In the last blog post I said the biggest key to developing new habits is to have a vision for your life that is powerful enough to pull you through the challenges of transformation.
My wife, Katie was reading the blog, and she told me she disagreed with the above statement. Her point was that she has been on an extended period of intentional growth in many areas of her life, yet does not have a clear vision for what is next for her. This reality seemed to be a contradiction of my statement above.
We moved to Austin Texas a little over a year ago from Long Beach CA. In Long Beach, Katie was an antique dealer and had an extremely busy schedule managing her business…..crazy busy. So, when we moved here, she was not interested in taking up that level of frenetic pace again. It was exhausting and depleting.
So, she has taken the breathing room she has created for herself here and been very intentional in building contemplative disciplines in her life and considering new ways of relating in various areas of life. I think it has been a marvelous period in her life. But, she is not so sure. One reason is that she does not have any clarity as to what is next for her-her vision is unclear.
But, in another way, I think Katie is very clear. She doesn’t have the complete picture, but she is clear about what she is clear about. This got me thinking more about the challenges of creating a compelling vision in life-a vision that increases your intentionality and impact in the world exponentially, without exhausting you.
So, today, I offer some additional thoughts on creating vision. In many of the trainings and workshops I facilitate we go through entire processes on creating personal vision. In some workshops we spend weeks thinking about it and working it. It has been a terrific process for me, because I get to see first hand what the challenges are in creating a vision. And, every time I work with someone else or a group on vision, I also reconsider my vision afresh. It is a great tuning up exercise for life.
But I am also “doubling down” on my point of view regarding vision. Having a compelling vision and intentionally engaging it is a complete game changer in terms of the impact you make and the legacy you leave in your life.
- It creates openings in your life that never would have opened otherwise.
- It attracts action and things that want to happen.
- It also sometimes seems like the universe shifts in order to accommodate you-except for when it doesn’t seem that way. (That is where the patience comes in.)
Here are some thoughts regarding developing a compelling vision for your life:
- Be patient. A comprehensive vision make take years to develop. That is okay.
- Start with what you DO know, and don’t fret about what you DON’T know. Katie, for example, has a very clear vision that she is not going to do the Antique business the way she did. And she has a very clear vision that this is a time of regrouping and shifting ways of relating for her. That is all she is clear about right now, but that is amazing clarity for now. The rest will come in due time.
- Think about what you are passionate about. If you are not sure, simply contemplate it.
- Vision often fills out and becomes clear when you take first steps on what you DO know. Vision creation is most often a progressive development over time.
- Sometimes the best vision you can come up with is that you are not going to do what you have been doing. You are going in a different direction. Start there and then stay open to what else is in the mix.
- Developing a compelling vision requires courage. It rarely rolls out the way you thought it would.
- Be open to adjusting your vision as it develops. It is a living thing.
- Offload the unimportant to create space to notice and act on the important.
- Vision can encompass many parts-vision for self-health, vocation, family, community, the world. You may not be clear on some but crystal clear on others. Start with what you ARE clear about and go from there.
- Vision often clarifies as you take action on an incomplete vision. Go with what is clear now and see what develops.
- Thoughts on vision/calling from Sue Monk Kidd, the author of The Life of Bees:
- What lies in the bottom of your heart?
- Your calling is your ‘place of belonging.’
- What is your true oxygen?
Constant disciplines are: be patient, stay open as you intentionally contemplate your vision, and stay in motion taking action in the areas you are clear about, always looking for additional pieces to the puzzle. Be curious.
Notice what your gut and heart are saying.
And above all, I encourage you to have deep gratitude for the gift of your life and who you are for the world-your world. Gratitude will go a long way in interrupting your limiting conversations about your circumstances and what you are capable of.