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The Two Elements for Bending Reality

By Rao Aamir Munawar

1. Be happy in the now.

A key ingredient of this state is that your happiness is not tied to attaining your vision. It comes from the pursuit of your vision, combined with a sense of gratitude for what you already have. That way, you don't have to wait for happiness. It's just the natural by-product of pursuing your vision. You feel a deep sense of fulfillment. And you feel insanely motivated to keep moving forward. Your work becomes like a craving. You can work twelve hours straight, and you might feel tired, but you won't burn out. All the truly great people I know have this beautiful happiness associated with pursuing their goals.

Indeed, I think it's the only way to truly attain your goals-to be happy as you make the long, sometimes difficult climb toward great visions. On Necker Island, as we were masterminding with Branson and getting life lessons from him, someone from my group asked him, "You're always happy. What do you do when you're sad?"
Branson replied, "I can't remember the bad times. I only remember the good things that happened in my life."That was certainly one thing I noticed about hanging out with him: He's always about having fun. He has huge goals. He's one of the biggest thinkers I've ever met, yet he's perpetually in play. And it's not just Branson. Go back a hundred years and there's another influential titan of his time who penned this little poem:
I was early taught to work as well as play,
My life has been one long, happy holiday;
Full of work and full of play-
I dropped the worry on the way-
And God was good to me every day.

That titan was John D. Rockefeller, who wrote the poem at age eighty six.During his time he was one of the richest men in the world. Rockefeller speaks so simply and clearly here about dropping worry and about merging work and play into a life that is "one long, happy holiday." And where he says God was good to him, others might replace that with "luck" or "fortune" or "the universe." So, no matter where you are in your life today, you must remember this lesson: Your happiness cannot be tied to your goals. You must be happy even before you attain them. Doing so will make life joyous and full of play and bring your goals to you faster than ever.

2. Develop an exciting vision for your future.

I've observed that almost all of the extraordinary people I've met or read about have one thing in common: They have a vision for their future. It may be a new piece of art to create, a service or product to bring to the world, a mountain to climb, or a family to raise.These people live in the future in some way. Conventional spiritual growth advocates talk about the need to be "present." I believe that being present is only part of the story. Happiness in the now grounds you in the present. But you need bold dreams pulling you forward, too. Extraordinary people intend to leave a mark on the world.Now, a word of warning. You need to make sure that your goals aren't Brule-based, or you might end up chasing something that feels meaningless once you acquire it-as happened to me when I got my first big gig at Microsoft-or as happens to countless entrepreneurs when they build a business with the goal of earning a living, only to feel trapped in the usual nine-to-five when they achieve their goal.

I've lost count of the number of books I've read that give instructions on goal setting, from growing a business to simply getting organized. But just as we've been trained to think about happiness in a limiting way, so modern goal setting leads us astray. It happens in three ways:

When we set a goal that we must have a certain kind of job, a certain kind of lifestyle, or a certain kind of appearance, often these are Brules installed by society. Extraordinary minds pay little attention to the infectious "wants" of the culturescape. Instead, they create their own goals.


While there's nothing wrong with visualizing and pursuing what we think will make us happy, we can really only visualize what we already know. What if there are even more wonderful visions and goals you could attain-gifts that only you can give the world-if only those unseen, unknown visions could be brought to the surface?


We tend to a) bite off way more than we can chew in the short term, and b) not expect nearly enough of ourselves in the long term. Both tendencies work against successful visioneering. We tend to overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in three years.

Hi! I research topics such as self-development achievement and mental health. I have a passion to use my life experiences and research to help others reach their full potential.