When you think about your vision, do you think about what your life will look like in the future? Do you envision big houses, fancy cars, leisure time, committed relationships? Perhaps it’s a bestselling book, notoriety in a professional field, or a bank account constantly flowing with money that swims in your imagination. If your idea of your future is more low key, do you see yourself sitting around drinking coffee with your family and laughing? Going to school or learning to do something you always wanted to do?
For most of us, our vision, if we have one, is filled with things we plan to do or have. And then, we’ll be happy! For instance, I see myself promoting my bestselling book, spending time in the country with my family, leading a successful business, and performing as a singer. I imagine that I will feel fulfilled, challenged, and excited to get up in the morning while doing all of these things. That pretty much spells out happiness, doesn’t it?
Well, consider this. What if the value in having a vision is not to fulfill the having or doing of those things? Instead, the value in having a vision lies in requiring you to shift who you are being now to become the person who will create those things.
Think about it. If you were “being” the person who could have created those things, wouldn’t you have done them already?
Our culture perpetuates the idea of “DO, HAVE, BE”. First “Do” something, i.e., get a good education, then “Have” something, i.e. a good job, then “Be” something, i.e. fulfilled professionally. So off we go, studying and working hard. Ultimately though, we’re not as satisfied as we think we should be. Why isn’t it effective?
The reason is because although we’re led to believe that the “Do, Have, Be” model works, it doesn’t. Not only doesn’t it work, it’s not even what’s really happening. What’s really happening is “Be, Do, Have.” How you’re “being” now determines what action you’ll take and what results you’ll have.
Example: You want to lose 20 lbs and get into shape. ”DO, HAVE, BE” method requires that you – (DO) eat right and exercise, so you’ll HAVE a slimmer body, and then in turn BE healthy! So why do such a high percentage of people who lose weight gain it back again? Because the way it SHOULD work is, BE healthy (i.e. act as a healthy person does), and you will naturally DO the actions a healthy person does re: eating and exercise, and thus HAVE a healthy body.
So how does this relate to your vision? John Hanley wrote, “Vision is a declared conversation to live within. Vision requires commitment. Commitment requires action. Action produces results. Results reveal the conversation you had about your vision… When you are living in your vision, you are planning, formulating, creating and moving forward. When you are not in your vision, you are in the past in that you are strategizing to avoid what has happened previously.”
The declared conversation is who you declare yourself to be, even without evidence to support it. This means operating now as the person you think you will be when your vision is manifested. Thus we see the value of declaring and standing within your vision. It will require you to transform who you are now in order to become the person who will manifest the vision you want.
Ok, but how do I “be” a person I’m not? Well, you’ve probably heard the phrase “fake it till you make it.” I used to utilize that when I was uncertain or wanted to create a particular experience for myself. For instance, let’s say that I am about to go on a job interview. I know I need to appear confident during the interview, even if I don’t feel that way inside. Why? Because they want someone who will have confidence on the job. So, “fake it till you make it” says, go in, act confident even if you don’t feel that way, and maybe they will believe you and give you the job. The downside? If you get the job, you may feel like you deceived them into thinking you are more confident than you really are. You live in fear that someday you will be found out as a fraud. You then spend all your time proving your confidence rather than doing the job you were hired to do.
Ok, so you can’t really “fake” it. Now what? How can I “be” confident, if I don’t feel that way, and I can’t just pretend it into existence? Here’s the key: the “Be” portion of “Be, Do, Have” is what you are COMMITTED to being. Even if you aren’t something now, you can make a declaration and then get committed to it. As John Hanley said, commitment requires action, and action produces results.
When you create a vision for yourself, consider how that vision will call forward a shift in your beingness, and commit to that. In other words, instead of declaring that you will have a non-fiction bestseller which will then make you an authority on a particular topic, start by becoming and being that authority. Then when the book shows up, it will be a natural extension of the authority that you’ve already established.
To gain clarity on what your vision is, ask yourself: “What do I stand for?” and write the answers down. They are not necessarily something that you are already manifesting, but rather, things that are important to you and you see as part of your vision. When I answered this question for myself, some of the answers that came to mind were:
- I stand for the transformation of this world from survival to abundance
- I stand for my children to be contributing members of society, who are independent and fulfilled
- I stand for a joyous, intimate marriage full of love and adventure
- I stand for laughter
- I stand for the preservation of our natural world
- I stand for honoring my word and honoring other’s word
- I stand for enjoying time with my immediate family, and time with my extended family
- I stand for artistic self-expression
- I stand for professional success
- I stand for honoring myself and my commitments
Your list can, and probably should be longer than this. I recommend doing it until you run out of ideas, putting it aside and then coming back to it later. More ideas will come.
After you complete the list, you can create your vision and the concurrent ways of being that would support you in creating it by following this format:
My vision is… (fill in the stand). To create this vision I am committed to being… (fill in with ways of being to support this).
Here are some examples from my list above:
- My vision is a world of abundance. To create this vision I am committed to trusting in myself, being supportive, and generous.
- My vision is for my children to be contributing members of society, who are independent and fulfilled. To create this vision I am committed to being a loving and supportive mother who honors her children’s choices.
- My vision is for a joyous, intimate marriage full of love and adventure. To create this vision I am committed to being open, vulnerable, trusting, and loving.
- My vision is to have joy around me. To create this vision I am committed to letting go of the criticism and embrace the joyful contributions of others.
- My vision is to have artistic self-expression. To create this vision I am committed to being open about my joyful expression of my creativity, letting go of the need to look good, and trusting my instinct.
Now, how to get into action to create your vision? Focus on the ways of being that you’ve identified in the second part of the statement. For instance, by being a loving and supportive mother who honors my children’s choices, my children will be independent and fulfilled. By being open, vulnerable, trusting and loving with my husband, I will have a joyous and intimate marriage.
Use your vision to call you forward to BE the person you imagine yourself to be. Your experience of yourself and your life will alter in ways you never imagined.
Quiet reflection in nature is an excellent way to unlock the images that will make up your ultimate vision. “Awakening the Creative Self” – an A&P Life retreat – is designed to embolden your vision and unleash the power of your inherent creative power to achieve it. Held just 50 miles outside of New York City, Liz Wolfe will guide you in manifesting your desires through inspiring talks, soulful meditations, thought-provoking exercises, the creation of a SoulCollage®, and much more, during this restful weekend in the country. Make sure to reserve your spot by July 1st to receive an early-booking rate on tuition. Register today!