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When you believe in your dream and your vision, then it begins to attract its own resources. No one was born to be a failure.” – Dr. Myles Munroe
The Condition I Carry
For most of my life, I have been shortsighted. I can attribute it to watching TV too close to the screen when I was younger. I ignored my parents’ warning to stop the habit but I couldn’t resist. I guess every time I consider my condition, I am reminded of the price of my rebellion.
According to the Mayo Clinic, shortsightedness occurs when insufficient light focuses on the retina, causing images that are farther away to appear blurry. Hence the limitation of vision. But with the aid of a pair of glasses, contact lenses (in my case), or even Lasik surgery this condition is corrected.
Just like sight, vision also requires some aids. Besides patience and preparation which were part of last week’s post, hope, associations, and values are equally necessary. They will guide us through today’s post. Let’s start with hope.
1. Strong Hope
Taking our daughter to school has brought back fond memories of my childhood school days. More so, the days when my dad would tell me the words I always loved to hear, “I will pick you up from school.” My face couldn’t hide the excitement. Those were special days. And my performance in school proved it. My participation went up, my concentration was sharp, and my note-taking was on point. Break time, which I enjoyed, seemed to take too long on such days. I counted down the classes as home time neared.
This change in attitude and outlook was fueled by the hope that my dad’s words carried. I had the expectation that at the end of the day, my dad would pick me up. And this hope motivated me all day.
Hope is like freshwater on a hot summer day, or a pair of glasses to aid our vision. Vision requires hope for it to remain nourished. If living without a vision is meaningless then as Fyodor Dostoevsky said, “to live without hope is to cease to live.”
Hope does not inoculate us from the disappointments that come with life, but it does keep the disappointments from discouraging us to pursue our vision. Hope encourages me to grow, to be a better person, and to be an example to the future generations of which my children are a part of.
It is my hope that when your vision seems blurred and darkened by life’s trials and hardship that you will hold on to the hope that your vision is a key part to a better tomorrow. As Bishop Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” And if our hope is to last, our associations will also come into play.
2. Healthy Associations
Have you ever heard of a “Crossover Episode?” If not, let me explain. Two or three TV series’ that have the same producer occasionally will come together for one storyline that starts on one series and continues to its conclusion in the other. These episodes see a boost in ratings because people love a storyline where collaborations happen.
A vision may be birthed in private but it is through association or collaboration that the vision materializes. At some point in time, your vision must go public. And the company we keep plays an important role in whether our vision flourishes or falters. The right collaborations, like a well-crafted crossover episode, have the ability to boost the possibility of your vision being actualized.
Our associations are the lifeblood of our visions. Without them, our visions, as powerful as they might be, remain in seed form. These relationships can either be vision boosters or vision busters. The stronger a relationship the greater potential it has to help or harm your vision. Andy Stanley confirms this by saying, “The position we hold in people’s lives determine the weight of our words and thus our potential to shape their future.” I can attest to this. In my formative years, my dad believed in me. Especially when he took the time to help me improve my writing. He passed away years ago but the seeds he sowed have now grown into the blogs and books I write today. I hope to do the same with our children.
Take inventory of your three to five closest or strongest relationships. As you interact with them, what life-giving words are shared concerning your vision? And, are you expressing life-giving words to the vision others have? For “words, like glass, obscure when they do not aid vision,” said Joseph Joubert. This crossover vision relating by using words that build not break will be valuable to both you and the ones you relate with.
3. Deep Seated Values
What are your top three values? The ones that you wouldn’t compromise or surrender no matter the cost? How do those values align with your vision? Performing an investigation to explore this link is crucial for your life. There is much to say about pursuing your vision but there is equally as much to emphasize about ensuring your vision and your values are not polar opposites. Your values act as a propellant, pushing your vision onward.
The moment we go against our values to achieve our vision, the fabric of who we are begins to fray. Do this enough times and the fray becomes a tear, leaving your value system in tatters.
Sandwiched between vision crafting (creating your vision which is next week’s post) and vision casting (sharing it) should be value checking. Just like bank deposits are federally insured to the tune of about $250,000 here in the U.S., so do your values insure and undergird your vision. I believe that a vision that is true to you will align with your deep-seated values not go against them.
Final thought: I would never attempt to drive without my glasses or contact lenses. It would put my life and others at risk. Without the aids of strong hope, healthy associations, and deep-seated values, your vision is at risk as well. But with them in tow, your vision has the best chance of success.
Keep on Keeping on!