If you build it, he will come...
That’s one of the most memorable lines in cinematic history. When a farmer in Iowa had a vision to build a baseball field on his lot of land, he had faith that it would lead to something magical. Of course, it was just a movie. And we all know how it ends. But I’d like to think that the dreamer in us wants to believe that anything is possible; like it was in Field of Dreams.
If you dream it, you can do it...
It’s a broad statement that you’ve probably heard at some point in your life. Maybe it was during your high school graduation ceremony during the valedictorian’s speech. Or on some motivational poster that you bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond to hang on your wall. It’s a simple phrase. But maybe it’s the endless possibilities behind the simplicity of those words that made them originally come from the mouth of the genius Walt Disney.
The other night when I was watching the Super Bowl, one of the New England Patriot’s players said something that struck me. It wasn’t anything particularly brilliant. But I’m a true believer in the concept of what he was saying. The player was Malcolm Butler. He caught the game-winning interception in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX. While he was being interviewed, Butler said that he had a vision that he was going to do something great before that play happened. Those were the words he used - “a vision.” Butler said that he knew that he was going to make a big play. And sure enough, he did. It was the play that won Brady, Belichick, and company the big prize! Now, I have to be honest. At first, I laughed a little bit when Butler referenced having a vision about making a big play. After all, that big play seemed unlikely to happen. But the more I thought about what he said, they more I had to applaud him for visualizing that he was going to do something great to make his dream come true.
The power of visualization is a very real thing. I know this because the most amazing thing happened to me when I was putting it into practice years ago. It was something I dreamed about doing for years. And thanks to the actor Vince Vaughn (I’ll explain how he enters the picture later in the story), it happened.
During my job as an entertainment reporter, I traveled to Los Angeles frequently to interview actors about their upcoming films. One of the perks to the job (aside from meeting George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, or one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive”) was staying in a luxury hotel. We (the entertainment reporters) usually spent hours waiting in hotel hallways to interview the stars, so it helped that they were nice hallways. After I tallied up enough overnight stays at one of the luxury-brand hotels, I ended up on their mailing list. This usually meant that every time this hotel opened a new location, I received a brochure with pictures of their newest oasis.
I recall that it was a snowy, frigid day in Cleveland, Ohio when my “vision” was first born. I was sitting at my work cubicle when the mail was delivered to my desk. In the middle of my pile was a brochure with some of the most beautiful pictures I’d ever seen in my life. The ocean water in the photos transitioned from a deep blue, to a brilliant turquoise, to a heavenly baby blue. The greenery and flowers looked so vivid and fresh, I could almost smell them on the hard stock paper. And the interior shots of the accommodations looked fit for a Polynesian princess. The location was Bora Bora in the South Pacific. And all of my senses were drawn to the visions on that brochure. “I have to go to Bora Bora someday.” I thought to myself. And so I tacked that brochure on my cubicle wall and looked at it every day.
For three years.
At first I envisioned going there with the proverbial “man of my dreams.” And then over time, as I became more connected with my independent-self, I thought I would save enough money and go alone or with a friend. I didn’t care who I went with, but I had to go! I researched the trip. It was very pricey! But somehow, someway, I knew I would get there. And so my dream and visualization continued... through several Lake Effect winters... within my cubicle walls... while looking at a brochure. And then one day, I received an email responding to my visualization.
The email read: Universal Studios: Bora Bora Junket
You can imagine my excitement upon receiving this email. I opened it quickly and read it’s contents. The basic gist was this: I was going to Bora Bora, the land of my dreams, to interview the cast of an upcoming movie starring Vince Vaughn! Parts of the film were shot in Bora Bora and the studio thought it would be worthwhile to interview the cast in this exotic location. And so, off I flew, to the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora with Vince Vaughn (I can say that because he was on my plane) and some of my closest friends in the business. It was a nearly 15-hour trek from Cleveland to get to my dream location. But it was worth every second of flying time. Upon arrival, I knew that if heaven on Earth existed, it was on the island of Bora Bora and its surrounding waters. It was breathtaking. It was magical. It was a dream come true.
There’s a trick to this visualization thing. You have to BELIEVE that it’s going to happen. You can just want it. You can’t just think “well, maybe this will happen.” And you can’t just say the words and hope it comes true. You have to commit to what you’re visualizing with conviction! You have to believe in your vision as though it’s an absolute fact. Incidentally, I do this when it comes to getting a parking spot. It doesn’t matter how busy the lot is, I get a parking spot (and usually a good one) every time. I’ve committed to the fact that I’ll always get a parking spot wherever I go. It’s not as exciting as Bora Bora, but hey, it can come in handy on a busy Sunday morning at the grocery store when people are gunning for spots!
Think of a personal dream that you really want to make a reality in your life. Picture it. Picture it every day. Commit it to your thoughts. Accept that dream as something that will enter your life. Put the work into making it happen. Read about the law of attraction and put that law into practice. And think about this... some guy thought a mouse could inspire the world. That same guy built Disneyland and said “if you dream it, you can do it.” Not bad for a dreamer with a vision.