“What an abundant crop this year,” the man said, smiling, as he sipped his steaming coffee.
The sun was slowly rising on the horizon, sharing its rays with the vineyards that surrounded the man’s white, rehabbed farm house. It was chilly in their northern California town, and the man felt there was something about the cold that refracted the sun’s rays to make them even brighter.
He glanced over at his wife, who was in the midst of pouring herself a hot cup of “joe.” They smiled at each other.
The moment was broken by the man’s brother, an attorney visiting from the city.
“What the hell are you talking about?” the brother asked. “It’s 45 degrees outside and the those vines are totally bare. Are you losing it, bro?”
The man laughed. He had come to expect these kind of words from his brother, a man recently divorced who had come out to the country to recharge his batteries. The brother had a good-paying position at his law firm, yet always seemed to be struggling to make the next buck and was constantly stressed — a combination that led to the decline of his marriage.
The man looked at his brother, and then back out at his vineyards.
“Come over here near me,” he summoned his brother, who stood up from the kitchen table and walked over to his brother’s side.
“Underneath those bare vines, underneath the ground, those vines have strong roots,” explained the man. “And in a few months, all we have to do is some pruning, some leaf pulling and hedging and that, combined with the change of season and the warmth, will allow those grapes to reveal themselves. They’re already there. I see them. We just have to give them some energy so they can wake up.”
He got a puzzled look from his brother.
“Where you see barren fields, I see life. I see grapes. I see a future that already is here,” the man said.
“That’s crazy,” replied his brother. “I live in the here and now. That’s how I’m able to earn my money and keep my head straight.”
The man raised an eyebrow toward his brother. Far from living in the “here and now” his brother was always worried about the future. About the next deal. About where he’d find the next client. Other times, he was stuck in the past — marinating in past mistakes and traumas. It’s what made his brother stressed and prone to times of extreme highs and dark lows.
“You came out here to get your head straight,” said the man. “I love you, but as payment for staying here at our home for the week, you’re going to have to listen to some advice.”
The brother backed up and sat down at the table.
“You’re right, you’re right,” he said. “It’s just that, how do you guys not get worried and stressed about whether or not it’s going to be a good year? Whether there’s going to be a fire, or bad weather, or something else to wipe out your vines?”
The man smiled and sat down across from his brother.
“Remember back when I started SmithTech?” he asked, referring to the software company he had sold five years earlier, before purchasing the vineyard and moving here with his wife. “Everyone thought I was crazy. Quitting my good-paying job at the bank on nothing more than a dream.”
His brother nodded his head,” Yeah, that gamble worked out, didn’t it?”
“You see, where you see a gamble, I saw a sure thing,” replied the man. “Not a ‘sure thing’ like a gambling addict at the race track hopefully puts his last ten bucks down on a horse. What I mean is, even at that early stage, I had a clear vision for how my life, my relationships, and my business was going to unfold. Every day, I spent time meditating on that vision, seeing it clearly. And every decision I made stemmed from that vision. Because it was so clear, it was like I had already been there.”
“Like you had already been there?” the brother asked.
“Yep. This vineyard, this house — well, at least the broad outlines of it — even the sale of my company, I had seen it all for years,” said the man. “You see, when you define that clear vision for your life, then you can reverse engineer it to today. That way, the path is more clear, instead of waking up each day stressing about which path to take.”
The brother looked down at his coffee.
“That’s how I feel every morning. Stressed about where I should head, and where the next buck is coming from.”
The man took a sip of his coffee.
“It’s a fine distinction between having a vision and making decisions to be prosperous,” he explained. “And constantly worrying about it. I find that when you worry about it, you create stress in your body. That tenses you up and makes it less likely that you can see the long-term vision, because you’re constantly in short-term fight for flight mode. When you’re like that every day, you start to break down.”
“You just described me,” said the brother. “I have no idea what six months looks like, much less six years. I wake up, put my head down, and grind to try to make things happen.”
The man nodded his head.
“You’re like a cannon, firing away each day hoping you’ll hit a target,” he said. “You need to be more of a magnet, attracting what you want according to the life you want to live.”
The brother smiled, saying, “You’re not going to start talking about ‘manifesting’ and all that woo-woo crap, are you?”
The man smiled.
“Well, okay, if you don’t like those words, let’s call it, “how’s your program working out for you?”
Both men sipped their coffees.
“Okay, okay, I see your point.”
The man put his coffee down and looked at his brother, seriously.
“You can’t plan to your vision because you’re just guessing,” he said. “You have to define that vision, seeing it clearly, and reverse engineer from there.”
The brother nodded, “Yeah, that makes sense.”
He looked down at his coffee for a bit, then looked up at his brother, saying, “So what’s the first step?”
The man got up, grabbed both men’s coats, handed one to his brother, and said, “The first step is you and I are going to go for a long walk in the vineyard, getting to the roots of how you want your life to look. Let’s start figuring out what you actually want.”
The brother sighed.
“Let’s do it.”