By Goke Ilesanmi
Your exposure or experience determines the level of your knowledge. According to the Nigerian Yoruba tribe folklore, there was a man who was tired of life because he was financially poor and had just one or two clothes. He therefore headed for the bush to hang himself. On getting there, he was about hanging himself when he looked down from the top of the tree and saw a naked man walking along, thanking God that he was better than a deaf-and-dumb man around that could not verbally communicate his feelings.
The deaf-and-dumb man too gave thanks to God when he saw a lame man around who could not work, saying he could still run away from danger and communicate non-verbally. Then the lame man saw a blind man and thanked God that at least he could see dangers coming as well as the type of food he was eating. At this stage, the financially poor man that wanted to hang himself changed his mind on discovering that his condition was still better than that of many people. He had to ask God for forgiveness.
Our major concern
Our major concern here is not about the man that wanted to hang himself. It is about the fact that the blind man was considered the worst of them all. But a physically-blind but mentally-sighted person is still better than a physically-sighted but mentally-blind person. This is because physical blindness is on the surface and does not affect the mind. But mental blindness is deep and dangerous because it is about lack of mental vision or ambition. Vision is very critical to human success.
According to Habakkuk 2:2-3, “And the LORD answered me, and said, ‘Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables’, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie:…wait for it….”
Vision is much more than just a goal or purpose. Goals simply state what we aim to achieve, while vision paints a fuller picture by describing our most-cherished dreams, hopes and possibilities. Anybody that lacks vision definitely lacks knowledge of where he or she is going and the strategy to employ to get there. One’s vision determines the future he or she will have. Establishing your vision demands that you cohesively integrate your personality and the opportunity you have chosen to pursue.
In the words of lan Mushegan, Jr., author of “17 Steps from Zero to Hero”, “Have you ever watched prize-winning gymnasts perform their routine? Look closely. You can almost see them go through the motions of their next move before their body springs into action. They visualise the victory – seeing themselves in perfect form from start to finish.” Your imagination is a powerful tool for achieving success. Mark Twain, a great motivational speaker reinforces this assertion by saying it is dangerous for one to depend on his or her eyes when his or her imagination is out of focus.
Levels of vision
The fact must be stressed at this juncture that there are different types of mental vision just as there different levels of physical sight. For instance, some people are physically short-sighted; some long-sighted; some partially sighted while some are normally sighted. Therefore, go beyond just having a mental vision to having a broad and clear vision. Thinking about today alone is like metaphoric or mental shortsightedness. But thinking about tomorrow or future implies far-sightedness.
To succeed in life, you must have a vision of a better future. It is not just enough to work hard. It is also not enough to simply have goals and the discipline to meet those goals. In the corporate environment, for instance, organisations that want to succeed must have a vision statement boldly written somewhere, in addition to the mission statement. The vision may be to become the best company around. The visibly-displayed vision statement will constantly remind everybody in such organisations about the (future) goal(s) of the organisations. Even individuals that cherish enduring success need to have their vision statement boldly written somewhere because it serves as a success catalyst.
Just as vision is critical to the realisation of a goal, you also need action to realise your vision. Without action, visions are just dreams, ordinary creations of our imagination, nothing more. But with action and the ability to see the steps from where we are now to where we want to be, dreams become reality. You also need vision before taking action. It is like driving a car. You have to know or visualise where you are going before you get in and start driving. Have your vision, but motivate yourself to put your vision into motion of action.
In the words of Eric Garner, a management expert, “In Shell UK, managers are taught to develop a quality known as ‘helicopter vision’. This is the ability to see across three time zones of the future, as if in a hovering helicopter. From here, you can see the near plains, the middle range foothills and the distant peaks. Being able to see all three zones at once harmonises your tactical actions, your operational planning and your overall strategy. There is a clear map to the realisation of the vision.”
The choice one makes for his or her thinking either motivates or de-motivates him or her. Although clear visualisation of a goal is a good first step, a joyfully-motivated life demands more, says Steve Chandler, a sales trainer as well as keynote and convention speaker. To live the life you want to live, action is required because it is a success lubricant.
Vision and leadership
It is also necessary to examine vision in the context of leadership. One thing that distinguishes great leaders from others is the scope and clarity of their vision. The first of the secrets of becoming an effective leader is to create a vision. Good leaders assign or delegate tasks and monitor performance. They plan for the future and motivate others to see the same vision so that they can all accomplish that vision. Ability to see possibilities that others do not see is one of the hallmarks of great leaders.
Be determined today to unleash your power of clear vision so that you can record tremendous success. Results demand action and visionary people know that action is the only way their vision can be achieved. You are already a success. So claim it now, take action and God will endorse it.
GOKE ILESANMI, Editor-in-Chief/CEO of https://www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng and Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, (Business) Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.
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