If you had asked me eight years ago if I thought I’d be alive to see today, I’d have told you, No!             

On Thursday of this week, I turn fifty-eight years old and this age has a special significance to me. You see, my Mom was diagnosed with her pancreatic cancer when she was fifth-eight. What’s the specific connection I have to eight years ago? Well, it was eight years ago when the pre-malignant cyst in my pancreas was discovered.  I made the mental “leap” that I wasn’t going to make it to the age of fifty-eight. It didn’t matter that I only had a 50/50 chance of surviving the thirteen hour surgery to remove my pancreas and the surrounding organs; psychologically, I had set myself up for a short life.  Obviously, something was amiss with my thinking. I asked myself, “What is the difference between the importance of proper vision in business goals and a proper vision in life?” My answer was, “There was no difference”.

Visualization is a necessary tool for preparing for anything, and everything. Without a proper vision we will aimlessly move through life or cause ourselves to die. Even when I want to meditate, I focus on my breath; heart-rate, and a sense of calm. When I plan on eating my next meal, I visualize and think about what I want to eat. When I plan a vacation, I need to identify where I want to go and plan out how I want to get there. I will also visualize the experiences I want to have along the way. One of the great quotes of Napoleon Hill says it all. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” I believed I wouldn’t live long enough to see my fifty-eighth birthday; therefore, I wouldn’t.

It was when I changed the vision I had for my life expectancy that my health followed suit. I’ve learned how to conquer numerous health obstacles by adjusting my vision. I have found great power from the words I tell myself. Occasionally my attitude and vision veer off course and I end up in a rut. (RUT = Repetitive Unproductive Thought) It is only when I make adjustments in my thinking that I’ll get back on track. Today I see myself celebrating many more birthdays. To achieve these birthdays, I visualize the road before me to be filled with healthier eating and good management of my insulin and blood sugars. Because of my vision, I am confident that my journey is filled with more rest stops of joy, discovery, celebration and peace.

So, Thursday is a big day for me; it’s more than a birthday. Celebrating this fifty-eighth year is evidence to me that having a positive vision and outlook works. If you ask me today if I plan on celebrating my 100th birthday, I’ll say, “Yes, let’s plan the party!”

I’m especially thankful to people like my Mom; people who allowed the research gained from their experience with cancer, to be used to discover a cure for you and me. It is my birthday wish that you will also develop a positive vision for a long, healthy and happy life. Visualize your goals; see yourself achieving each goal you design and clearly see yourself enjoying life.

Happy Birthday to me!