Many popular philosophies allude to the influence of vision. ‘Speak of the devil’ is an example. The implication being that the subject of your thoughts/conversation has materialised. ‘The power of positive thinking’ is another. I’ve often heard that you are attracted to your fears as well as your goals. Life coaches talk about ‘principles of attraction’. They’re not talking about makeup and stockings, they’re talking about the future that you are setting up for yourself by your own demeanour and frame of mind. If you are a serial monogamist, perhaps it has come about because of the fear of another disastrous relationship makes that the vision of a disastrous relationship prominent in your consciousness and is inadvertently attracting the next idiot who is going to treat you in the way that you have become accustomed to being treated. That doesn’t mean it’s your fault, but you can do something about it.
In business we call it a vision statement. A vision statement is a description of a future you are trying to create. Unlike the mission and values, your vision is allowed to change. If the political, social, technological or economic context changes then your mission, guided by your values will lead you somewhere different and that’s OK.
Although I get my students to write mission statements for their projects, I usually start with a personal vision statement, simply because it’s easier. Once you’ve got the concept you can then apply it to your project/business.
To write yourself a vision statement, start with, “In five years I…”, and write a paragraph which paints a picture of you in five years time in graphic detail. The more detail the stronger the attraction. That’s why vision boards are so powerful. Rumour has it that a picture is worth a thousand words. Think of the cloths you are wearing. If you are so inclined, how many pairs of shoes do you own? What make, model, year, colour car are you driving? Where do you live? How many children do you have? What school do they go to? There isn’t a right and wrong here and tomorrow your vision might be different, but right now your vision is where you are heading and that’s always worth knowing. Remember that the stronger the statement, the stronger the attraction to that particular future. You make your statement stronger with detail. Avoid expressions like, “I would like to…”. It’s a weak statement. It’s a wish. A vision is a peek into the future. ‘Like’ is the wrong word. ‘Am’ is the right word. “I am sitting on the veranda of my 22nd floor apartment overlooking Fawkner Park” paints a clear picture.
It is worth acknowledging that the human brain is capable of so much more than can be described in mere words. I’m not about to switch to a career as a psychic but I’m sure that seeding thoughts and self fulfilling prophecies play a big part in psychic readings. This is not sneaky or wrong, they are reading your vision, the one that you have not been able to put to words.
A story popular in life coaching circles is one in which a gentleman who was packing up his possessions to move house found a vision board that he had completed 10 years earlier. A vision board is simply a board upon which is pasted a collage, pictures cut out of magazines to which you are attracted. On this fellow’s vision board was a picture of the house that he was moving into. Ten years earlier he had seen the house advertised and as he cut the picture out of the advertisement, he thought to himself, “There’s somewhere I’d like to live”.
A video which I recommend viewing is called, ‘The Secret’. I thought it was fantastic but a few friends who saw it were offended by it. I think perhaps the reason being the portrayal of a woman who supposedly cured herself of cancer through positive thinking. That she was cured of cancer is not in question but the implication that ‘you should be able to do it’ is wrong. I saw it as an example of ‘anything is possible’. Your vision is like a fantasy. In your fantasy the only limits are those that you impose yourself. Remember that for every page in every text book there are a probably a billion libraries of things we do not yet know. Perhaps we all have superpowers and just don’t know how to use them. The implication that ‘you should be able to cure yourself of cancer is wrong but it’s not wrong to imagine yourself without cancer. Your vision of yourself as a primarily a cancer host, will affect the quality of your life whether you survive the cancer or not.
Vision is a powerful thing, perhaps it’s a superpower that we all have access to. Just remember that it works through attraction and not acquisition.