There is the friend, for example, who is struggling to surrender to a still unknown fate for missteps taken from a broken place; there is another who is reaching a place of acceptance of what is, finding the courage to consider possibilities beyond his present circumstances, yet slightly paralyzed by the dizzying array of choices before him and the inherent risk in each. There are those other friends of mine who have found themselves struggling to find their own place in this next chapter of their lives – aware that they cannot go ‘back’, yet often afraid of how to move forward, uncomfortable with the uncertainty that comes with change. In all of it, there have been themes of fear, control, and surrender. There have also been themes of hope, courage, resolve and strength.
What I do not often see or hear about is vision.
Vision beyond the pain and struggles of the past. Vision beyond the moment we are all now in. Vision for our dreams or of God’s plan for our lives. With it, our lives are filled with purpose and meaning; without it, we simply stumble along. It is the difference between action and reaction; between living with intention or without.
Vision is hard. I get it. I get it because just over two weeks ago, a deeply respected #Leadfromwithin colleague challenged me to think about my own life beyond the present…to create, in effect, a vision for my own life. Sounded easy, but it wasn’t. Oh sure. Years ago, at the beginning of my career, I had a plan all mapped out. For the most part, I followed it to a tee and it did in fact lead me to (external) success. Years later, however, after much personal growth and life experience, I can see that while I had a plan, I did not have a vision, and I am learning there is an important difference. My plan came from my head. It was practical and secure. After all, security was my mantra. But though I enjoyed the professional success, I can also remember making subtle trade-offs along the way, always choosing from my head and never from my heart. With each trade off, a piece of my passion died along with it.
So now I am asking myself different questions. I am not asking what I could or should do, but what I want to do – answered from my heart place, not my head. If, like the quote in my last entry, talent is God’s gift to us and how we use it is our gift back, then how do I want to use my talents? What am I doing and who am I doing it with? What can I bring to the table and what do I still have to learn? What and who do I value? What legacy do I want to create for my life and family? How can I use my talents in such away that my choices in life are in alignment with my core values? What role does Faith play in this vision? How can I work with what I already have, where I am presently at, and those I journey with to create lasting meaning and value in my life? How shall I choose to contribute my talents, time and heart to the world at large?
From my perspective, vision is more than just a dream. While I am not an expert in the field of vision, I do know what it looks like in my own life. Reduced to simplest terms, my formula looks something like this:
Vision = ((Dreams of our Heart + Talent + Plan for Growth) x Our Core Values) x Faith
I’m curious: What is your definition of vision?
Note: I just followed my own link from Twitter to this post and saw suggested links to similar posts. I’m new to blogging. I’m new to WP. They may be fabulous links, but they are not mine, I did not post them and I can’t say I know where they are going to lead you… Until I figure out how to change this feature, they remain in place. Who knows, maybe they will lead you on some fabulous adventure!