As mindfulness comes more and more into the mainstream and business world, I am often asked where vision fits.
Since mindfulness is about being fully present with the experience of each moment and vision is about a future you desire, how can you do both at the same time?
Do you have to choose between the present and the future? Do you switch back and forth? Is one better than the other?
The answer is: You do both at the same time. Mindfulness and vision are complementary, not exclusive.
It requires presence to identify and embrace vision. Vision is about the future you desire in the context of where you are right now. It’s about knowing who you are, where you’re going, and the values that guide you.
- Knowing who you are means you have a significant purpose and know what’s important and why.
- Knowing where you’re going means you understand what you are becoming and see a picture of what it looks like.
- Knowing what guides means you are led by your values and use them in making everyday decisions.
When you are clear about your vision, you must live in the present as though it is happening now. You can’t have a vision for a healthy life and continue a diet of junk food. As a leader, when you articulate a vision you say is important, you need to act consistently with it. People watch what you do more closely than what you say.
When you live in the present and are clear about where you’re going, the entire path does not need to be clear. As you take action, your next steps will become clear. Vision is not about planning out all the details and then following them regardless of what is happening in the present.
Vision is about the destination; the path reveals itself during the present. The closer you come to your vision, the more clearly it reveals itself, and the better you understand what it’s really about.
When you focus on both mindfulness and vision, your potential explodes
and you are able to live more fully in the present.
When you know what you want, you recognize opportunities as they arise and can respond quickly. You don’t need to worry about tomorrow because you know you are on the path to your destination. And what you need to do next will become clear as you move forward.
While you are on the path, you can enjoy it . . . if you remember to live in the present and get the most out of each moment.
You don’t have to hike to the top of a mountain to take in the beauty of each moment.
Each moment has its own inherent beauty and possibility for joy. Will you always be happy when you live in the present? No. But you will be engaged in the full range of the human experience, fully alive. And you will be better able to see the possibilities as they arise that will lead you in the direction of your vision.