Think back to when you were a child, what were your dreams? When you were asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, what was the answer? Apart from members of the opposite sex, your circle of friends, dressing to impress, and parties, what excited you as a teenager?
Are you living your dream? Are you anyway en route to achieving it?
Years ago, while co-facilitating a training and coaching session, I came across the quote by Joel Arthur Barker about the power of visioning. Let’s break it down:
- Vision without action is merely a dream
- Action without vision just passes time
- Vision with action can change the world
Which of the three best describes you and your current state of affairs?
Vision Without Action
Do you have a vision for your life? Have you developed a strategic plan, a kind of roadmap with a starting point and a designated destination—kind of like plotting a route using GPS?
What action are you taking toward the achievement of that vision? If we stick with the GPS analogy, it would be like sitting in your house for days without food when you are extremely hungry. You’ve had fast food delivered a couple of times, but you know you need to get to the supermarket.
The app would then provide a detailed list of action steps to get you from your home to the supermarket, (of course you would have to do the reverse and make your way back home).
However, if you did not take any of the action steps, then the vision of having a stocked pantry/refrigerator would merely be a dream. (And yes, I know, today we have the option of having just about anything delivered to our front door while we are still in our pajamas, but I hope you got the point).
Action Without Vision
What is your raison d’etre i.e. your reason for being—your purpose?
How do you spend your time? If you are employed, why are you in your current job? Does it satisfy you? What exactly does it satisfy—the need to pay the bills, or somebody’s version of who you should be?
A friend introduced me to the term “busy syndrome,” and you are busy, busy, busy, all the time, but what are you really accomplishing?
Why are you doing the things you are doing?
Vision with Action Can Change The World – Your World
I know, it sounds very altruistic and lofty, but what if—what if you dared to be so brave as to actually articulate i.e. put into words, that thing or that version of yourself that you keep buried deep inside. What if you become serious enough to engage in the research to determine the possibility and probability of that vision ever becoming a reality? What if you took it to the next level and actually created a plan—a roadmap of how you would get from here to there? And finally, what if you got the gumption, the audacity, the boldness to take all the necessary action steps to get you from here to there.
Remember, a road map is just that, a road map. With GPS technology, you can stay in your house and plot out a course to any destination. The technology will provide a series of directions made up of turns, merges, and straight driving outlined in both mileage and time, but unless you actually start the journey, then the exercise is merely theoretical. In Habakkuk 2:2 we are encouraged to not only write the vision, but to make it plain, and easy to read. Businesses often fail to achieve the goals set out in their strategic plans because they fail to break the plan down into a series of actionable and realistic steps.
Do you think the people who changed the world knew they were going to change the world?
There is a level of greatness in each and every one of us, but we are all born into varying circumstances, almost none being identical—similar, but not identical. However, there are enough stories of those who have triumphed and succeeded against tremendous odds. Do you have what it takes to overcome obstacles in pursuit of your dreams, or are you just going to let them die?
I urge you to take a step back, a step for yourself, and to go back as far as is necessary to tap into that dream that you suppressed because “life” got in the way—marriage seemed right at the time, children came unexpectedly, debt increased, family demands grew, promotions seemed attractive, and status became everything.
Take a step back from it all and ask yourself, at the very core—at your center, “Who am I and what is my purpose?
What is Holding You Back?
Are you discouraged because of your age, gender, or ethnicity? Is it that there is no one to push or encourage you? My mother was one of the most brilliant women I knew; she had the most amazing brain, but as a child and young adult, she had no one to guide her on a journey where her greatness would be magnified. And I say magnified, because her greatness was evident, even in the simplicity of her life, especially as a mother, grandmother, aunt, and community advocate.
And so, I ask you, if there were no restriction of resources —time, money, and a cheerleading squad, and all that these could afford, what would you be doing?
We could all come up with a list of the things (restrictions) that are holding us back; but I ask you, “Are these restrictions real or are they perceived?”
Perhaps you will encounter roadblocks, have STOP and GO bridges to cross. You may have to use local roads with a million stoplights, and more left turns and right turns than you would like, and yes, ultimately, the journey will be longer, but wouldn’t you still get to the destination?
Change or Suffer!
Maybe this is not a change or suffer issue for you. Maybe you are quite satisfied with your life and wouldn’t change a thing—I applaud you on this achievement. However, if you are like the rest of us who are haunted by that vision, that dream, then I encourage you to take the time—make the time, to do the work.
This is YOUR life and as much as we would like to, we can’t go back. We can only move forward, so please, I urge you, move forward with a plan.
Finally, don’t forget at every point of this journey you absolutely must check in with the master planner—the divine Creator, and ask Him to show you, to lead you, and to be your chief counsel—your GPS, along this journey (Proverbs 19:21).
Go ahead, you can, and need to do it—VISION + ACTION!
Cheryl David shares inspirational articles through her Brown Bread for the Soul blogs on WordPress. Have something to share? Leave a comment on the blog site, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of cottonbro.