A lot of importance is laid down on the necessity of having a vision and creating an action plan so as to make this vision a reality. But what exactly does this mean and how does it work in everyday life? After all there are so many self-help books, seminars and HR articles all speaking about this topic, but are we getting the point?
There are many wonderful concepts which will help us in our life and this is one of them, however, it is little understood and a back to basics approach will hopefully help us to shed some further light on the role of vision in our lives!
A vision is a series of concepts which when weaved together they become a holistic, integrated set of values and aspirations which lead us on the new heights in our lives.
Having a vision, in its literal sense, means to have a picture before oneself. Some people have holy visions, but this is not what we mean, when we speak about having a vision. Rather we are focusing upon having a picture before us in the broadest sense possible. When we think in terms of a graphic picture this is really way of the mark. Rather a vision is a series of concepts which when weaved together they become a holistic, integrated set of values and aspirations which lead us on the new heights in our lives.
So what exactly are these concepts?
Well for example, say a person works as a doctor for twenty years and during this time they spend ten years working in hospitals and another ten years working in private practice. How many patients might they have tended to? Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands! And what insights will they have undergone as a consequence of the many life and death situations which they have found themselves in? Why many of course! So these concepts, thoughts about life and death and the importance of certain things over and above others will have resulted in a World view, a set of perspectives which throws a certain light upon how they see the World and what is important in life.
If these concepts remain scattered and non integrated, then they simply become philosophical reflections, deep thoughts as it were, which perhaps provide some comfort for the good doctor during times of work and life stress. But what happens when these same concepts coalesce into a comprehensive whole? What happens when the insights join together in order to become the big insight? What happens is a vision develops. Not a vision of a graphic nature but rather a vision of human possibilities and of potential game plans for success.
Depending upon the individual, such a vision may be either materialistic in nature or it could just as easily be philosophical, mental, emotional or even spiritual in nature. But whichever way you look at it, it would be a vision.
So if we compare say mother Teresa with Bill Gates, for example, their vision was very dissimilar. Bill Gates wanted to be the richest man in the World and for Microsoft to be a global giant, whereas mother Teresa wanted to feed, cloth, heal and educate the poor of India. The nature of their vision was radically different, but both of them where driven by their vision, of that we have no doubt!
Interestingly, if mother Teresa’s vision had been material in nature, could she have become a captain of industry? Why certainly! And as regards Bill Gates, since his retirement from Microsoft he has taken on a new vision, which is resulting in a lot of good work, been achieved in the area of World healthcare!
So now we know what a vision is, but how do we go about finding our vision and just as importantly how do we act upon it?
Finding our Vision and Acting Upon it!
These are difficult questions to answer; basically the answers to these questions are completely subjective and will vary from individual to individual. What may be right for one person may very well be completely wrong for another person. This is why many people either don’t have a vision, or pursue a vision, which upon further reflection can be seen to be not such a good vision after all!
The only way to find your vision is via soul searching. Lots and lots of soul searching!
It’s a bit like making good orange juice. If you have ever read the label on the better orange juice containers, you will read about the fifty oranges which went into making a liter of orange juice! That’s a lot of oranges! But that’s what it takes to produce the essence of the orange, that bitter sweet taste which makes orange juice taste so good!
It’s the exact same with finding your vision, only this time your thoughts, feelings and experiences are the oranges and the philosophical thoughts, or possibly even the vision which results from these thoughts, been squeezed by the orange press of your conscious mind, is that which makes the envisioning process a reality!
Yes certainly there are lots of tools which you can use and a great many books and self-help resources have been created, in an effort to help you find out more about yourself and what you want out of life. But ultimately, it all comes down to having a hunger for this self-knowledge and a tenacity to never give up, to keep on hanging in there until things start to make sense and you have a good idea about what really matters to you and where you want to go in life!
Also, it is equally important to be flexible in the approach which you take. A vision which is clear-cut today may seem irrelevant a year from now. So whatever vision you have come up with, make sure to review it on a regular basis.
