Long before vision boards became popular, the principle behind them rang true. The more clearly you can picture what you hope to achieve, the more you become focused in such a way that propels the universe to help you achieve it. Visualizing something with great clarity often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I thought about this while reading Isaacson’s biography of Einstein. The genius married Mileva Maric – the only woman in his physics class – but eventually, he grew more interested in his scientific pursuits than in her. He asked for a divorce and she would not grant one so he made an unusual proposition: if she would divorce him, he would give her the money from the Nobel Prize that he would win.

She agreed, and 17 years later, he kept his part of the bargain.

When Einstein made his offer to Mileva, his vision of winning the Nobel Prize was crystalized in his mind. He knew he would achieve it, and focused all of his efforts toward that end – even at the expense of his marriage.

Of course, I’m not advocating that you put your relationship on the line or that you naively boast about winning a prestigious prize but I am encouraging you to develop the same level of clarity that Einstein had about his future. He achieved greatness because of his brilliance in physics – and, perhaps, because of his genius-level ability to visualize his goal.

Source: Einstein by Walter Isaacson, 2007, p. 3.


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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