagram is best because that’s where I spend most of my time, @RyanMichler, and share with me through pictures and through stories what you’re doing in your life with regards to your vision and objectives and the overall 12-week battle plan.
1. Create Time For Visualization
Guys, you need to create time daily to visualize what you want. If you’re doing it once a quarter or once a week, it’s just not enough. Your visualization process has to be consistent and it has to be daily and you have to be doing it as often as possible because things do come up, challenges do get in the way. You’re going to be met with some adversity and some roadblocks and it’s going to derail you unless you can get crystal clear on your vision and do it daily to recalibrate yourself back to what you want. It’s not enough to think about what you want on a quarterly basis or a weekly basis. You have to do it every single day.
So part of my morning process, guys, is I will actually sit down in a quiet place, specifically my office, and I will think for five to 10, 15, 20 minutes max because I’ve got other things to do, about what I want to accomplish not only throughout that day but what I want to accomplish generally as a man. What type of father do I want to be? When I’m interacting with my kids, what are the kind of conversations we’re having? What are the feelings that are being experienced? When I’m sitting with my wife and eating dinner with her and being intimate with her, what does that look like? What does that feel like? How does that manifest itself?
That’s the first step. When I’m doing this podcast, what is it that I want to share with you and how do I feel about it, and how are other men being impacted by it? When I’m going throughout my work and something comes up, how am I going to get through that? These are the types of questions I’m asking myself in my daily visualization process, and I think about the ideal version of myself. In a perfect world, I shouldn’t say a perfect world, but in a perfect scenario, how will I show up when things are good when things are bad? What will I do? How will I improve myself? How will I face hardship? These are all things that you can visualize on a daily basis, so it’s got to be done daily. That’s step number one.
So I want to challenge you to think about, again, as you’re listening to this, while you’re running or working out or exercising or driving or whatever it is you’re doing, is to think about where in your day you can do this on a daily basis. I would recommend doing it in the morning because it’s such a critical component of your life. Why would you wait until the end of the day? You’re going to be much more successful, profitable, engaged when you do your visualization in the morning. So if you need to wake up 15 minutes earlier than you normally do, great. Do that. This is a process of experimentation, by the way, guys. Try it first thing in the morning when you wake up. Try it after you exercise and workout. Try it after breakfast with your family. Wherever you need to try It, experiment with it and figure out what’s going to work best for you, but the first thing is taking time to do this daily.
2. Look For Inspiration
I want you to think about examples in your life, in your immediate circle, and then also outside of your circle and look at other men that you are inspired by. Whether that’s me, which I know sounds a little maybe narcissistic, or, well, it’s weird actually coming from my perspective, but if that’s what it is, great. If it’s Jocko or David Goggins or Cam Hanes or Andy Frisella or any of these guys that you listen to that you’re inspired by, then great. I think you ought to probably tap into what these guys are doing, and I want you to model their behavior. It’s not enough to be inspired by these individuals. You probably ought to start thinking about why you’re inspired by these individuals. What is it about the way that Andy shows up in his life, or what is it about the way that Jocko shows up in his life that inspires you? That’s the first step. And can you model that behavior?
I want to be very cautious here, though. I’m not telling you to compare yourself to what somebody else is doing. I’m not saying to do it exactly as somebody else does. I’m just saying that there are frameworks out there that other men are using, that other men are utilizing in their lives that you can use, and you can look at those people as a source of motivation and inspiration. And I know motivation gets a bad rap and everybody says motivation is overrated and discipline is the way to go. You need both. You need both.
You need to be motivated. If you’re not motivated, I mean, discipline is only going to take it so far as well. So it’s not a one size fits all. It’s not just one tool to be able to build your vision for yourself or your life, for yourself. You’ve got to have it all, so it’s okay to be motivated. It’s okay to be inspired. It’s okay to follow people on Instagram. It’s okay to watch YouTube videos or even to listen to this podcast. Now, eventually you’ll have to put it into action, and we will, and I’ll talk more about how to do that, but right now we’re talking about vision. There are men, I already alluded to some of those individuals who I’m inspired by and I’m motivated by, and I see the level of discipline they have and I see what they’re doing as far as their workout regiments, and I see how they’re showing up for their families.
And fortunately, I’m a person in a position where I get to have conversations with these individuals so I can delve deeper into what they’re doing specifically. But I envision these men like the type of man that I want to be and the way that I want to show up in my life. And so I model those examples. I don’t just stare and think about how great they are. I ponder what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, and how they’re showing up. I’m in a position where I get to ask them questions one on one. You may not be able to do that one on one, but you can certainly engage with them on social media and ask what they’re doing. And a lot of these guys I know from experience will respond back to you and give you some insight. You can listen to this podcast. We’ve interviewed over 200 highly, highly successful men, and you can go back and you can listen to what these guys are doing. I’m giving you the conversations and the tools that you need to excel in your life. We need to use these things better. This is mentorship.
