Imagine a world where we all connect our values, our passion, and our strengths to design tremendous and fulfilling lives. Imagine a world where organizations catalyze our gifts with the resources, authority, and opportunity to accomplish The Impossible.
Can you see it?
That world where everyone moves fluidly between work and life (because really we only have a life). The world where we all feel big and bright and bold. The world where our employers or organizations do everything in their power to help us express our natural power, so that we can accomplish seemingly-impossible tasks that benefit us all.
That’s my vision.
That’s the picture I paint of a future that I am committed to create. Everything I do and say and build and experience and learn is first held up against that vision. Will this help me get there? Yes? Great! Let’s go! No? Hasta la vista. Some of my best ideas have gone by the wayside because they don’t contribute to my vision. I’ll let somebody else execute on those. They’ll love them and care for them so much more. And I've got enough on my plate!
What’s your vision?
What is the problem you want to help solve? What is the future you want to help create? What will the world look like once you’ve done it? How will it feel? Smell? What will it sound like? How will it taste?
Paint that picture. That’s your vision. Imagine it. Spend some time with it. Sink into how great it feels.
Can you do it?
I’ve always had an easy time imagining. Trying on the Future is what I call it. And I do it quite a bit. When I am considering a new project. When I am choosing a vacation spot. When I meet a new person. What will it be like if this goes forward? I close my eyes and I picture it. I picture it so hard I can feel it. And then I decide if I like how it feels.
So what, then, is the difference between imagining and vision? I’m glad you asked!
The difference is what you do next. Right after you’ve tried on that future. Did you decide it was pretty meh? Then I recommend you don’t pursue it. Did you feel pretty good and curious about what comes next? Then follow that curiosity. OR, did you open your eyes and immediately start making that future come true?
That last one? That’s your vision. Something so great, so compelling, so connected to your emotions and your desire that even though it might be far out in the future, it changes your behavior today. That’s vision.
So, come on! Let’s uncover yours!
Start with the prompt I got from Kelly Diels: Imagine a World Where…
Fill in the blank, stream-of-consciousness style. Keep imagining bigger and brighter things until you are all warmed up and excited. And then close your eyes and try on that future. How does it feel? How does it smell? What song is playing in the background?
Find that song! Play it. Close your eyes again. Imagine a World Where…
What’s happening there? Who's with you? How do you feel? Now what? What are you going to do next? Go back about your business? Ok, that’s fine. Good practice! Keep imagining and streaming your consciousness and completing that prompt and trying on the future, until…
Until you open your eyes and you can’t hold yourself back from making that vision real. Until you can’t shut up about it.
Stand in that vision! Share it with the world!
And please, please, please, share it with me! Right here. I can’t wait to Imagine a World Where… and experience the vision that you will help create!
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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Creativity, Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal
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Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back by Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath
Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright
The Truth about Leadership by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner