Defining a vision, as a prelude for the future
"Where vision is missing, people meet their downfall."
- King Salomon
What did king Salomon mean when he said these legendary words?
He aims to tell us that it's imperative for us to have a vision. The word 'downfall' sounds pretty fatal, doesn't it? But what is really meant by that, is this:
"Without vision we'll get lost and keep returning to the same spot."
This already sounds a bit more contemporary and on top of that it's an incontrovertible truth!
Most people lack vision. They keep wandering around in circles and always return to the same place. As a coach I'm used to hearing "Jeez, I've been here before. I'm really tired of this!" and then people are talking about their results.
Thanks to the previous episodes, we already know that there's a positive side to all the negative stuff. We did this reversal exercise so we could step out of the vicious circles and slowly head towards happiness.
First, I will give you some fun exercises to become more and more aware of what we want. Then we will be able to design the movie of our vision.
Step 1. We'll return to our childhood and youth for a moment
When we were small, we obviously were attracted to the things we liked. I, for example, enjoyed wearing the clothes of my mother repeatedly and to run around the house on high heels. The more noise I made, the better! In the playroom I used to push tables next to one another so they could be used as a stage. Singing along with Donna Summer and Bonnie M were some highlights of my childhood.
In addition, I have always been a creative jack-of-all-trades. I love creating with my hands, things like earrings, rings, and necklaces that I would then sell to my friends. I loved selling things: toilet paper for the Scouts, tombolas for school, concert tickets for the youth choir and of course my self-made jewels.
But the biggest satisfaction I got from teaching. My dolls skilfully placed in a row and me as a teacher in front of the blackboard. That was what I preferred doing most… and it still is! But now the dolls have made place for nice adults.
Who were you as a child? What did you like to play with? What typified you?
If you don't reach those memories right away, then ask people who were close to you back then.
Step 2. Behold the biggest successes and the biggest setbacks
Now you might think "Ow! That's no fun exercise!" I understand, but once you know that each failure is an opportunity for learning and that it says nothing about the true potential, this exercise changes quite significantly.
For inspiration we can watch the Stanford University speech of Steve Jobs. In his speech he's talking about "Connecting the dots". He says "Watch the turning points in your life. Watch the negative and positive turning points because they made you the person you are today." In that sense he calls him leaving Apple - his own company as a matter of fact - a blessing. That moment he started thinking and this changed his attitude.
Think about the setbacks and write down the lessons they taught you. Regard these setbacks as spiritual teachers.
Think about the successes and write them down because they reveal talents and motivations.
When we do this exercise, we can already start to see a pattern. It's a central thread that is able to connect "the dots" Steve Jobs was talking about.
It always makes me think about an activity I enjoyed doing as a child. On a piece of paper there are numbered dots, let's say from 1 to 50. You must connect the dots from 1 to 2, from 2 to 3, from 3 to 4 and so on until you reach 50 and the drawing is finished. Gradually the pattern emerges. Suddenly you see it and start yelling "It's Mickey Mouse!"
Well, that's exactly what we do with our lives. Not a single dot is superfluous. Do this exercise and we will see that there is also a pattern for us.
Step 3. Use this awareness to create the movie for the future.
Now we got to know ourselves a lot better, we can take this new awareness with us into the future.
- Define what you really like
- Define what you're good at, what your talents are and what you enjoy doing today
- Define what gives you wings and tons of energy
When we answer these questions and write down the answers, we become more and more aware of what we do want. That's the way each director creates a movie. We choose our future and work it out.
If you want to learn more about this, I can recommend you my book 'Think and turn your vision into reality'. Here these steps are worked out in detail.
It's really important that we dare to dream. Even when disbelief, doubt, fear, resistance, and confusion emerge, just start doing it! Nobody can define our vision for us. This is something we define from within our hearts.
Once we have a vision of the future, we can take the next step: setting goals.
Surely, goals are crucial to make the vision specific and clear. In the next episode I will give the guidelines to define our goals. I'm sure that this will be a lot of fun. It feels a bit like 'shopping'.
See you then!