The Key to success is seeing yourself successful- By Gary Washington, aka The Uncle Gary,

A “vision” is something conjured up in your head only you can see that relates to your future.  It has also been called an ‘idea’, ‘apparition’, or ‘hallucination’, even a ‘dream’.   By itself, a vision is not real because it is not tangible – its only in your head.  In fact, the vision is but a snapshot of something you may want to pursue or accomplish in the future.

If you are not careful, a vision can disappear just as quickly as it inhabited your thoughts.  This means, once you have conceived a vision, if you think it is something you would like to go after, you must begin working on making it happen or you just may forget it.   But if you are truly serious about your vision, you must take steps to bring it to life.  If you procrastinate, you run the risk of never achieving something that would have brought you success.

For example, if you think you might want to be a schoolteacher, find out all you can about this career.  If you want to be a professional basketball player, find out what it takes and begin to practice.  Some people love working outdoors doing landscaping.  You may want to start your own company.  You would have to invest in equipment and learn about the techniques used in taking care of grass and trimming bushes, etc.   Are you willing to put time and effort into realizing your vision?  If not, then maybe you should investigate another vision.

There are all sorts of ways to capture a vision.  You could begin by writing it down.  Or you can start doing research to see if it is practical considering any limitations you may have.  Since we are discussing strategies to make you successful, you might consider taking the following path:

  • Vision: First see what you would like to do or be in your head
  • Mission: Decide whether it is something you would want to go after with determination
  • Goal: Make this a priority
  • Strategy: Research, organize and document a method of attaining the goal
  • Action: Take affirmative action towards reaching the goal
  • Success: You achieved the goal

                         There are many steps along the way to success. But if you let Him, God will direct your path.

The difference between a vision and a goal is that with a goal we have decided to transform the vision.  It is no longer a passing image; it is something attainable.   We have defined our direction and are now pursuing what was once just a thought.   

So why is a vision important?  Because without one we may find ourselves going in circles.   If we get into our car, start it, pull out the driveway and head east without a plan as to where we are going, we can wind up anywhere.  We can be distracted or influenced by someone.   Even if we create a destination after we’ve begun to travel, it becomes just an afterthought.  We may or may not arrive there.  Or we may end up like the two people below.  When we reflect, we conclude ‘more thought should have been given to our decision – like planning before we pulled off.’   

          We sometimes lose our way when we do not know where we are going!     

                                               And then we become complacent because we have been broken. 

My point is that with enough thought and imagination, we can create our own vision.  It does not have to be haphazard, accidental, or somebody else’s.  We can begin constructing our vision when we meditate and consider what we would like to do or be in life.  This can come from reaching inside of ourselves and recognizing our strengths and weaknesses and listing them so we can make a comparison.  We can use our strengths to strengthen our weaknesses and become anything we can imagine.  

                          So, you think being a woman and black eliminates you from the competition – Think again! 

An Illusion

Take a room full of business professionals for example.  They appear to have it all together.  They are probably educated and on the verge of being, if not already, successful.  Tablets, laptops, or I-phones are standard equipment for them, and they make sure they dress status quo.  The fact is that they all had visions but how large was their vision?  Did they imagine themselves working in a job that required suit and tie?  Or, did they aspire to become the president or director of a business or organization?

The above woman dreamed of being the Chief Executive Office of an Engineering Consulting firm.  Although it was predominantly comprised of men, that didn’t deter her from her pursuing her ‘vision”.  After working her way from the bottom, she attained her goal and is now the CEO of one of the largest Engineering outfits in the country.  All it took was a ‘vision’ and turning that into a goal and working hard to achieve it.



“Baby boomers” who feel like they are too old to make a dream come true, seem to be afraid of the world of technology.  They feel intimidated by computers.  So, they abandoned any vision they may have had in that area.

                                                Technology and the business world.  Don’t let them intimidate you.

Take the world of technology for instance.  It can be intimidating to people who don’t have access to computers or the internet.   Trying to create a vision for something you might be interested requires knowing a little about the vision.  The homeless man, for example, can be prevented from pursuing any meaningful vision because his life is spent surviving.  Or the teenager who loves working with computers may be inhibited from a viable vision because he or she lacks access to the training or guidance needed to clarify whether this is something they would want to do as a career.

