n a previous post, we talked extensively about how a vision can instantly change the fortunes of a so called “Jobless” person. I believe with all my heart that if someone has a heartfelt God-given vision, there is no way they will go around referring to themselves as “Jobless”. I believe that half the trouble we have with the joblessness scourge in the world is due to people not having their hearts pricked from something greater than themselves.
My belief is that no one lacks a reason for being. I believe that even the madman out there in the street was meant to do something positive with their life. In fact, I have this sure belief that our vision (or you might say purpose), is older than we are. Why? I believe we were created to serve that vision. I believe that the vision was determined first and then we were created and equipped to serve it. I believe that we have been protected all these years and kept alive because we still need to serve that vision.
Life’s Biggest Woe
The greatest regret in life we have is when we know that we have come at the end of our lives and could have lived it better serving our vision.This scenario is repeated over and over nearly 6000 times each hour world-wide. I know that the death rate as we speak stands at 6000 souls per hour. Of the six thousand, how many really lived to serve their purpose? How many were “ready to die?”
What I failed to tell you last time with my post was one thing:
How in the world can I determine my vision?
Before we can delve in that (which is the crux of this post), let me highlight some misconceptions with this vision business:
5 Reasons Why People Do Not Have a Personal Vision
- Some people do not have a vision because they think that it might be wrong to start with. There are two reasons for this: First, people are taking this vision business way too seriously, which is a good thing. However, their seriousness is that of fear. People are afraid that they will pursue that which they were not “called” to do. That is why R. Covey said that “At times you can climb the ladder of success to the top only to find that it was leaning on the wrong wall”. I can tell you this: I would rather pursue a vision than no vision at all. What Covey was talking about was not about vision, but about pursuit of success. Speaking of which, people need to understand that “Success is personal”. Your definition of success is totally different from mine. Vision however is far larger than success, but I digress.
- People wrongly think that a vision and a mission is what organizations have…and that at a personal level, they do not need one. This is seen by most of the CV’s of job applicants. When they write down their “Objectives”, they always customize it to suit the company they are applying for. So if someone is applying to 5 different companies, he/she will come up with 5 different “objectives”. This is why the stressful schizophrenia for the jobless. My advice is simple: come up with a vision and let it be your objective in life. People are also afraid that if they have a vision, then they will miss out on very many opportunities that will come their way. Nothing can be further from the truth.
- I think the greatest reason why people do not have personal vision and mission statements that are truly heartfelt is because of ignorance. We think that all we need to know is the “how” of operation of things. So we learn “how to code”, “how to deliver a public speech”, “How to write a great book, article or poem”, “How to sing well”…and so on. That is why we flock into as many schools as we can afford to increase our technical know-how. That is OK but it is putting the cart before the horse. What we need to know is the “Why” of the operation of things in life more than the “how” . Someone said that a “why” can make you overcome almost any “how”. I want to know why you are writing, or learning code, or learning to be a great public speaker. What is your end in mind? I can tell you that without this end in mind, we risk doing what Covey said, pursuing success to the top of the ladder only to find that the ladder was leaning on the wrong wall!
- One more reason why we do not have vision is because we are living in a world full of realities and needs. So we get bogged down with the nitty gritties of life, the realities of making a living that we tone down our dream machine. Vision is seldom tangible in nature and it seldom answers our immediate and urgent needs. So as much as we have needs to address, we stop dreaming. And when we have comfort, we are so dulled that all we do is to enjoy it as it lasts. We become so tuned out of life, never depending on our inner sparks, inner instincts that are benignly yet strongly indicating to us that there has to be more to life than what we are experiencing.
- Finally, I think the biggest reason why people do not write down their vision is because they either think they are not worthy of it, or the get stuck in “how” in the world will I pull it off. SO they get discouraged and retreat back to a comfortable state of living of mind that makes sense to them.
The Three Way Test of Your Vision
I dared to say earlier that all of us have a vision. The only thing is that it is not clarified.
- A vision is not selfish. “Owning a house, a car, a cell phone and curtains” is not an example of a vision. These are wishes and dreams and in of themselves are not bad
- A vision is heartfelt. It is not found through researching in text books or taking extra classes. It is found by accessing your heart, your values and things that bring out the strongest emotions from you. Vision is caught at the heart level. So look for it there.
- A vision is not short-term. It is not something that you will accomplish tomorrow or next week or next year. Short term desires always serve a bigger goal which is the vision in the end. These could be tasks or goals, but they are not a vision.
- A Vision is not what you can accomplish alone. A true vision has three tests: First, it is very unreasonable. Second, it is very expensive. Third it is very difficult to pull off. In other words, A vision draws humanity together, which I believe is bringing out the purpose of God’s creation in the first place—collaboration between God and men. So if you can pull it off alone, it is no vision.
So as you craft your vision, you now know that it is long-term (probably will outlive you), it is selfless (used primarily to make the world a better place), and it is collaborative (will require you to get help from God and man)
Where Vision Begins
Vision starts in your heart more than it does in your head. Whether we want to accept it or not, we are all spiritual and emotional beings. The problem is that people think that spirituality is religiosity! That is why I have been branded a “preacher” for talking more spiritual stuff in my blog. In fact, some people tune me out thinking I am peddling some religion. Far from it.
We all have motivations for doing things. One word for it? Values
Values are things we cherish. When they are upheld, we are happy. When they are not upheld, we are not just sad, we are mad and we want to do something to rectify the situation. That is serious heart energy. For example, if you love equality and justice, you will hate exploitation of women and children, and you would easily for an organization called “International Justice Mission” whose work involves rescuing women and children from human trafficking. You are not doing that because you want money, you are doing it because of your values! Get the point?
So what I am challenging you to do is simple: Clarify your values. After you have done that, follow the following simple steps to write down your vision:
- Select your two top most values such as care, protection
- Give your values some verbs such as rescue, rebuild
- Write one statement describing your perfect ultimate world and what it looks like. For example, all women and children are loved and live in a peaceful and protected environment where they can freely express themselves and experience joy
- Combine the three segments above into one statement starting with the words, “My purpose/vision is…” eg. “My vision is to show care and protection for women and children by rescuing them from exploitation and providing them a world where they are loved, protected and rebuilt to experience joy as they freely express themselves”
There you have it. My question is: is there anyone who does not have values in life? I do not think so. Over to you now.