Wednesday, February 04, 2009
We all need a vision
Take a deep breath
Close the door to your room or office
close your eyes and think about what's going on in your life right now
what did you think about?
For many of us, we'd answer "bills" "my kids" "the economic uncertainty" or even the laundry/garbage/cooking dinner/other household tasks
It is very important, especially in stressful times like today, that we have a defined vision of what we want out of life; and that we are taking active steps to get there. What does this mean?
let's start with "vision". 'Vision' refers to an ideal or goal towards which one aspires. According to Mickey Connolly and Dr. Richard Rianoshek in their book, "The Communication Catalyst", a vision is something big you shoot for but can never truly achieve. Mother Theresa, for example, held as her vision "love the poor". She could not, in her lifetime, love all the poor (in a direct sense). She did, however, love and help enough poor people that we hold her example as superhuman.
Business giant Microsoft held as it's vision for some time a computer in every home in the United States. While some homes lack a PC, you get the point- and so do many businesses that try to emulate the success of Microsoft.
The lesson here is for all of us to hold a vision - what does our ideal life look like? What people are in your life and in what capacity? What job do you have? Where do you live? What lifestyle do you enjoy? What legacy do you want to be remembered for? All those questions and more help to identify what your life would look like if you had your way.
When we narrow in on the goal, the action steps we must take become a lot more clear. This is so key right now in a tough economy because (smart) employers are demanding more. They have to. Hopefully they are also providing more guidance or more creative benefits and incentivization packages, but the fact is to turn the economy around, people must bring more to the table and companies must be more efficient.
If you don't have a clear vision, your boss will demand more and pay less proportionate to your output, and this will lead you to enjoy your job and even your life less. It is even more important now than ever to focus on what you are getting besides a paycheck and ensure passion, skillset, and long term goals align between your vision and what you have to do at work. Once these are in check, we all need to work harder than ever both to weather the current economic storm, and to make progress towards our vision not just punch a clock every day.
The reality is, some people are losing their jobs, and some people (regardless of economic status) are still living out their dreams. Some that are losing their jobs are dead weight because they aren't passionate and thus not contributing and only there to do the minimum, while some are downright tragedies. Some people are living out their dreams by applying the principles of success, while others were lucky enough to be born rich.
You can't get anywhere by worrying about others and what's fair or not fair. You can decide what's exciting for you, and then take steps (and plan) to set it up, and then work relentlessly towards your goals with the progress and mini-victories along the way providing your fuel.
Remember that you don't have to (and shouldn't) go it alone, but you do have to take ownership over your life and where it is going if you're going to have even a hope of getting what you want.
so - close your door, take a deep breath, and then close your eyes again and picture what that life looks like... make sure you have a pen and paper ready- you might surprise yourself with what your life could look like!