I can’t tell you how often I hear from guys who say, “Well, real men don’t need other men to tell them how to be men,” which is such a stupid thought, because that’s exactly what men need. That’s what women need with other women, too, by the way. This isn’t unique to men only, but we need other members of the same sex teaching us, showing us their ways so that we can improve and get better, and any man who says that he doesn’t need another man to show him how to be a man has an ego problem and probably a performance problem, because he’s not performing as well as he could be had he listened to sound advice and strategy from other men who have things figured out. And our access to these types of examples is unlike it’s ever been before. So model those examples. That’s step number two.
3. Expose Yourself To New Information
You’re in this box, this rigid little box that you’ve created for yourself, and all of your experiences and all of your circumstances and everything that you’ve learned is what’s created the walls of your box. And some boxes are bigger than others, and some are different, and some are structured, and some are free and loose. But at the end of the day it’s you that’s created this box, whatever that looks like, however, that’s manifested itself to you. So what you need to do in order to change your circumstance and change your environment is to expose yourself to new material.
I was at a conference, and I can’t for the life of me think about who was talking, but he said, “When you’re building something in your life, whether it’s your family dynamic or your career or your physical fitness, you can only produce what you put in.” That’s what your brain does. Your brain will produce based on what inputs, based on what it consumes. So if you’re consuming filth and nonsense and garbage, then inevitably that’s all you’re going to be able to produce. But if you’re consuming hope and optimism and information and value, then you’re naturally going to start producing that stuff. So what podcast are you listening to? Is it serving you or hindering you? What books are you reading? Again, you can go back and listen to my guests and see what they’re reading, or read the books that they’ve written. Who are you talking with? Who are your mentors? Who are your coaches? Who are your guides? Are these people serving you, or are they pulling you back? What men in your inner circle are improving your life, or are they detracting from it and taking it away, taking away from your life, I should say?
Think about who’s in your inner circle. Think about the information that you’re consuming on a daily basis, minute by minute. “Is this information helping me?” “No, it’s not.” “Good. Eliminate it.” “Yes, it is.” “Cool.” Do more of that. But ultimately, what you expose yourself to is going to determine in large part your vision and then ultimately what you’re able to produce as a result of that vision. So share with me what type of information you’re exposed to and what’s been working for you and what’s been helping you.
4. Tap Into Conscience Projection
I alluded to it earlier in the intro is I was talking with you about how powerful vision is, but the conscious projection is the notion that we as human beings first have consciousness, and second, we’re able to tap into it on demand. And when I’m talking about projection, I’m talking about projecting yourself to a later date. Whether it’s a year from now, or five, or 10, or 30 years from now, we have the ability to project ourselves to a future date and time and then look backward and give ourselves advice. Sounds a little strange, but this is consciousness. This is part of what makes us uniquely human, is the ability to do this. We don’t rely on instinct alone. We have instincts, but ultimately we have consciousness as well which allows us to have and tap into this very powerful tool called projection. So I would recommend that you project yourself out into the future, look back to your current self, and give yourself advice based on how you want to show up and who you want to be, and how you want to be in life. It’s called conscious projection, and it’s a very, very powerful tool.
I have a lot of guys who ask questions like … Well, one I get a lot is, “I’m considering a career change, and I can take this job and I can make more money, but then I’d be away from my family more. What should I do?” And it’s not my place to tell any other man what he needs to do. I think ultimately, each of us needs to make our own decisions. Now, I can give advice and share what I would do, but ultimately you have to make your own choices. But one thing I do tell these guys a lot, is I say, “Fast forward 20 years. Fast forward 20 years. Looking back, what decision will you be happy that you made?” Now, most of the time these guys are going to say, “Well, I’d spend more time with my family,” which I believe is the right answer. I’m not going to make that decision for somebody else. That would be the right decision for me. But it becomes very clear. That’s the point I’m making. It becomes very, very clear when somebody projects themselves out into the future and thinks about what possibilities could be, and then goes back to their future self and says, “Okay, this is the decision that you need to make.”
So what I’d like you to do is project yourself out one, five, 10, 20 years, and look back. What kind of decisions do you need to make between now and then that will help you be the kind of man that you projected yourself into? How do you want to show up? How are your kids going to talk about you? How is your wife going to talk about you? What does your career like look like? What does your body look like? What kind of energy levels do you have? What problems are you solving in society? What is the ideal version of yourself? Now, work backward. Reverse engineer the process.
