TV is bad. We all know, deep down, it’s not good for us. It leads us to inactivity, away from creativity and the adverts make us feel like we want more. If you don’t believe me, watch this TED talk from 2:10. I’ve recently been sucked back in to watching television and allowing myself a brief period of lapsed ‘good habits’. Unexpectedly, it was a TV show that brought me back to LLB and reminded me why I write regularly.
I started watching, “How to Be a Billionaire,” to find out what Channel 4′s stance is on ‘rich people’. I half-expected it to be a shallow, critical look at the world’s wealthiest individuals by splicing tabloid-esque images together of sports cars, private jets and an entourage of no fewer than 25. I was looking for trashy television to ease me into the evening and relish in judging those who live extravagantly. What happened next surprised me…
Mission, Vision and Values
The documentary follows three self-made billionaires. We learn a bit about their net worth and how they became a billionaire, but then we dig right into how they spend their time now. We get brief glimpses of their nice cars and homes, but soon we see them on their daily exploits and it soon becomes clear that they’re all similar. So, what were the things I learn about being a billionaire that had an impact on me?
Mission: With their new found time and money they were no longer worried about buying all the latest gadgets. Instead, they faced an existential question, “What am I going to spend my time doing that will make me happy?” Having already made the big bucks (all three quite unintentionally), each craved a new mission.
Vision: They created a vision. Not just any vision, but a the most detailed and ambitious vision possible. When asked about his vision to create holidays to the Moon, “Things that used to be science fiction are becoming science reality”
Values: They value their time and resources. They also respect their rituals for success.
Many of you will recognise these as the same three elements that drive any organization and in some ways billionaires are no different from any business entity, so it makes sense that they embody all three and have been successful.
Goals and Vision
I’ve never had difficulty working towards a goal and using this as my motivation. When the motivation to achieve a goalwanes, what can you do to get back on to your track for success? Reflect on your vision. I hadn’t realised it until now, but what I’ve lacked is a vision. The vision doesn’t need to be completely clear (although the clearer the vision the less likely you are to falter when pushing yourself), but you need to know you have a vision. Most importantly, it should be a vision that really is your own and not the same as some billionaire because you want ‘lots of money’. If you want lots of money, then your vision should be around what having lots of money will do for you. However you choose to present that vision (visionboard, blogging it, writing it down on a business-card sized piece of paper and keeping it in your wallet) know what it is before your start working towards your goals.
Chris often discusses character. One element of having character is demonstrating discipline. Not one of these billionaires needs to work another day getting up at 5 am. They could easily wake up at 11 am and spend the whole day buying expensive cars, going on lavish holidays and partying to their hearts content. The next day they’d wake up with a similar amount of money and would have the freedom to do it all again (depending on how much they spend, but many of these billionaires could live lavishly on just the interest generated by their wealth). In pursuit of their creating their vision, their discipline is unwavering. One of the billionaires, Naveen Jain, shares his daily ritual of waking up at 4.30 am, checking a few e-mails, working out, eating breakfast, meditating and praying. Talking about his routine, Naveen shares with the camera, “Business is like a war. You have to be completely prepared. Unless you have mind, body and soul all ready for it, you just can’t fight that battle.”
Have you lost traction on your goals? Do you have a vision?