This is Part 5 in a series on vision. Your vision is the foundation for your goals and actions. It’s a crucial piece of your compass to a life of meaning, and worth exploring in depth. Catch up with the previous installments here: Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4.
When people talk about creating vision it’s often described as a static thing. We set our sights on something and work to achieve it.
So the way we consider vision becomes very similar to the way we view goals. It becomes this picture that we hang on the wall that we use as a guide to navigating life — like looking at the picture of a puzzle we’re trying to put together.
Although it seems that you’re doing the right things by keeping your vision in your sights, you may be unintentionally limiting or sabotaging your vision.
Here are two ways you might be sabotaging your vision.
(1) Resistance to the Present
The picture of what you want also become a measuring tool for where we are in life. This creates a situation where there’s always a gap between what is actual and what you envision as possible. In that gap lies the potential for our suffering, because we always want to be somewhere other than where we are now.
If we attach to our vision, we resist what is. We fight with the way things are. We get disillusioned by our perceived lack of progress, forgetting that it can take lifetimes to manifest vision.
Attaching to the specifics of our vision or focusing too narrowly on our vision is like blocking our view of the present. We lose perspective on our life and miss how we are living our vision now.
Keep in mind: sometimes (often?) your vision comes into form differently than how you thought it would.
You dream of a life filled with flowers and apples, but the universe handed you seeds. If you’re too attached to the idea of flowers and apples, you don’t see that the seeds are what you wanted, only in a different form.
If you can’t see how your vision is coming into form, eventually you’ll believe that it won’t ever happen. You may begin to doubt yourself. You’ll tear down the pictures and stop working toward it.
(2) Gripping Too Tightly
Imagine that you’re holding a bird. You just landed on Earth and you don’t know anything about birds. Someone gave you this thing to hold, so you’re holding it. Feeling the warmth of your hand, the bird starts to move. You feel that this thing you’re holding is moving, and you are afraid to lose it, so you hold it tighter. The tighter you hold it, the more it tries to move; the more it tries to move, the tighter you hold it. Until, eventually, you crush the bird.
Now you have a dead bird.
This is a good example of where you may not want to be “crushing it.”
If only someone had told you that birds can fly. That a bird wanting to spread its wings is part of life, part of nature. Then you would have known not to hold it so tightly.
The bird is vision.
Like a bird, vision has wings, and it will expand and move as we grow and discover new things about ourselves and about life.
If you grip too tightly to the vision you create for yourself, you prevent yourself from growing, or you grow bigger than your vision. Your vision must grow with you. It expands as you expand.
Instead of clinging to your vision tightly, hold it lightly, like you’d hold a baby bird. Nurture it, and allow for it to expand its wings. You never know where it might take you if you allow it to evolve.