Without a vision, one becomes a prime candidate for drugs and crime.  If living in a bad neighborhood, it’s almost as if the environment devours our being and sucks up our potential.  We get lost in the street life and abandon reality.  We begin seeing ourselves as drug lords or professional criminals.   Our visions are altered and become consistent with what’s around us.  We are no longer in control of our destiny.  We have fallen prey to a world whose end is always the same…jails, institutions, or death. 



There is an old saying that “trouble is easy to get into but hard to get out of”.  If we put our whole heart and soul into making our vision a reality, we can avoid a lot of the idle time and circumstances that often lead to destruction in our lives.  Temptation is all around us.  It can take us down paths we would have never imagined.  We never know how our lives might change in an instant.

                                                                           I wonder what she is thinking!

Take for instance these two men off the streets who wander into an office complex to simply use the restroom.  They may be looked upon with suspicion or contempt simply because they don’t look the part.  In the business world appearance is important, and you can be judged on that criteria alone.

In the above illustration, these men have every right to be where they are if the building is public.  And if it’s not, they probably wouldn’t get in anyway.  But in our example, it is a public building.  While not wanting to appear concerned, the lady in the above photo quickly glances over her shoulder and sees the two men standing in the doorway.  She immediately notices how they are dressed and passes the judgment that they are up to no good.  When she makes it to her car, she calls the police.

This scenario is a typical example of how one can be diverted from implementing a vision simply by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  We must guard against the negative demons that flow through the air seeking to harm us.   They surround and descend upon us when we least expect it.  But staying focused, praying often, and keeping the mind clear and free from negative thoughts, we avoid a lot of the negativism that is so prevalent in this world.

Having the wrong vision!  

Ha! Ha! Fooled you.  So, you thought this writing was about how to become a success by having a “vision”!  Nope, it’s really about what it looks like to have the wrong or no vision.

There are several levels in living life.  From an infant to a kid, to a teenager, an adult, a grand adult then eventually to the grave. They are now learning that a direction in life can be established as early as age 7.  But it depends on the guidance given at that age.  Instilling the wrong vision is worse than not encouraging a vision at all.

Let me share a brief story with you I call “My Choices” so as not to cast blame for my decisions.

At age 17, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, went out and broke into somebody’s house.  I was eventually caught and spent the next 8 years in prison. The vision I had allowed to fester in my head was criminal in nature.  It took too long to earn a legitimate living.  I needed to find a faster way to get money.  So, breaking into someone’s house seemed to be the answer.  I always thought I was clever and smooth anyway.  I saw myself as becoming one of the best “cat-buglers” of all time.  I pondered that vision over and over until I finally tried.  As you will read in my book “From the Inside” coming soon, I never recovered from that choice.

I was blessed with a multitude of talents and gifts. In fact, if you let my ex-girlfriend tell it she would say this; God was passing out talents to a line of eagerly awaiting recipients in heaven on a Saturday.  When it was my turn to receive mine, it was almost 12 midnight and God does not work on Sundays.  So, He decided to pour all the talents He had left in the bag on me and directed everybody else in the line to come back on Monday.  What he didn’t give me was the gift to use the talents he gave me.  He left that up to me, and I failed miserably. 

For the next 32 years, I went through revolving prison gates eight times.  Over time, my vision was to learn as much as I could about the art of crime and become a professional criminal.  Including time on parole, that vision cost me 30 years of my life in and out of prison.  The Michigan Department of Corrections had me from 1969 until 2001. 

Don’t get me wrong; along the way, I learned to be resourceful, clever, cunning, and sometimes brilliant within my downtrodden way of life.  In the real world, I could have probably been a millionaire.  But in the lifestyle I chose, I wandered through life never accomplishing anything.  I constantly missed the target.  Throughout my criminal and drug career, I met some of the most talented people you could imagine.  But we all had one thing in common – “the wrong vision”!

If you don’t mind, just for the effect, I would like to share some images of some of my colleagues and how their gifts could be seen even with them living on the streets.  Their potential shined though the ingenious signs they created.

Appealing to the public’s conscious and sense of guilt for not helping someone in need was the goal.  They were extremely good at what they did.  But unfortunately, they used their gifts in the wrong way leaving them lost and in many cases without a means of returning to real life.

