I was recently asked to give a short presentation on the subject of vision. In preparing for the presentation I looked up the definition of the word and found that it literally means the power of seeing.
I would like to add to that definition that it is not only the power of seeing but the power to see what does not exist. With vision, you see the business, the degree, the relationship, or the house long before they exist in the "real" world. In fact, with vision, you see them so clearly that to you they actually do exist. A person with a strong vision can see and touch what does not exist to anyone else. Not physically but internally, with a deep sense of knowing that what is inside of them must come out into the world around them.
A vision can be so strong within a person that they begin to affect the environment around them changing it to match what they see on the inside of themselves. A powerful vision can be shared and in the sharing allow others to see IF (and that's a big word) they are willing. This is probably the most frustrating thing a person with vision faces. Seeing something so clearly yet when they try to share it, the ones they share it with cannot see it. To the one with vision, it seems unimaginable that people cannot see what they so clearly can. It is not that the vision doesn't have power or merit but that some people have been so conditioned to see one way that they cannot see the world in any other fashion.
So if you have a vision or you are trying to develop one what do you do? How to begin to bring a vision into reality? There are a few principles that I personally have found that a person with vision must have or act on to form and build a vision;
- A vision must be clear, precise, and complete. You need to write out your vision as best as you can. Write it in detail describing the ideal situation and circumstance your vision will create. If your vision is for a new home for you and your family draw out the floor plans, pick colors, arrange furniture. Do everything you can to make this vision tangible. This way when you are feeling doubtful or discouraged you can go back to what you have written and refresh your thinking and dreams.
- Make the vision bigger than you. No one cares about a small vision. No one is going to get excited about going down to get a vision to get an ice cream cone, but you create a vision to feed starving people and all of a sudden there are people behind you ready to support and invest in the vision. If your vision is big enough and inspiring enough it will draw people to it like moths to a flame. Don't worry if you think you can do it, just dream big. There is a quote I love about having big dreams, it says "Aim for the moon even if you miss you will land among the stars."
- A vision must be mailable. Your vision will need to be adjusted. As you are creating it now you only can create it with the current knowledge and experience you have. As you grow and move closer to the vision you will find that you need to make adjustments to the final look. Your not changing it, just adjusting to fit the new knowledge and experience you have gained. When Henry Ford started making cars he only wanted to make black cars. He thought black was the best color. It looked classy, regal, and wealthy. As his company began to grow he realized that not everyone else wanted a black car. Some people wanted cars of different colors that matched their idea of what looked best. Ford didn't stop making cars and his vision of making cars didn't change, he just had to adjust the vision to keep it moving forward.
- A vision must be shared but only with the right people. The sad truth is some people are just blind to possibilities. Not everyone can or is even willing to see. You have to be selective with who you share your vision with. A vision shared with the wrong person will be criticized, told it is impossible, made fun of, and eventually dismissed. There is nothing you can do with those people but move past them, but a vision shared with the right people, even if it is just one, can get legs under it and run to do amazing things.
- Only share the vision, not the process. A couple that decides to have a baby does not invite the family over to watch her get pregnant. That is because the process is private. The process doesn't inspire others. The process is often ugly. There is a lot of grunting, sweating, and that one sock that just won't come off no matter how hard you kick your foot. It is a private thing that you keep to your self. The truth is people who share the process usually do it to complain about how hard the process is. They are looking for sympathy and someone to pat them on the head. Don't be that person. Share the vision, share the goal, share the final result. That way when you reach the end like the couple with the new baby everyone can enjoy what you've brought into the world.
- Don't judge your vision by another's. You don't know the process they went through to get to that. You don't have the ability to see the world the same way they do. Instead, focus on your vision and keep focused on it until it is razor sharp. Then put your hand to the plow and work it. Run your own race and let the others run theirs.
- All visions have a price and you are the only one who can pay it. A vision will cost you. It will cost you money, time, relationships, and peace of mind. A big vision can inspire you but can also have curled in a fetal position crying in the shower. Big visions carry big price tags, it is going to cost you to see it come into this world. Just like the couple with a new child, vision's have birthing pains. You will have to go through those pains but the end result will far outway the current suffering.
My hope is that you will grasp hold of your vision and cling to it, work on it, and never give up until you see it complete. Make your vision your priority. Get up early or stay up late to work on it. Give up wasted time watching TV to instead focus on what is inside of you wanting to get out. I will not lie, it is not going to be easy, but it will be worth it. Remember you don't need eyes to see, you need vision.