“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” -Benjamin Disraeli
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.” -Johann von Goethe
“Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold — but so does a hard-boiled egg.” -Anon.
The missing link between inactivity and achievement is initiative. I believe the missing quality in the homogenized society that we live in is initiative. Ask any employer who is building a business and the number one quality they seek in new recruits is initiative. Having the ability to think and act.
I recall years ago having to address the off duty phone calls I received from my staff of the Hotel I managed, that were not essential. Missing lemons, staff not turning in, an individuals phone number, the list was endless. The first week-end following my staff address was free of calls but not without event. On my return to the hotel the following Monday, I discovered there had been three fire appliances called to the scene and the hotel kitchen had burnt down. Apparently my request consideration towards my free time had not enhanced my desire to build initiative in problem solving.
In order to be a visionary one must show initiative in our educational development. Ignorance is intelligence gone to seed, as is a vision without initiative. We must seek to develop a consistent plan of personal growth, which includes our educational needs. Read when sat and listen when on the move. Redeem time by making the best use of it. Motivational tapes, inspirational biographies and documentaries are great ways of enhancing our education and so is networking with fellow visionaries.
Serving someone else’s vision is a great way to develop your own.
As a coach, I am as committed to building my practice, as I am someone else’s. I provide coaching on life issues, strategic planning, vision and values along with support on a friendship level. We don’t have to have all the answers to be successful in a given field, but we do need to have a positive mental attitude and a teachable spirit.
Successful business people are generally motivated people. The prime reason for this is they have learned time is the main resource that cannot be squandered without good intent. Being successful in business generally allows us to use our time as we choose. This can provide greater leisure opportunities and more quality resources.
A great way to appreciate an improved quality of life is to spend time with those who are doing so. More resources, faster cars and bigger houses are not everyone’s idea of success. These may well follow as a result of careful planning and our responsible attitude towards initiative, however most visionaries are not driven by success they are motivated by purpose.
Here are some ways of defining where to focus your activities:
· Ask yourself the question “What stirs your emotions?” · What would cause you to move country in order to participate in? · Who would I like to be mentored by if time or history allowed? · If all the resources were at my disposal, what would I do right now?
“Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.” -Arabic Parable
“Do to others what you would have them do to you” -Bible, Matthew 7:12
There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “The hardest step of a long march is the first”
Identifying what we have does not come easy to an individual who can only focus on what they need. This paralyzes us into inactivity unless we start at the point of which we can. Excuses for Starting are based in procrastination and procrastination is brought about by too many options. When we reduce the options our focus becomes sharper.
I was in Africa recently doing a little shopping at a local shed in the middle of two townships. I had a raging thirst and the intense heat drove me to this drinks shed. There were cases of coke in the old-fashioned style glass bottles stacked in the shade. It was not chilled, and cherry flavoured. There were two options. Drink it or leave it! Back home in my local supermarket recently, I became intensely agitated and rather sad when I had to stand amongst the huge aisles of soft drink as my children debated as to the flavour of drink we should buy. Too many options are not always a good thing, and especially when our future depends on the outcome.
If you are faithful with a little you will never lack
Building a life out of vision requires an unselfish motive. Being mean spirited with your vision and resources will only lead to isolation and lack. I have watched individuals over the years with so many resources but no vision to make use of them. They eventually lose them or even worse have them rot before their eyes.
I friend of mine in England started a club where young disadvantaged people could attend and have fun and food. So popular was this activity that they decided to bus the kids in from the surrounding city. I met a businessman who had bought a custom bus on a whim to use in the future. I suggested he may wish to give it to this organization to help them achieve their objective of giving support to their community. He declined for all sorts of reasons. Today the businessman’s bus is rotting and my friends community programme owns twelve double-decker buses (London type), local bus mechanics give their time free to maintain them and all the resources to run them have been provided.
Vision attracts resources whether we support it or not. We can be generous in helping others succeed or we can be selfish and focus on our own needs. A generous attitude is always a great place to start. Interestingly, most genuine visionaries have started out supporting in some way or another someone else’s vision whilst defining their own.
Responsibility or ownership
The difference between taking our responsibility within the vision and ownership of it is motive. One can never own something that has been entrusted to us, just as one can never give away something that we are responsible for. When defining our vision, we must accept responsibility for the leading of it, yet recognize we cannot treat those drawn to it as if we have exclusive ownership of it. One sure way to kill vision is to hold onto it as if we were the sole owners of it.
In our awareness of growing vision, we must treat those resources that are added to it from a perspective of being responsible leaders, whilst letting go and letting growth take its course.
This is a fundamental principle we must observe along the journey to fulfilling vision. Those that join this vision will also need a sense of ownership or partnership within its operation. The motive by which we serve this vision will determine whether we understand our responsibility without declaring ownership of it.
If we become confused in the midst of this vision, re-visit the point of conception
Vision is in a sense alive. It requires our attention in the same way that a baby would. We never own our children we are entrusted with them. This shows our responsibility towards their growth, nurture and eventual maturity. The end result is an individual that we have invested boundaries, values and behavioral skills into. The day will come all too soon when we have to open the door to the world and let them take their place in it, hoping and praying that they will live by the values that we invested into them and so complete the cycle of life.
When in the midst of the kinetic like activities that vision attracts, it is all too easy to lose sight of its humble beginnings. Many an individual and organization has learned to its own demise, that moving into other opportunities that we are neither skilled nor gifted in will often result in something that we never intended to take place. It is at such a point we need to ask the questions before we continue down the pathway presented to us.
a) Is this consistent with my personal values and boundaries?
b) Will this direction achieve my overall objectives?
c) Will this new direction strengthen or weaken what we / I, do well?
d) What is my motive for considering such a path?
Remember what builds vision is pertinent to growth. We should not ask the question what will cause vision to grow, but rather what will stop it. We don’t spend time looking for things to make a child grow, but we instinctively know what will hider its growth. By applying the same principle, we will give vision the life it needs to grow.