Any memoir from history’s movers and shakers has one thread commonly found in the narrative: a vision that powered their extraordinary journey. Innovators like Henry Ford and Steve Jobs to pop cultural icons like Oprah Winfrey and Madonna and many others had a clear vision that superseded all ambition, failures, successes, and fame.
Having a vision helps us create barometers for growth on all levels—for personal growth, career, and relationships. It helps us understand our choices and what drives our behaviors. A vision is a major part of why a dream comes to life.
Last month we asked you to tap into your vision as a way to push toward glory. This month we hone in on what a vision is. Conscious disruptors know their vision with the same instinct of knowing their name. A vision is something that we all crave. Some people lose themselves trying to find it, others suppress the urgency for it to reveal itself.
A vision comes from an innate hunger for purpose. In the quest to find our vision humanity has invented rituals. Many people culturally appropriated the vision quest experience from Native American culture. Some people sojourn the world solo, looking for answers through reflection. Some companies make employees write a mission statement as part of summoning their vision.
Meanwhile, some don’t ever find their vision because they negate the importance of it. They stumble through life, mistake after mistake with no push for glory or reach toward extraordinary. They believe happiness and success is a lottery that they are unworthy of winning. They prefer playing it safe with what they know and believe, even if it results in lacklustered gains and pain.
We at Productive Learning know you don’t have to spend days sauntering through foreign lands or mountaintops to find your vision. Do you remember daydreaming about what you were going to be when you were little? A vision is more like a daydream. It’s a fantasy but not fantastical. It’s the difference between seeing yourself slaying the White Walkers and slaying with your winning proposal.
Our experiences shaped our thinking that includes our self-doubts. As adults, it’s easy to crush a vision by emphasizing limitations. We’re so bogged down with self-doubt that our vision tends to mutate into a fantasy of what others think of us…Wait till the ex sees you’re engaged! What you’ll tell the boss when you quit! Or, that moment the family sees you’ve dropped six sizes! It’s easy to have your vision hijacked by ego.
A vision carries purpose that serves our wellbeing, not our ego. It reveals the details of who we want to become, what beliefs we want to adhere to, what purpose we want to fulfill in this lifetime. A strong and clear vision allows us to fine-tune ourselves along the journey. Your vision has to be emotionally compelling—to the point you’re willing to set aside your ego and misguided beliefs.
If finding a vision sounds daunting, fret not. The good news is that you don’t have a lot of work to do with finding a vision. Everyone has dreams, including you. You merely have to evoke your own fantasies and imagination to tap into a dream. Working toward a vision is fun and exciting when you’re tethered strongly to it.
A vision may appear nebulous at first and don’t mistake it for a plan. Plans are intellectual, rational, packed with goal-oriented details that are placed on timetables with deadlines. Plans usher you through the daily “to do’s.” They can help you organize toward a vision. But a clear vision has little to do with plans. It appears once you’ve sat with your negative thinking.
Productive Learning trainers have worked with clients to carve out their visions in experiential workshops. They’ve challenged thousands of clients on their perceptions of what is real and what is simply a fallacy of negative thinking. When someone believes their self-deprecation, self-doubt, and their worries of an anticipated future they unknowingly have created a vision of doubt, worry, and concern, sealing their fate. Worry is the misuse of imagination. We’ve seen it over and over and over again with clients: when you know how to master your unconscious protective strategies you open yourself to the possibilities of your highest vision.
Your emotional gage is fine-tuned because you know how to sit with painful thoughts. You no longer run from them. You are now open to feel your way into your vision. You can train your mind, body, and subconscious beliefs to know what it feels to live in your vision. Controlling your feeling trains your body and mind to behave in ways that work toward fulfilling the ideal vision.
Those who are conscious disruptors know this. They felt their way into a vision. Our emotions don’t know the difference between what’s happening in real time and what’s a dream. Think of your vision. What’s your emotional set point while you’re seeing it? What awesome things do you get to have in your community, workplace, and relationships? A vision comes from the standpoint of you and you only. It’s what you experience, not what others want of you or expect of you. Become familiar with how you sense yourself in your vision.
Your vision could be anything. You could see yourself leading a multimillion-dollar company or breaking a hot dog-eating world record. You could be walking down the aisle of a church with the perfect partner or down the aisle of a plane into a round-the-world adventure. Maybe your vision is to see your kids into a happy adulthood or simply to start a family
Visualization is a developed skill and necessary to manifest a vision. Our clients use it to train the mind to embed feelings that can help develop healthy behaviors. Don’t focus on the color scheme of your dream house, driving the Porsche, or the chair behind the desk of your multi-million dollar company. Forget the details and feel the excitement, the thrill, and the exhilaration of being in your home, car, and business.
Stepping into our vision means re-training our conscious minds into new perceptions that disrupt our beliefs and awaken that part of us that will accept nothing less than extraordinary.
In the workshop, Producing Positive Change, we examine our relationship to change and since change is inevitable can we work with it to use the force of change to create our vision. We dig into the truth and yes, it does shake up your comfort. We have to be honest about things we are attached to. You don’t like being single but you also don’t like being rejected; you want a promotion but you don’t like the uncomfortable conversation of asking for it. These are truths we must face in order to produce the vision we want through the change that is available to us.
Maybe you already have your vision but keep stumbling about on your way to it. You may consider our workshop Diversions. You may be going after things you think look like your vision but instead, it’s things that put you back to your default resistance. Diversions lead to resignation and it’s sneaky…it makes you make up excuses to stay in your comfort zone without you even knowing that’s what you’re doing.
Your vision is the proverbial North Star. It’s what gets you through conflict, propelling you into a force of extraordinary development. Once you know your vision, you’re empowered to know who you are, what values drive you, how to keep yourself uplifted and motivated when things get tough.
The truth is that movers and shakers are conscious disruptors who committed to disciplining their minds, not merely starry-eyed dreamers wishing their way through life. Visionaries consciously tame their thinking, are aware of their behaviors, and upset the cart to save themselves from complacency. We invite you to empower yourself with a strong, clear vision. You’ll uplift yourself and others along the way.