27 March 2004
When I visualize the ”life of my dreams,” changes to my current situation largely involve work. For some the changes involve family, relationships, spiritual matters, health and physical needs or attitudes and motivation. In other words, the gap between where we are at any given moment and where we want to be is usually wrapped up in one or more of those areas.
How do you visualize an ideal without being envious of someone else? The best techniques for visualizing change do not involve trying to become ”like” anyone else. They have to do with the steps you must take to build meaningful change into your own life.
There’s a big difference in saying, ”I want to look like (insert name here),” as compared to ”I want to be able to wear that suit again.” In one, you envy another. In the second, you envision yourself in a way that is totally achievable. You’ve been there before.
What about career, work and financial matters? What if you’ve never been to the ”place” you want to achieve. There’s still a way to imagine and visualize constructively, without simply coveting the achievements of others. Ask yourself some very specific questions and identify the gaps between your present situation and the life you’d like.
Here’s an example that relates to career and work:
- What time do you wake up?
- What does your work require that you wear?
- Where do you go to do your work?
- With whom do you interact?
- What tools do you use to do the job?
- How many people do you serve in a day?
- What value do you add to their lives?
- What are you offering that others will exchange their money for?
- Does your work involve repair or creation of things, thoughts or processes?
- Finally, how does your present situation differ from any of these answers?
- What must be done to remove the ”gaps” between the dream and the reality?
Specific dreams for me include seeing the legacy telephone industry in the United States replaced by end-to-end IP networks free of regulation and bureaucracy. A similar dream in scale and scope involves removing all dependence on foreign oil as a source of energy. Think of the challenge associated with turning personal transportation in the USA into fuel cell-based automobiles. Think of the challenge associated with providing a reliable and economical wi-fi network across a city of one million people, and free of the telephone support nightmare that exists in every ISP and technology company today.
What’s your dream? What are you prepared for? Two thoughts stick with me any time I enter into this visualization exercise:
- Anything you can dream and conceive, you can achieve.
- Do something you enjoy in life and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Several sidebar thoughts will enter your mind. How do you afford to make the changes you need to make? How do you overcome the obstacles that inevitably leap to mind? An answer that is counter-intuitive requires real discipline to embrace. That answer in the field of visualization says, ”don’t focus on the obstacles. Focus on the vision.” For those so-called pragmatists out there, this means that you must not assume that the reality of obstacles impedes the dream.
Sure, there is always a challenge in distinguishing momentary or temporary challenges from drive-stopping barriers. Christians often face decisions that involve determining whether an obstacle is a sign that they are outside God’s direction, or, most often, a temporary setback that encourages perseverance. The big projects mentioned earlier inevitably faced one or more turning points where something had never been done or attempted before. Sometimes it was a tool or technique that had to be invented on a scale never before imagined just to complete one phase of the bigger project.
Dreams can become reality. Visions can lead to matching results. Unwavering determination is needed. Mental toughness is needed. Great mentors, teammates and encouragement are needed. Personal, intrinsic motivation is needed. Prayer and attitudes that involve service to others are essential.
What you think about can lead you to your goals. Remember to guard your motives and your dreams. There are plenty of naysayers in the world, and they most often are disguised as the ”realists, the heirs to wealth and the ones who know why every idea will not work.” Beware of them. The heir was born on third base thinking he hit a triple. The ones who know why every idea won’t work are not anxious to see you achieve, accomplish or prosper. Read Proverbs 23 for more on these notions.
For now…it’s time to get started. What will you do before bedtime tonight to start identifying and pursuing your dreams in any area of life?
Filed under: Careers