The key to success is to stay focused on your vision and also to be realistic about your current situation. And that can be a challenge.
Here are 7 tips to help you stay the course as you navigate the journey from vision to reality.
1. Stay focused on your vision AND be honest about your present realities.
Sometimes current reality can be so discouraging that It’s easier to say, “My vision wasn’t realistic. I really didn’t want it. It wouldn’t have made a difference.” However, it’s a law of nature that tension seeks resolution. If you don’t give up on your vision… if you decide to hold onto it AND are honest about your current situation, tension will resolve in favor of your vision. Robert Fritz calls it creative tension.because it’s the creative force for your vision. It’s the grain of sand in the oyster that produces the pearl, and it requires that you allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and live with the tension.
2. Always keep your vision in mind when setting goals.
Choose the right goals in relation to your vision.
- Look for high-leverage goals – those that will allow you to leapfrog forward.
- Also consider goals that will have a long-term payoff, even at a short-term price. For example, you might choose some inexperienced high potential players for your team, with a plan to help them gain the skills & experience.
- And look for some that will give you quick wins, to help see progress and stay motivated.
3. Be willing to reset your goals.
Don’t get so focused on your goals that you forget about the vision. Change is inevitable. As in sailing, “tack” to your destination. Keep focused on your vision as you move from vision to reality. And be willing to change your course depending on the winds and other conditions.
4. Revisit your vision frequently.
Sometimes we can drift off course without realizing it. To avoid waking up one day wondering how you got so far off course, keep it alive by talking about constantly and integrating discussions into your daily life. Use your goals as an early warning system to detect when you are off course.
5. Set up processes and practices that support your vision.
On a personal level – what practices and routines do you need to set up to develop the habits that will support your vision? – regular exercise time?
For a team, look at your formal and informal ways of working together. Consider processes for communication, accountability, training and rewards. For example, if teamwork is one of your goals– are there rewards for team performance or is the focus on individual contributions? Systems that are not aligned with your vision and goals will derail you.
6. Remember the journey is as important as the destination.
You need to act consistently with your values and vision at all times. . Behave consistently with your vision in every way, small and great, every minute of the day.People watch what you do more closely than what you say. As a leader, not what you say what’s important, you also need to demonstrate it – consistently.
Make sure you have a good feedback system in order to know how you’re coming across to others.
7. Start now!
As soon as you identify your vision, start to live it. You can’t create a vision for a healthy life and continue a diet of junk food while you’re working out a plan. Some steps are obvious. You need to take them. You might not be perfect, but you can’t wait for that or you’ll wait forever. You have to take a risk.
Vision is about action, not being overly cautious and having every detail worked out. You might not see all the steps, but as you take some steps, others will become clear. Use your vision as your guide.
If you have identified a real vision, one that contains The Three Elements of a Compelling Vision, then in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have faith and take the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Great article, Jessie.Good reminders to keep our vision front and center as we navigate the challenges of business and life.
Thanks Dennis! It’s easy to get distracted or overwhelmed with the complexities of daily life if we don’t keep our vision front and center.
I appreciate your point about being willing to reset goals. But we are also told not to give up on our goals. So it can be tricky.
The best way to evaluate whether your goals make sense is to determine whether they are still aligned with your vision. Sometimes individuals and teams can become so hyper-focused on goals that they lose sight of their vision and or circumstances change (ex. loss of a critical team member, new technology, changes in company strategies) and the goal is no longer appropriate.
Nice article with great insight.
Thank you very much.
How one convert this vision statement into reality.
The best book on vision that was EVER written was yours: FULL STEAM AHEAD. I think crafting a vision is indeed the hardest part whether a vision for your life or for your work. This post now help you stay the course ore–as you wisely point out– tack if the wind comes up… and it will!
Many thanks for your endorsement of Full Steam Ahead Eileen. As you point out, this post assumes that an individual or team has identified a real vision in order for these tips to be useful.
Great post Jesse! So important!
Thank you, Kay! So glad to know you appreciated it.
Good writing Jesse, specially about resetting the goal since change is constant and while perusing one vision we often find out we are actually looking to achieve something else. We explore ourselves in the process.
So true! That’s why it’s important to dig deep to discover what you really want. You might enjoy my article: Dig Below Your Dreams to Discover Your Vision Thanks for adding to the conversation Sayma.
Thanks for your reply Jesse. Looking forward to read the recommended article.
Hi Jesse am a shoe cobbler with great ambition but lack finance. How do I bring my dream to full fruition. Thanks for the article very educating.
This might be helpful. 6 Guidelines to Create a Vision For the Life You Really Want – https://seapointcenter.com/personal-vision/
A broken record for anyone paying attention / keeping score … Every post – particularly dealing with VISION – seems better than the previous one!!! They are roadmaps for those seeking a vision to focus their life / career. Note carefully I used “roadmap” and not “procedure” – a roadmap provides information on various alternatives, never THE way to go!!!
Many thanks, John. And for your excellent point about roadmaps.