2016 is in the rear view mirror, and 2017 is beginning to reveal itself to us. As we kick off a new calendar year, it is a poignant time to bring our vision of success into focus, so it can be our guide & support the actions we take and decisions we make. This kind of vision is something that we see in our minds eye, yet it is sourced from the wisdom of our heart.
As leaders we are well trained to hold our company’s vision and goals with great care and determined action. Mindful leaders have presence & confidence that comes from access to their own guidance, which is fortified by alignment between what they personally hold dear– such as their vision– and what matters most to their employer.
In the hectic pace of today’s attention economy, it is easy to favor what is urgent over what is important. To tend to that which we know well over that which is not clear to us. To experience our competence through familiar acts. It takes deep courage to seek clarity in, and take responsibility for, what we each hold sacred even as it is coming into view. In his book titled Authentic Success , Robert Holden poses these reflection questions about vision:
“What is your vision for your life? Describe a life well lived.
What is your vision for your relationships? Describe the sort of person / friend you want to be.
What is your vision for your work? Describe the contribution you want to make.”
In answering these questions for yourself, do not let it become a superficial laundry list of to-dos. Instead, endeavor to connect to the experience of arriving there. For example, tell yourself the story of a typical day in your well-lived life. Who are you with? What are you doing? Where are you living? What do you see inside the space you call home? How do you spend the day? What daily rituals do you observe? What matters to you most? Dimensionalize it so that it comes to life.
Use a similar approach for your vision of relationships and your vision of your work, and know that these are the very things that inspire you.
Vision, like all living, breathing things, can not flourish in barren or pressurized conditions. It needs oxygen, light, and space to express itself.
To get started, find an hour this week to reflect on the questions listed above. Don’t force it, simply receive the answers that are ready to be revealed. Resist the urge to edit what comes in, just write it down so you can reference it later. Over the long term, make monthly or quarterly dates with yourself to steep in your vision– attend to it as you do other things that matter to you. Bring your vision into greater focus by taking heart-felt, frequent small steps in a direction that inspires you.
The brightest leaders in the world make time for vision, and you can too.
A great way to breathe life into your vision is to share it. What does your vision for 2017 hold?