Sometime around 600 BC the wisest king to rule Israel, King Solomon, wrote, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Not much has changed since then and this timeless principle can be applied to many areas of life including our business life.
Vision in this Proverb is from the Hebrew word châzôn which means mental sight, a dream, revelation or oracle and stems from the primitive root châzâh which means to gaze at, to mentally to perceive, contemplate (with pleasure); specifically to have a vision of, behold, look, prophesy and see. So as you can see having a vision has a lot to do with being able to see ahead.
For many years people have tried to gain the ability to predict things, especially in the area of business. We have everything from fortune tellers and weather forecast to cash flow forecasts and economists. Having a vision however is not gaining the ability to tell the future but it is about having the ability to see what the future could be like. Once you can see where you are going you are better able to plot your course to getting there. Too often in business we are like a dog chasing its tail. You can get so caught up being incredibly busy running around that you don’t even realise that going nowhere.
Success in business starts with a vision, with a dream. Too many people lose the dream because they are drowned by the workload. No matter where you are in your business right now, stop for a moment. Stop to take time to remember the dream that you had before starting your business. Stop for a moment and write down what you are aiming for. You are more likely to hit the bull’s eye if you actually aim for it.
In the mid to late 7th century BC, another great man, Habakkuk, recorded what God said to Him about vision. God said, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” So here we find the second key to vision and that is to write it down. When we write down our vision we are free to run because we know here we are heading. Things are clearer and we are able to get on with them. When we don’t write down our vision we could end up anywhere. Writing the vision down helps you to clarify the vision, to make it plain.
Once your vision is written you are better able to define a clear path towards it.
In engineering or software development a process called reverse engineering is often adopted. Reverse engineering is simply taking things apart and putting them back together again in order to understand them, copy them or improve them. In the same way, we can take our vision and break it down as much as possible until we better understand it, then we can plan a clear path to achieve it. Start with the end in mind. Many people fail to achieve what they set out to do because they are unable to break the huge vision down into small steps so they give up unsuccessful and frustrated.
Finally, you need to live the vision. Each small step, each day and each piece of the plan no matter how small is all living the vision. You are now on the journey towards your vision. It’s a very exciting journey and if you are focused and intentional in every step you will live your dream. Most importantly, you will discover that the journey is the dream and not necessarily the destination. You learn and grow and become the person you need to be as you reach towards you vision. It’s a wonderful process and if you can learn to enjoy the journey and live the vision each day then you will be a lot less stressed than people who see attaining the vision as the only source of fulfilment. Enjoy the journey.
It is very likely that you will hit a wall on your journey. You will reach a place where it doesn’t seem to be working and you will be tempted to give up and either accept failure or find a new vision. More often than not, giving up occurs right before a breakthrough. Too many people give up too soon and miss the breakthrough that was just around the corner. If you really believe in what you are doing don’t give up. Push yourself through hard time, enjoy the good times and understand that the journey will always have its ups and downs.
So in summary here is your vision plan:
1. Have a Vision
2. Write the Vision
3. Reverse Engineer the Vision
4. Live the Vision
5. Don’t Give Up