The Push and Pull of a Vision

The Push and Pull of a Vision

As a teen I had this wonderful vision of myself standing in front of a class or in a laboratory teaching.  I even remember “seeing” myself surrounded by young students eagerly asking questions who were then energized by my answers -the students were so excited in fact that they were inspired to become great scientists, writers and statesmen or women.  Yes, I dream in Technicolor!!

Did I ever want to let go of that vision before I achieved it?  Of course I did.   Several times.  Once in college when Organic Chemistry gave me problems (I wanted to be a chemistry teacher.) I started thinking about becoming a librarian.

That is the way it is with visions.  You can have a vision that is small and easily accomplished.  Those who want to take a big leap forward however find that having a very large vision is more motivating, more energizing and more powerful. It can help guide you so you are on the path to be happy at work.

The downside of a big vision is however that it can cause a lot of stress and angst.  As I struggled with Organic Chemistry I saw that I could change my major and alleviate my stress. (Probably get a new and different stress however!) The idea of changing my major was very attractive!

The tension caused between your current reality and your vision is called creative tension.  It is what gives you the energy and motivation to act. It also gives you that stressed feeling especially when you are experiencing some difficulties.  For many people the stress is too much so they let go of the vision or scale it back.  The danger then is to stagnate.

I did in fact become that teacher that I was visioning as a teen.  The vision was big at the time I made it but once I reached it and had those students asking questions and feeling energized by my responses, I needed to find a new dream.  (I didn’t wait for them to become scientists, authors and statesmen and women but knew some would and they have!)

My vision was limited to my teaching career.  It could have encompassed the rest of my life but it did not.  Once my current reality was the same as my vision, it was time to move on or stay still.

Moving on meant creating a new vision, one that was big enough to sustain me for many years.  Discomfort again?! The vision I have today is to have a thriving coaching practice along with being a caregiver for my mother and being actively involved in my children and grandchildren’s lives.  I’m still trying to get this all to work together but I am very close to achieving my vision. What will be next?

One really great resource for asking yourself the questions you need to ask to get to your big vision is in the book The Path by Laurie Beth Jones.  On pages 88 to 90 she has some challenging questions that can help you identify what you want.

Here is a sample of some of the questions:

  1. Who is living the life you most envy?
  2. Describe what you think it is like.
  3. If you had six healthy months left to live, what would they look like?
  4. If money were no object, what would you be doing with your life?
  5. What do you want more of: In in your relationships? In in your work?

Question number 19 in her book is to write out your vision statement incorporating your answers to the questions she has posed.

Once you have a big vision that is written down on paper it is important to come back to it frequently (daily) so that you keep reconfirming it.   The repetition counteracts the fear and brings back the excitement.  It helps you to really believe in the dream. That reconfirmation energizes you and propels you into action.

Take Action:

  1. What is your current vision for your life? Sit down with a pencil and paper and write it out.
  2. Think of an example of a vision that you had and reached in the past. What lessons can you learn from that experience?  What surprised you about the experience?
  3. Use old magazine and cut out pictures to represent pieces of your vision. Paste the cutouts on a poster board or construction paper. Hang the collage where you can see it as a constant reminder of your vision.
  4. Read The Path by Laurie Beth Jones. You can purchase the book on Amazon by clicking on this link:




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