Creating a Vision for our Own Lives…

This has been an interesting week.  Quiet at work, but busy in my thoughts.  It’s been a week in which I have been mindfully aware of others’ journeys and of my own life as well. 

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?

Vision

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! 

4 thoughts on “Creating a Vision for our Own Lives…

  1. There is personal vision, and there is collective vision. My own personal vision is just my small part in the collective vision. Being quite a devoted believer in my religion, my own collective vision is that of my religion: to see the coming of the messiah and ultimate movement into a new form of reality. This can only be accomplished through each and every person doing his own part, by growing and by seeing our challenges as sent by G-d. Even our falls can serve to propell us foward if we learn from our mistakes. I leave my vision open: rather than trying to dictate what I want externally, I make my vision internal. I want to act on my inner voice. I want to connect to G-d. The more I connect with internal reality and make my vision a spiritual one, the less I care about the externals. What does it matter what I am doing, if I am truly growing in my relationship with G-d and my inner self.

    I say, let’s challenge ourself to make our vision on a purely spiritual scale. That is the real measure that will follow us after we leave this world.

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    • Dani – Thanks for the insightful response. I agree that our internal vision, which for many (including myself) is rooted in spirituality, is central to understanding our larger part and role in the world. I also believe that we can (and should) create a vision for our external lives that reflects our inner core. In that way we find purpose and meaning in our lives greater than our individual selves and one that can indeed serve a collective vision. This is true whether we are discussing our spiritual lives, our families, our community, or our vocations/businesses.

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  2. The image you posted is beautiful!

    Vision is believing the end state revealed and start aligning our lives accordingly. Genesis 15 Abraham is the first example of a visionary.

    We can’t choose a vision that fits our lives, but the vision must change our lives. Vision should make us completly rely on God. All our decisions should be a vision decision (meaning, constantly cross-check if the decision will get us close or take us away).

    Being a visionary is a calling. They lay down their lives for it, they build team and constantly train themselves and the team. They won’t be afraid about failure. Their vision will continue after their life time, and will come to pass.

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  3. I so agree with your point that we must continually review and assess if our actions and choices are in alignment with the larger vision – whether as an individual or part of a collective vision, for without clear alignment, it becomes easy to lose our way.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

    Sharon

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