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


A vision is to see something in your head that only you can see that relates to your future.  It has also been called an ‘idea’, ‘apparition’, or ‘hallucination’   By itself, it is not reality.  But if you create then apply the steps necessary to convert the vision into reality, you are most assuredly on your way to attaining it.  


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 has now taken on a life of its own and became reachable.  We have defined our direction now pursuing what was once classified as a simple dream.


So why is a vision important?  Because without one we may wind up going in circles.   If we get into our car (if we have one), start it, pull out the driveway and head east, without a plan as to where we are going, we can wind up anywhere.   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 don’t 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 people 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.


A technology world.


All this can be intimidating to the man off the streets who wanders into the office complex to simply use the restroom.  In fact, if discovered by someone, may be looked upon with suspicion or contempt.  ‘You don’t belong,’ you begin to feel.  ‘You don’t fit in so what are you doing in this building’!!


I wonder what she’s wondering!


Now, remember, we have every right to be where we are if the building is public.  And if its not, we probably won’t even get in.  But in our example, it is.  While not wanting to appear concerned, they quickly glance over their shoulders so as not to reveal what they are really thinking – that we might be there to rob or steal.  So we better believe one eye is being secretly trained in our direction.  


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 story with you called “My Choices” so as not to cast blame for my decisions.


At age 17, I woke up in the wee hours of one 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 that morning was to break into a house, get what I could get, sell it and I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.  Needless to say, I had chosen my career path.  Prison became my chosen way of life.  (See my story under the “Where I’m From” Tab.


Don’t get me wrong; I was blessed with a multitude of talents and gifts. In fact, if you let my ex-girlfriend tell it she would say this.  That God was passing out talents to a line of eagerly awaiting recipients 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 dump 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 left that up to me, and I failed dramatically.


For the next 34 years, I went through the revolving prison gates eight times.  My vision was to become a professional criminal.  Including time on parole, the Michigan Department of Corrections had me from 1969 until 2001.  That was when I decided to incorporate drugs as my full-time occupation.


Through this journey, at no time did I consider using my gifts and talents for the “good of mankind”.  This was when I joined the ranks of all of my comrades living in abandoned houses, on the streets, under bridges and anywhere I could find to sleep for the night.


The funny thing about living the way I was, I learned to be resourceful, clever, cunning, and sometimes brilliant within my downtrodden environment.  In the real world, I would have probably been a millionaire.  And I met some of the most talented people you could imagine.  We all had one thing in common – “the wrong vision”!


If you don’t mind, just for the effect, I would like to introduce you to some of my colleagues and how their gifts shined through even living in a cardboard box.


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 life.


Unique sign.  A realist not afraid of competition. 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 ‘nobody’.


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 the fancy office buildings probably downtown Las Vegas. 


The world expects its citizens to be productive, law abiding and employed.  It has no mercy for the inner society of underachievers.  We will be chopped down like a lawnmower cuts grass and forgotten.  Just a reminder of how distorted visions can truly hurt us in the long run.


The Real Deal


The fact is that it’s not about them; it’s about us.  Its about us seeing ourselves as being every bit as good as they are – or better.  Once we do, and we begin to apply ourselves, our journey begins.  We don’t want to become complacent in where we are in life like the man or woman sleeping in the streets in the above photos. 


Every so often, some compassionate sole will take time to make a gesture of kindness.  Our world brightens for that moment…


Merry Christmas.  A smile is worth a thousand words.


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.


But 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 siblings after being adopted and separated from them 65 years ago.  They flew me to Las Vegas from Detroit a year ago, where I have since established and cultivated a vision that has allowed me to write this blog and make major strides in my life. I’ve been off drugs for just about a year and I live with family in a very nice home.  I have a huge bedroom with computers, pianos and other things to keep me busy.  I now understand what it means to have a “vision” and its importance in each of our lives.


The story of my rise from dirt to destiny is outlined throughout the many tabs found in my “TheUncleGary” website.  Notice it is not just “UncleGary”.  The word “The” distinguishes me from the many uncle Gary’s that share this earth with me.  I learned that my many accomplishments were due to my having a vision and receiving help from God and the support of my newfound family.    


Just like 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.