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Life is a journey. And as you know, every journey has a destination.
Everybody ends up somewhere in life. A few people end up somewhere on purpose. Those are the ones with vision. They may have other things going for them as well. But they certainly have vision. Not necessarily a vision (singular), but vision for each of the key roles they are assigned along the way because life is a multifaceted journey. It calls for a multifaceted vision.
Whether you are aware of it or not, you have multiple visions for your life. That is, you have a mental picture of what you want the various arenas of your life to look like down the road—. personally, professionally, domestically, and spiritually.
What Is Vision?
If I were to ask you to describe how you picture your life in ten years, chances are you could paint a fairly clear picture. No doubt you could outline a financial profile. You could describe what you hope to achieve relationally. You have some idea of where you want to be professionally. In other words, you would be able to look beyond what is and paint a picture of what could be—and in some cases what should be—true of your life. That’s vision.
Vision is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.
Vision is a preferred future. A destination.
Vision always stands in contrast to the world as it is. Vision demands change. It implies movement. For a vision to become a reality, someone must put his or her neck on the line.
Vision requires visionaries, people who have allowed their minds and hearts to wander outside the artificial boundaries imposed by the world as it is.
A vision requires an individual who has the courage to act on an idea, because there is always a moral element to vision. Vision carries with it a sense of conviction. Anyone with a vision will tell you this is not merely something that could be done. This is something that should be done. This is something that must happen. It is this element that catapults men and women out of the realm of passive concern and into action.
What Is Visioneering?
Visioneering. A new word…An old concept…A familiar process. Visioneering is the course one follows to make dreams a reality. It is the process whereby ideas and convictions take on substance.
Where definitions fall short, a story often achieves clarity: On December 17, 1903, at 10:35 A.M., Orville Wright secured his place in history by executing the first powered and sustained flight from level ground. For twelve gravity-defying seconds he flew 120 feet along the dunes of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
In the field of aviation, this historic event represents a beginning. But for Orville and Wilbur Wright, it was the end of a long and tedious journey. A journey initiated by a dream common to every little boy. The desire to fly. But what most children abandon to the domain of fantasy, Orville and Wilbur Wright seized upon as potential reality. They believed they could fly. More than that, they believed they should fly.
The only thing they lacked was a means. So they immediately went to work removing the obstacles that stood between them and their dream. In short, they began to engineer their vision. They took the necessary steps to ensure that what they believed could be, would be.
This process captures the essence of visioneering. As the story of the Wright brothers illustrates, visioneering is the engineering of a vision. If I were to boil it down to a formula, it would look something like this:
VISIONEERING = INSPIRATION + CONVICTION +ACTION
+ DETERMINATION + COMPLETION
A clear vision, along with the courage to follow through, dramatically increases your chances of coming to the end of your life, looking back with a deep abiding satisfaction, and thinking, I did it. I succeeded. I finished well. My life counted.
Without a clear vision, odds are you will come to the end of your life and wonder. Wonder what you could have done—what you should have done. And like so many, you may wonder if your life really mattered at all.
There’s no need for life to end like that. I urge you to consider a better plan—visioneering.
This article is based on material found in Visioneering, Revised Edition, available September 2016.