For example, the most common vision in the World is the accrual of wealth. Yet a great many people, who become wealthy, end up disillusioned after a while because money provides comforts and opportunities, but it does not in and off itself offer peace of mind. Also, money comes with responsibility, which is a factor often ignored by the aspiring millionaire.
Most things that can be achieved in life can be achieved by most people. There are certain restrictions of course, for example, if you want to be a heart surgeon a certain physical aptitude is required in the area of hand eye coordination. You either have it or you don’t. Another example is political leadership. A person may do everything in their power to become the next prime minister or president, but destiny plays a part in who ultimately becomes the next leader of a Country.
However, putting these considerations to one side, in general the sky is the limit with what can be achieved in life, giving enough time and effort. But you must be prepared to make the sacrifices necessary and so to it is necessary to come to terms with the responsibilities or downsides of your decision. For example, wealthy people have to spend an inordinate amount of time looking after their various possessions. Another example is fame. Fame is cool on one level but it also results in a loss of privacy. How many famous people grow to hate the limelight is probably considerable!
So anything, within reason can be achieved, and it can be achieved by ordinary people just like you and me, but it requires a will of iron and a vision.
A Will of Iron and a Vision
The will of iron is a surprisingly easy asset to come by, once the vision takes prominence on one’s life. And of course this is why so many people fail to realize their dreams!
A Will of Iron requires only one thing to make it a reality
and that is the belief that there are no other options!
If you want to have a will of iron, it requires only one thing to make it a reality and that is the belief that there are no options, that the option which you have selected is the one and only viable option to take and that achieving this goal is the most important thing in your life. It is a very simple thing to achieve, but it is also a very difficult thing to achieve and is something which stumps most people because they lack both the motivation and the certainty in the choice which they have made.
They lack the motivation because they are unsure about their choice and its relevance to their life. And they lack the certainty about their vision because they are not digging deep enough. Simply put most people want things, but not really, rather they simply think they want them! What you really want and what you can really envision requires tenacity and an unfailing belief in the choice which you have made. For most successful people this will either come out of desperation or passion.
Passion is ideal:
For example, the people who spend on average $20,000 and two months climbing Mount Everest, simply for the sake of it, are deeply passionate people.
But passion is usually hard to come by. In most cases it is desperation which brings about the change. The refugee who works nineteen hours a day, seven days a week working two or even three jobs, for many years, in order to make a success isn’t doing it because they have passion, rather they are doing it because they are desperate to change their life circumstances from extremely bad to something better!
And this is the point which you need to take out of all of this. It is easy for somebody writing a self-help book to say, do this vision exercise and get motivated then bam you will achieve everything you want out of life!
It sounds great but it is not real. If you haven’t achieved what you want out of life yet then chances are that either you don’t want it desperately enough or you have selected the wrong vision in the first place!
So to sum up, here’s three points to keep in mind:
1) Successful people achieve success because they will not give up until they achieve whatever it is that they want to achieve.
2) The second factor required to become a success is to have a vision, but not just some corny vision straight out of the nearest self-help book, which you can find. Rather it means delving down into the depths of your heart and coming back with gems of self-knowledge, which over time coalesce into a real vision, not just anyone’s vision but rather your vision of what you want out of your life!
3) The third factor for success is to have a will of iron, which is easy if you have a real vision and understand the decision which you are taking. This is the trickiest bit, because anyone can find out what they want out of life, if they probe hard enough, but how many people can get themselves motivated and keep themselves motivated until their dreams are fulfilled? Not many I can assure you!
So whether it is through a passion or sheer desperation you have to look inside yourself and find the belief in your vision which then helps you to complete the decision making process and join the elite group of people in the World who are pursuing their dreams (rather than pursing somebody else’s dreams) and who have the tenacity to stick with it for life!
Yes that’s all that it takes folks. On paper it’s easy and for sure there are countless examples of success, based upon the implementation of a life vision. But are you willing to push yourself hard enough to make the envisioning process a reality?
Well only you can answer that question!