In the following photos, I capture the true essence of many of the homeless people we see around the   city who we pretty much ignore throughout our day.  Deep down we count them out as being insignificant and of no benefit.  But what we miss is their value in another life.  What contributions could they have made and could still make if given the chance.

I embarked upon a mission of studying some of the hidden talents inside the homeless man.  Remember, I was once homeless myself.  Now, I am the COO of a major company based in Las Vegas.  As I searched beneath appearance, I found so much value in these people that begged for handouts and food.  They were not always in this position.  How they got there is their story.  But the fact is, we don’t really care because we judge a person based on what they have achieved; their house, car, clothes, status, job, popularity. 

Join me as I give you a tour through the obscure world of the homeless man.  Feel what they are feeling.  See them as human beings and realize that they may have been sidetracked from a vision that would have turned their lives around.   Imagine what they could have been.  Remember, you could suddenly find yourself in their shoes.  Below, I explore the inner depths of people who have lost their way and compare it with their real talent.  I document not who they are but who they could have been. 

                                                  Short and straight to the point.  Sign of an excellent writer.

                                Always remember to be courteous.  I know some people he needs to talk to.

                              Good lawyer qualities.  He rests his case leaving the jury to its own conclusion.           

                                    Very creative. Love the pictures of the heart and the two-finger peace sign. 

                                      He covers all bases.  Maybe an engineer or a mathematician in another li

Unique sign.  A realist not afraid of being ridiculed for what he believes in.  He has a goal and is willing to accept whatever criticism necessary to reach his goal.  A smile in spite of

                                       Very clever.  Could use him in the advertisement or marketing business.

              Consequences for our lack of vision.   How easy it is to destroy the life of a ‘a homeless” person

A lot of talent and hard work went into the building of this homeless man’s house.  But it was destroyed in less than a minute.  Nobody likes or cares about the “tramp”.  These workers have a job to do and must do it at the decree of somebody in one of those fancy office buildings, probably downtown, who cares less about the plight of the homeless. 

The world has no mercy for the inner society of underachievers.  They will chop them down at a moment’s notice like lawnmower cutting grass and forgotten. 

The Real Deal

Not everyone belittles the homeless.  Some people realize that it is not easy making it in this world.  They understand that many will not survive the challenges of life.  But this writing is not about compassion or demeaning attacks on others.  It is about never having to become trapped in a life of darkness and despair with little hope of escape.  It is about building upon a vision and keeping it in the forefront of your existence.

Merry Christmas.  A smile is worth a thousand words.  Every so often, some compassionate sole will take time to make a gesture of kindness.  Our world brightens for that moment… But just as quickly, we remember where we are and are saddened about how we got there.

                               Something as simple as a haircut could alter the path of an otherwise doomed man.


If we can’t see where we should be going, we can’t get there.  Without a viable vision, we could be lost in the wilderness and never come out.  God will take two steps if we take one.  But our one step must be thought through and pursued with the diligence of the Cheetah chasing down its prey.  

I was recently found by my biological family after being adopted and separated from them 65 + years ago.  They flew me to Las Vegas from Detroit in March of 2018, where I have since established and cultivated a vision that has allowed me to write this blog and make major strides in my life.  As a musician, I have once again picked up my keyboard and I now play around the city and meet so many good people.  I am content.

Living with my family has been such an inspiration for me.  I have a huge bedroom with computers, pianos, electric bikes, a car and so many things to keep me busy and focused.  I now understand what it means to have a “vision” and its importance in each of our lives.

I know without a doubt that had I stayed in Detroit, I would be dead now.  I was alone with no one to care.   I was so immersed in the drug life that I could not see my way out.  But, after being rescued by my family, I was shown a new way to live.  I embraced that opportunity and am now free.  But I have not forgotten where I came from and where I would be had God not took over the reins.

I am writing several books; the titles of which I will be posting on my website once I have finished.  My goal is to reach those who don’t know how to take a stance against life.  People must know how important harboring and pursuing a vision is.  Just as a simple haircut could change the life of a homeless man, our lives can be changed into something magnificent by a single word – “VISION“.

Thank you.  Please visit other tabs in my blogs and my writings.