Going into the 2012 season, Indianapolis Colts fans and media had low expectations for the team. They finished 2-14 last season, had a rookie—albeit a talented—quarterback, and were essentially in a rebuilding phase. In addition, Coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. However, despite these factors, the Colts have started stronger than most of us thought.
Ironically, facing these challenges made the Colts a stronger team. The fighting spirit of Coach Pagano has been contagious, helping the Colts reel off seven wins through 11 games. They have a shared vision, which is to leave everything on the field every Sunday in honor of their coach. They even shaved their heads and use the term #Chuckstrong to rally behind Pagano.
Creating a shared vision like the Colts did, rather than focusing on adverse circumstances, is the path to greatness. It's critical not to dwell on the hand you were given, cook up excuses, and think "why me?" or "I wish I could have." Instead, focus on your ultimate goal and what you need to do to reach it.
To find your vision, draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On one side, write all the circumstances you find yourself in, all the things that could get in your way if you let them. Be honest about anything that might be a challenge. On the other side, write your vision/goals as vividly as you can. What do you want to be? Or better yet, what will you be? And how do you see yourself accomplishing your goals?
Now fold the page to obscure the circumstances and highlight the vision. Put it in a place where you will see it multiple times a day. Commit it to memory, and use it to guide you as you go through each day. Ask yourself, is what I'm doing and thinking right now getting me closer to my vision? If you can answer yes, you are on the right path to making that vision a reality.