I made it back for another month. This is a real accomplishment for me. I expect being able to build my writing up to twice a month and then once a week. Now that the holiday season is behind us and as we attempt those resolutions; I would like to talk about vision. Having a vision or creating one is an attribute of leadership. For the purpose of this article, we will look at vision as a personal journey into “self-awareness and self-understanding.” According to Fred Kramer (University of Massachusetts-Amherst), when we have self-awareness and self-understanding, we can judiciously articulate a lucid vision to achieve personal or organizational goals.
Last month I attended my first Vision Board Party. At this party the participants were directed to cut out pictures from magazines of things we desired to manifest in our lives; and I learned that the “Law of Attraction” works, by using concentrated thought and focus on what you hope to achieve. April Knight of Platinum Events by April, LLC was the host and facilitator of the party and she did a fabulous job presenting the material and her personal experience. These vision boards allow you the ability to use pictures of your goals and glue them on paper, thus making them more visible, attainable and concrete.
The great thing about creating your personal vision is that it is personal. No two people will ever have the same vision. Vision is like the ultimate goal we want to accomplish; yet, we are living in an entirely different reality. Peter M. Senge (Sloan School of Management) suggests that between our vision and current reality there is the Principle of Creative Tension. This principle states that creative tension comes from seeing clearly, where we want to be, our “vision,” and telling the truth about where we are, our “current reality.” The gap between the two generates a natural tension. He goes further and states that, “the principle of creative tension teaches that an accurate picture of current reality is just as important as a compelling picture of a desired future.” Most of us are trying to solve a problem and get away from of our undesirable current reality. However, Senge suggests that we utilize this creative tension, by juxtaposing both our vision and current reality side-by-side. Let me offer an example.
Vision = Jane envisions she has $1 million dollars in her savings account
Current Reality = Jane actually has $100 dollars in her savings account
In between Jane’s current financial reality and her financial vision for the future, a creative tension exists. What Jane must do is create a way to move from her Current Reality to her Vision by assessing both frameworks. Jane can work overtime and put more money into her savings account, however, that will only solve the problem of having more than $100 dollars in the bank; yet, she will not necessarily ever save $1 million dollars. Jane needs to focus not on the problem of putting more money in the bank; she needs to focus on creating a way to generate $1 million dollars. The goal is not putting money in the bank; the goal is acquiring enough money to have a savings account worth $1 million dollars. When you have a personal vision, to move from where you are to where you would like to be, creative tension kicks in and thrust you from your current reality closer to the vision you are working toward. So, what is your vision for 2012? Where do you see yourself in the next 5, 10, 25 years?
According to Robert Pruitt.com, the first thing you must do to create a personal vision is to:
- Look at what you are dissatisfied with
- Understand that “if it is to be, it is up to me” (if change is to occur in the world it must first occur within yourself)
- Create your vision statement. This statement will give your life added direction and purpose. It becomes real each time you live it. You can’t talk about it you have got to be about it!”
Pruitt also suggest that you:
Think about your past–identify the “highpoints” in your life and make a few notes. Analyze your notes. What themes and patterns are revealed (youth issues, abuse issues, animal or political issues)?
- Determine what you want – questions to contemplate:
- How would I like to change the world for others and myself?
- What is my burning passion?
- What is the distinctive role or skill of my school, community, organization, team, etc?
- Write a Short Vision Statement – Take all of the information you have just gathered and write your ideal and unique image of the future for yourself and the world. Once you have written it, try drawing it, finding a picture that resembles it, or creating a symbol that represents it.
Sample: I stand for a loving, abundant world by being dynamic, inspiring, and committed.
It is my hope that you really get a clear vision statement for 2012 and stay focused so that all of your dreams can come true.
PEACE & LOVE