“Okay, here’s what I want to be. I can see it crystal clear in my mind. Here’s how I want to show up for my grandkids. Here’s how I want to show up for my wife. Here’s how I want to show up for my kids. Here’s how I want to show up for my community. Here are the things I’m involved in. Here’s what my career looks like. Here’s what my bank account looks like. Here’s my body fat percentage, here’s what I can do regarding strength.” All of it. Cover all of it, and then you start working backward into steps. “Well, in order to be that kind of individual, I have to do this, this, this, this, this, and this.” So that’s called conscious projection. Projecting yourself out to the future date, working your way back and telling yourself what you need to do today in order to be that kind of man down the road.
5. Document Your Vision
Guys, you’ve got to document this stuff, all right? It’s not enough to think about it and ponder it, and wonder how it’s gonna work for you. All that stuff’s good. You need to do that stuff, but I would say that you’ve got to document it because now what you’re doing is you’re bridging the gap between the non-tangible and reality, right? You’ve got this vision in your mind for who you want to be, and then on this other side of the spectrum, you’ve got reality. How do you bridge the gap? Well, the first step is you start writing down your vision. Documents and studies have shown that those who write down their objectives tend and are more likely to achieve them. Well, the same is true for your vision.
“I want to be this kind of man. I want to show up this way. When people think about me, here’s what I would like them to think about who I am and how I’m showing up. Here’s the relationship with my kids, here’s the relationship with my wife. Here’s how much energy I have.” All of those things I talked with you earlier, be writing these things down. This is how you bridge the gap between your vision for yourself and then starting to make it a reality. And of course that is the objectives and the tactics, and the things that you’re doing on a daily basis, and we’ll certainly talk about that in future podcasts, but right now this is the first step. This is the first step, and part five of that is to document this stuff, and it’s not a one and done type thing. Document it today. Start writing tomorrow, writing the next day, writing the next day, and it will continue to evolve as you continue to evolve. You may not even know what’s fully possible for yourself because you aren’t to that level yet.
This is why I hesitate to use the term full potential. “I want to reach my full potential.” I have no idea what my full potential is because when I improve today, my quote-unquote “full potential” moves. It’s a moving target. When I reach an objective and I accomplish it, that isn’t the end. It just means the objective moved, it expanded, it became more prolific, and I’ll need to do something even bigger and better and grander moving forward in order to accomplish my new quote-unquote “full potential.” So you may not fully realize what type of man you can actually become. Write down what you have, start working towards what you have, and then I think over the course of you going through this battle plan process and improving your life, you’re going to see fairly quickly that what you thought today is limited based on what you’ve accomplished already, compared to what it could be in a week, or a month, or a year, or five or 10 years. But if you have no documentation of this, you’re missing a critical component, and that’s the transition between vision to action, vision to implementation.
So that’s my message for you guys. Vision, and without vision, nothing else really matters. Nothing else happens. You’ve got to have the vision in place. We’re going to get into the objectives and we’re going to get into the tactics. We’re going to get into all that stuff, but you’ve got to start with a vision. So let me recap these five steps and then I’m going to turn you loose and let you go accomplish them.
Number one is doing this daily. Five, 10, 15, 20 minutes is all you need. Figure out a time to get it into your day. Number two, look for examples and start modeling their behavior. Don’t just say, “I like that guy and how he shows up.” What do you like about that guy? What about that guy inspires you? What about his regimen or his activity or his discipline or his characteristics or the virtues he espouses do you want to be like? Use those as examples to improve your life. Number three, expose yourself to new information. Remember, the information in, information out. So if it’s filth in, filth out. If it’s high quality, productive, producing type stuff that comes in, you’re going to get the same thing coming out. Number four is a conscious projection. Projecting yourself out into a future date, looking back to your current self and giving yourself advice based on who you want to be. And then the fifth one is documenting this stuff.
A very simple process. Not really complicated, not really complex. It doesn’t need to be complex. You don’t need a 200 point plan to do this vision. I didn’t tell you specifically how to write your own vision, because you don’t need me to do that. I want you to create it. I don’t need to get that specific with you because it’s going to be different for everybody, but I feel like if you use these five steps, including the documentation process, and you do it consistently, again, it’s not a one and done thing. You do it consistently, that you won’t need me to tell you how to craft the perfect vision for yourself. And if I told you that anyways, how bought in would you be to that? You wouldn’t. So I’m not going to tell you what mine looks like. I’m not going to give you the formula for writing a perfect vision, because there isn’t one. You develop it, you figure out what’s going to work for you, but I think if you do it within this framework, you’ll see a lot of success if you do it consistently and you really abide by some of the things that I’m teaching you and sharing with you here.