How many times have you busily scurried through a never-ending parade of obligations only to remark, “where does the time go?” As another year bids you farewell, you may be anxiously anticipating what’s next. Will this New Year be a successful one?
September 29, 2009 By Helen Tsotso
How many times have you busily scurried through a never-ending parade of obligations only to remark, “where does the time go?” As another year bids you farewell, you may be anxiously anticipating what’s next. Will this New Year be a successful one? What exactly will the New Year bring? One thing is for sure – it is up to you to determine what’s in your future.
The one constant in life is change. The future promises change. Yet, even though most people realize this on a conscious level, great numbers are paralyzed by the prospect. The unknown often sparks fear and dread, as if it were some three-headed, fire-breathing monster.
What could possibly evoke such fear and apprehension? Could it be the fear of success, the fear of failure or the fear of taking risks? Whatever the answer, the future beckons. And, it’s a far friendlier place once you get to know it.
Ask yourself, What is it that you really want? The process of developing a clear image of who you want to be and what you want to create is key to achieving something especially worthwhile.
According to business leader, Warren Blank, “vision is like a wide-angle and long-range lens of awareness that enables people to see into the future and to comprehend big picture possibilities.” A powerful vision must be realistic, believable and appealing. It must bridge the present with the future by focusing on a well-thought-out plan to create this desired state.
Let your powerful vision be a force that motivates and inspires you and others to reach beyond what is familiar and comfortable. Understand that vision is different from a business or life plan in that it strongly engages the creative exploration of new ideas in developing a plan.
Visioning is a process that engages more than logic, reasoning and linear thinking. It draws energy from creativity, intuition, conceptual and abstract thinking. Logic is necessary for planning objectives, targets, goals and action plans.
Abstract thinking, however, helps you explore new possibilities and generate new ideas. This is also known as big picture or strategic thinking.
Vision is fueled by innovation. Innovation and creativity can turn your small ideas into great accomplishments. You don’t have to be an artist to be creative – everyone who’s ever had an idea is creative. A simple and very effective tool for generating and exploring ideas for your vision is a metaphor. Metaphors are mental images, visual images or word phrases that carry meaning from the abstract to the logical realm. Metaphors help you get out of your head and experience your vision on a sensory level.
Imagine you are choosing a wind-chime to represent your ideal vision of a connected, supportive work team. This wind-chime contains several unique and distinct parts that come together to create beautiful sounds and movement. The chimes may represent the people and how they interact. The sounds and movement may represent what you create together. The strings may represent your values and guiding principles. Metaphors help you gain deeper insights and move past situations that keep you stuck.
Root your vision in values and core guiding principles. They are strong underlying drivers that form the basis a
for actions and behaviors. Values describe who you are and what you believe in. Guiding principles and beliefs provide a context from which you operate.
According to Daniel Goleman, in his book Emotional Intelligence, “Personal values are not lofty abstractions, but intimate credos that we may never quite articulate in words so much as feel.” Try describing values such as respect, freedom, independence and service without describing how they make you feel. Your organizational values should also be declared for key business components such as employees, clients, management, etc.
Call your vision into being with a clear sense of purpose. Communicate your purpose with passion and enthusiasm. Purpose is a long-term, broad, guiding focus that doesn’t change. It tells everyone why you exist. For example, Apple Computers exists “to make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.” Articulate your purpose; it grounds and connects you and others to your powerful vision in a larger, more meaningful way. What legacy will you create through your purpose?
Commit to creating your ideal future now. Clarify and focus on where you want to be. Muster up the courage and commitment to create work you’re passionate about and a life that brings you incredible fulfillment. Leave room for others to do the same. Otherwise, you may just drift from here to there waiting for some magical event to change everything. The classic definition of crazy is when you keep doing the same things over and over again expecting different results! ‘
Be pro-active; make the right choices and step into living your dreams. If you conceive it and believe it, you will achieve it! It’s as simple as that.
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