Here's an interesting story from the world of race car driving. One of the most important things that beginning race car drivers learn is what to do when they lose control of the car and go into a spin. The natural reaction is to focus on the wall or other object they want to avoid. Because their focus is on the wall, that's usually where they end up. Instead of focusing on the wall, the drivers learn to focus on where they want to go. This allows them to avoid the walls, stay on course and go where they want to go.
What does this have to do with the power and strength of vision?
Just about everything.
In my counseling experience, I have found that the approach most of us take to life is to sort of "make it up as we go along." And then we wonder why things end up such a mess. It's like the old saying, "if you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."
Even when we do have a plan, it's only a partial plan. Then when our plan doesn't work, or "hits the wall", we don't know where to go from there and give up.
In order to be successful in life, I believe we need to have a clear vision for what we want, in all areas of our life. Even if we have a lot of desire, energy and motivation, without a clear direction and vision, we can end up like a "dead atheist." All dressed up and no where to go.
Why have vision?
So let's look at how to create a vision in several key areas of our lives.
There's a proverb that says "without a vision, the people perish." I think we can extend that parable and say without a vision –
a marriage perishes
a family perishes
a career perishes
A Marriage Vision
One of my favorite things to do is to help a couple create a vision for their relationship. Most people spend more time planning a two week vacation than they do planning how they want their relationship to be.Here's a key question – "If we could design this relationship any way we wanted it, how would it be?" How would you –
spend your time?
relate to and communicate with each other?
plan for your future?
help each other grow?
A Family Vision
We live in a society where the average family spends only fourteen and a half minutes a day with each other all together. I don't believe that's what we really want.
So here are some key questions for creating a family vision.
What do we most value as a family?
How do we want to spend our time?
What legacy do we want to leave for the generations that will follow?
What impact would we like to have on our community?
A Career Vision
We spend most of our adult waking hours at work. Yet it's one of the main areas in life where we tend to just stumble in and make it up as we go along. Here are a few key questions for creating a vision for your career.
What are your dreams for your career?
How would you like to spend your working hours?
What would make you get up each day excited that you get to go to work?
Do you want to make a living or make a life?
The answers to these questions can get you started in creating a vision in each of these key areas. You can add other areas and other questions as well. The next step is to begin, right away, to take small daily actions toward each of these goals.
I'll close with an example of the power of vision in our lives. Picture yourself sitting at home at your kitchen table, with a big juicy lemon on a plate in front of you. Now take a knife and cut the lemon in half. Smell and feel the juice. Now cut a slice from one half. More juice, more smell. Cut that slice in half. More juice, more smell. Now take that half, bring it up to your face, take a whiff and then bite into it. If you're like most folks, and you did this exercise, right now there is a bit of moisture in your mouth.
Here's the really cool thing. There is no lemon. You created a physiological response in your body through the power of vision.
And so it can be as you get a clear vision for what you want in life. The clearer your vision, the quicker your brain will respond.
So get clear and get going.