As I drove away from Holland, Michigan, I knew I might be in real trouble. I had read about blizzards and seen them on TV plenty of times, but I had never experienced one firsthand. Driving east on I-196, I could see the dim outline of dark shapes punctuating the whiteness on either side of my car. I soon figured out that these shapes were cars that had driven nose-first into the ditches along the road.
I have to admit I was pretty nervous. Did I say nervous? I meant I was terrified. Driving down the road in a raging blizzard with no visibility really rattled my cage. It was the first weekend in February 2007. I had just completed the first of two events I was doing in the western part of Michigan. I was driving from Holland to Kalamazoo, where I was booked to do a program for several hundred people that night. I didn’t want to disappoint them by not showing up, so I made the decision to drive through the storm. The problem was that while I didn’t want to disappoint my crowd, I didn’t want to die trying to get there, either. So, I crept along, doing about 5–10 miles per hour, gripping the steering wheel in terror.
It is no exaggeration to say that I couldn’t see more than five feet ahead of me. After about an hour, I no longer saw cars in the ditches, nor any other cars driving anywhere else on the road, for that matter. All I saw was white, white, and more white.
At one point, I stopped my car in the middle of the interstate, stepped out of the car, and looked around to make sure I was still on the road. It was the first and only time I’ve ever stepped out onto the road in the middle of a major interstate. Hopefully it will be the last. I was terrified of getting out of my car for fear of another vehicle not seeing me and ramming me from behind. But I felt I had to do it. I simply could not see where I was going.
After a couple of hours, the storm thinned as I moved away from Lake Michigan, where the brunt of the storm was focused. I finally could see the road and finished my drive to Kalamazoo where I did a program that same evening. Unlike the South where I used to live, it turns out that people in Michigan still come out to events, even if it’s snowing.
The windshield of your success vehicle
The Power of Vision is the windshield or lens through which you view the possibilities of your journey. If your windshield is obstructed or blurry, then you’re going to have a hard time telling if you’re on the right path in life, or whether you are still even on the road at all.
How many people wander through life in a blizzard of bewilderment, not being able to see five feet in front of them? How many people drive off course and never even notice? Or, how many people notice that they’ve hit an obstacle and aren’t going anywhere, but have no idea it was their lack of vision that landed them where they are?
Developing the Power of Vision
The Power of Vision encompasses every area of our lives, whether big or small. Whether or not you go to school. How you spend your money. Whether you smoke or not. What you eat. How you spend your time. Where you live. Who you date or marry. All of these areas are directly related to the strength of your vision. How strong is your vision for this year in regard to your career? How about for your family? What about your finances. If you don’t have a clear idea of where you want to go and why you want to get there, chances are you’ll wind up nowhere you really want to be.
2013 Charles Marshall. This article is an excerpt from Charles Marshall’s personal development book, The Seven Powers of Success. To learn more, please visit our site at www.charlesmarshall.net or contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.