The Special Ingredient That Makes a Vision Real
I spend a lot of time trying to persuade people to create a personal and professional vision for their lives. But the truth is many of these people already have a vision. The problem is they have the wrong kind. The wrong kind of vision is the theoretical vision.
You know you are talking to someone who has a theoretical vision when you keep hearing the term “someday.”
“Someday I’m going to look into bringing in an associate.” “Someday, I’m going to renovate the practice, as soon as …” It’s not that the ideas are bad; in fact, many of these people are good imaginative thinkers with a knack for coming up with innovative solutions. It’s just that there is nothing tying it to today. And it’s usually not a matter of laziness, either. They are just waiting for conditions to be right before they begin. Many of them wait forever.
And that brings me to the special ingredient every effective vision must have: a sense of urgency. People with real visions don’t delay action until a theoretical “someday.” They aren’t just thinking of the future; they are also thinking in terms of “now.” As in, “what can I be doing right now toward making my vision a reality?”
This is also why an effective vision is always expressed in the present tense: “Five years from now, I have an associate … I’m living in a house on the beach …” By placing this in the present, it brings it to life and the gap between the vision and today’s reality creates a healthy disturbance that motivates action.
If you have a vision for an ideal life that is in your head, here’s my advice: Get it out of your head and into action as soon as possible. Don’t wait for conditions to be perfect; they never will be. As soon as you begin, you’re taking that vision out of the realm of the theoretical and you’re making it real, and that creates a momentum all its own. It’s a philosophy that is nicely summed up in a line from Teddy Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”