Fifteen years ago or so, I opened a fortune cookie and found the following fortune on the paper:
“You will be unusually successful in business.”
It had long been my dream to be an entrepreneur so this fortune naturally stood out to me amongst the other goofy or entertaining ones like “People are naturally attracted to you.”
This one was a bit different for me … as it summarized what I wanted in a short, profound and meaningful way.
So for 10 years I carried it around in my wallet.
And occasionally when I’d open my wallet, I’d see it and be reminded of it. And it’d reinforce my dream and goal more and more. Often it made me smile because I eventually believed fully that it would be true in my life.
What it did was serve as a visual affirmation of something I desperately wanted to do in my life. (By the way, I’ve written about affirmations here.)
I told few people about it. As it moved around in my wallet, it got a little worn, even on the verge of tearing.
Then after years of hard work, learning, wanting and being ready for my moment, in 2008, I had the opportunity to start iThemes and live my dream.
Now, seven and a half years later, I been able to build and grow this little company into something I’m very, very proud of.
And so reflecting recently on that fortune cookie affirmation I thought to myself … “You know what, by my definition, I believe I have been ‘unusually successful in business.’”
My “fortune” came true. But I don’t say that in the sense that it was all luck, fortune or chance like I won the lottery by getting that fortune (although I do attribute there was a measure of luck or timing, whatever you want to call it, in my experience).
I know I was not magically bestowed success by the fortune cookie god. (There’s a whole other post brewing on Hustle, Hard Work and Commitment maybe.)
But that “fortune” became an internal, resonating belief in me, that then became part of the foundation of the hard work, learning, wanting and being ready part, that ultimately turned into the “unusual success in business” part.
I turned the fortune cookie affirmation into the theme for my personal summit.
And it eventually came true for me.
I tell you all this for one key reason …
Thinking on and carrying that fortunate cookie affirmation in my pocket for all those years did something incredible in my life:
- It was a reminder … of the big goal I was chasing.
- It was a belief … a visualization of my future reality that I would work hard to see fulfilled.
- It was a prompt … to take action and make meaningful progress on my dreams.
- It was a focus … in one short, positive, energizing, uncommon and memorable phrase, it became my rallying call.
It was like the affirmations people tap to their bathroom mirrors …. only I carried in my pocket.
Upon reflection, it was so powerful that now I’m thinking about the next fortune cookie affirmation I want to carry around in my pocket for the next 10 years.
So, what’s your fortune cookie affirmation … the one perfectly summarizes where you’re going and that drives you toward the hopes and dreams in your life?
Founder of iThemes.com