“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” That quote from Jonathan Swift is applicable today because many of us need to focus on seeing beyond this recession that has taken hold of us. The future needs to become more visible as we look ahead in our professional and personal lives.
These have been challenging times for all of us. Financial historians have defined the economic challenges of the last three or four years as the “Great Recession.” Not considered as devastating as the “Great Depression”, the “Great Recession” has taken its toll on companies, families, relationships and almost every individual.
As an advisor to hundreds of privately owned businesses, I’m seeing the strain on clients, their managers and employees who have reached a point where they have “had enough.” The pressure has become too much. This strain results in broken relationships, separated families, a lack of balance between one’s work and personal life, and a feeling of unfilled dreams, to name a few. Something has to change for them.
However, many people stuck in this situation can’t see what the next steps are to make a change. And when they try to figure out the next steps with the other party (s) involved it has a tendency to create more issues. In many cases, the situation takes a step backwards.
What can you do? The solution to overcoming adversity is to gain agreement on a vision for your business, relationship or situation. Describe and document exactly what you want your business or relationship to look like one or two years from now?
Developing a vision helps you overcome adversity for many reasons which include:
- It is easier to agree on a vision because it is a concrete picture or description of a better future.
- Developing a vision does not get bogged down in the current emotions and issues because these items typically do not exist in that vision.
- It allows you and the other person (s) in the situation to unify and build momentum.
- Once you have a vision in place, it allows you to become unstuck and agree on the first steps to achieving the vision.
- If you fall back in your progress, you can revisit your vision.
Anyone can handle success but it is how you handle adversity that determines your level of future success and achievement of your vision. Adversity is one of the greatest teachers in life and those who learn from it achieve more. It drives you towards that vision.
All of us have faced some level of adversity in our lives. Having a process to help you through that adversity will minimize the impact of it in your life. The process that works for me when adversity hits is to first, stay level. Emotions only cloud the issue. Second, depending on the level of adversity, I vent my frustrations, anger or disappointment to one of my advisors/friends. Once I have let all that go, I develop a vision for the situation and apply all of my energies to move forward and never look back. I would encourage you to create your own process to overcome adversity and include visioning as part of it.
It’s natural to become discouraged at times, and particularly now, when things seem to be an uphill battle. But I have witnessed and personally experienced that you will emerge stronger in all areas of your life when you establish a vision and then work to achieve it. The future is no longer invisible for those who create a vision for their business and life. Our vision becomes a motivating factor in persevering through the highest levels of adversity. And our once distant vision becomes a reality. Remember, Those Who Plan – PROFIT!
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