3 Reasons Why Vision is So Important
My son is finally reaching an age where he can play with LEGO’s. It is so much fun to watch him tinker around, but I admit his random 6-year-old masterpieces are not going to win any awards. When he builds without any pictures or instructions to guide him he generally ends up with misshapen houses or vehicles with mismatched colors. The crazy thing is, he can build some very impressive stuff if I simply give him a picture of something to build.
One of the toughest LEGO sets ever released is the Taj Mahal. This set contains thousands of pieces and an extensive set of plans. The plan set includes a picture of the completed set on the front and then instructions, with pictures, of each step in the building process. Attempting to build this set without instructions would be very difficult. Attempting to build this set without instructions or photo of the finished product would be nearly impossible.
Living your life without a vision is like trying to build the Taj Mahal LEGO set without a picture or plans. The sad part is many of us live our lives this way. We go through life without ever moving beyond the unguided 6-year-old version of ourselves tinkering with random LEGOs and end up with misshapen structures. There are a lot of tips and strategies on how to create a vision but today I will lay out three reasons why vision is so important to hopefully get your started.
1. A vision guides your plan
A vision is a clear picture of a destination or an end goal. Stephen Covey tells us in The 7 Habits to “begin with the end in mind”. Once you create that clear, inspiring vision of your future you can start to create a plan to get there. You cannot map out directions to an unknown destination. Take the clear picture of the end goal and break it down into intentional steps. Let the vision guide your plan.
2. A vision reduces wasted resources
Winging-it, going through the motions, and wandering typically all waste time, energy, money, and talents. Sticking with the LEGO theme, if you do not have a clear picture of what you are building you will not know which pieces to use, how to use the pieces, and will waste time trying various iterations until something simply “feels” close enough. When you have a clear picture of the end goal, you can get the right tools in place and save time by moving in the right direction from the beginning.
3. A vision helps you see opportunities
Have you ever purchased a car and then notice that car on the road more often when you hadn’t noticed them before? When you buy a car, you get a clear visual of that car in your mind. When you have a clear visual in your mind, you tend to see that visual more frequently all around you. It’s called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. I am not going to unpack it here in detail, but I believe vision also applies. When you have a vision in your head of where you want to go, you will see the opportunities that align with that vision simply because you have the visual in your mind. Those opportunities were always around you, but you missed them because you were out of sync with your direction. Even worse than missing an opportunity is choosing the wrong one because you fail to see it does not align with your destination which leads to wasted resources.
A vision does not solve your problems and is definitely NOT a guarantee that it comes to fruition. A vision gives us a clear picture of where we are going. That picture can help us create a plan, reduce wasted resources, and see the opportunities along the way. A solid vision is a robust document that takes a lot of time and iterations to create. Creating a clear, inspiring vision is a skill and will require time, practice, and patience to perfect. If you have never written down your own personal vision, set aside some time to start one. Give yourself some grace as your first few attempts will be a little rough. If you need any help, feel free to reach out to me any time.