After 20 years of studying how people either block or shape visions for work and life, I’ve concluded that
1) the potential to be visionary is in all of us, though visionary potentials like instincts, imagination and intuition are more likely to be quashed than developed;
2) the worlds of work and money and everything else that affects us are in sore need of real vision, not just same-old strategies or the newest shiny thing; and
3) being the visionaries we were born to be is a lot simpler than trying to live without vision.
Forget old notions that we’re not visionary unless we do something spectacular
… like finding a cure for cancer or being at least as innovative as Steven Spielberg was in his least groundbreaking film. Forget the impossible idea that to be visionary, we’ve got to foretell the future, not just pay attention to what is and notice what’s likely to happen if we keep moving in the same direction.
Also forget the notion that being very imaginative or making lots of money or impacting many people makes you a visionary. That definition includes the people who built up the housing bubble and the banking crisis, plus terrorists like the underpants bomber.
Consider this simple, more beneficiary definition of visionary:
We are visionary when, with the help of others, we
1) see clearly what is,
2) imagine what can be,
3) discern which possibilities have integrity in all its meanings: honest, just, naturally ethical, on true with our deepest values, and on the level with others (including the natural world) and
4) engage in a process of turning into reality the possibilities that we have deemed to be filled with integrity.
What Could Happen By Playing with This Definition of Visionary?
If you were more visionary at life and work, would you see more clearly how you can create the career that calls you in spite of obstacles that now block you?
Would you find new ways to serve yourself and others in your current job, in your community, or through volunteer service? Would you see better the ways you now create unrest in your relationships, then envision how to build a least a little more peace in your small corner of the world?
What about money? Could you see more clearly your true financial needs? Could you discern better what’s really important to you and what’s not?
An Invitation to Investigate Your Visionary Potentials
Several of the posts on this blog relate to being more visionary; some are listed at the bottom of this post. I hope you check them out.
Several years ago, I wrote “Finding Visions for Work and Life,” which is at www.workwithmeaningandjoy.com. I hope you check that out, and choose a small paragraph a day from the article as inspiration for your meditations.
Next week, January 20, I’ll be facilitating a webinar for my undergraduate alma mater, William & Mary ,called ” How to Know and Do What Matters Most in All Your Life and Work.” You don’t have to be an alum to attend, and it’s free. Please consider joining us at: https://www.wmalumni.com/?Webinarhome.
Your comments and ideas here are welcome. Just imagine if each of us opened up our hearts and minds just a little bit more, then shared our ideas and dreams — no matter how big and scary they seem right now. That’s actually what happened in Williamsburg, VA (the home of William & Mary) and other colonial towns where people dared to dream that their lives could be much better, then dared to follow their dreams with effective, caring action.
As always, many blessings
Pat McHenry Sullivan