Have you ever tried to put together a puzzle without the picture the pieces represent? This could be a very frustrating process. You stumble your way through the process hoping to arrive at the right picture at the end. Even though it is possible to build a puzzle without the picture, the frustrations could be so great that most people give up before the picture is completed. Let’s take for instance Victor. Victor is forty two years old, only has a high school educations and works 16 hour days on 2 jobs. One as a pizza delivery man and the other as a mechanic. Victor is tired of life and sees no way out of his situation. He has lost hope because just like putting together a puzzle without seeing the picture, Victor is going through life with no vision of his life.
Victor represents thousands of people around you: People who are not doing what is “best” because of “circumstances”. People who lack the power of a vision. Victor will most likely blame his 16 hour work week on why his life is so depressing. But I beg to disagree with Victor: His problem is not the 16 hour work week but his satisfaction in his present circumstances and the lack of a vision.
Satisfaction in present circumstances
Stephen Covey says, “The enemy of the best is the good”. Even though Victor is unwilling to admit it, he is satisfied with where he is. Notice I did not say he likes where he is, I said he is satisfied with where is. This is same reason people stay in abusive relationships because they are satisfied. This is called learned helplessness. They hate the circumstances but that’s all they know so they stay. Fannie Lou Hamer says, “You have to be sick and tired of being sick and tired”. Until you get to that point you ARE NOT going to make a change.
There is power in having a well-defined vision. Victor does not know what he wants to do with his life. Rather than taking the time to figure it out, it’s easier for him to work longer hours so he can say, “Where can I find the time for anything else?” Victor has chosen to take the easy way out. Deep down in Victor’s psyche, he knows that there is another way. But, the path to find this other way is sometimes lonely and scary: It is so much easier for Victor to stick with what he knows.
Bridging the gap between vision and dream
It is not good enough to say I want to be a good mom. You have to clearly define what being a good mom looks like. Then look for people who exhibit these attributes and learn from them and then, make a plan. A plan is the bridge of where you are and where you want to go. Without a plan, a vision is a dream.
What about you: Are you at your best? Do you identify with Victor? Do you make excuses on why it is you have not reached the things you dream of? Do you blame your job, your spouse, your children, your business partner, lack of money, etc.? You know if you look deep down within the biggest person to blame is YOU. You are scared and it is so much easier to push off blame than to deal with yourself. We are our own greatest enemies. If you want to make a change, then TELL YOURSELF THE TRUTH. There is nothing worse than lying to your own self.
Be clear about what you want. You cannot pay people to create a vision for you. People can help you clarify your vision, but only you knows what is best for you. You can get advice to define your vision but the final decisions are yours to make. Do not be like the child putting together a puzzle without looking at what the final picture should look like. Instead, get a clear picture first and start putting the pieces together. There is POWER IN A VISION.
Next I will be talking about how loneliness is the greatest killer of dreams. Stay tuned…