I’m not a fan of the dentist, at all. Before you label me as an anti-dentite, just hear me out. It’s not the dentist himself or his hygienist, it’s the process. My impatience meets people messing in my mouth and I get freaked out.
Last week, that dreaded visit came. As I pulled into my parking space and jumped out of my car, I was admittedly focused on the fact that I didn’t want to be there. I took no care to engage in my surroundings as my thoughts were solely on myself.
As I was walking in, I noticed a blind man walking out. When I saw his dark glasses and white cane, I stepped aside allowing him to pass on the narrow ramp. It forced me to take my attention off of myself. As he passed, this blind man said, “Sure sounds like those kids are having fun!”
At that moment, I heard it. Kids playing in the pool at the adjacent YMCA.
I had completely missed it. Their laughter filled the air as they splashed next door.
As I waited in the lobby, I began to wonder what this man saw in his mind. I thought to myself, this man could not see but he still had vision.
1. a vivid, imaginative concept:
2. the act of anticipating that which will be:
3. an experience appearing vividly in the mind, although not present, often under the influence of a divine agency”
A Vision for Your Future
The more people I talk to, the more I get the question: “What am I supposed to do with my life?” Have you really given thought to a vision for your future? The wisdom from Proverbs suggests you should, “Without a vision, the people perish.”
For many years, I journeyed through life without a specific vision and my life felt like a repeat of itself. In the Ready, Aim, Fire analogy, I continued to fire without truly aiming. As I began searching for something more, I started looking at myself, longing for insight.
Self-reflection was the first step in uncovering a true vision for my life. Too often what we see can tarnishes our vision. Other people’s expectations and definitions can send us down rabbit trails we were never meant to follow. We must remove the veil and be honest with ourselves. Understanding who we are and where we are leads us to continued discovery, renewed vision.
I have found that this vision rests at the intersection of your strengths and passions.
Here’s a quick exercise. Ask yourself these questions and write them out.
What are my passions?
What moves my soul?
Think about those two and how they can work together in your life. Pour into these questions with prayer and ask for a vision to be revealed. Then, pay attention to the opportunities as they relate to others.
Newsflash: You aren’t the purpose of your vision and I’m not the purpose of mine.
We must seek the value we can add to others as you recognize that your vision should always move you in a direction greater than yourself. It’s very easy to miss subtle, wonderful moments due to self-focus.
If you’re like me, you find it easy to get caught up in yourself. Avoid this at all costs – selfishness and greed cannot be the driving factor.
Whereas self-reflection calls you to take an objective assessment, self-focus leads you to believe that you’re the only thing that matters. It’s essential that you fight that battle well.
A quick question to test your motives:
How does my vision help others?
When others become the focus, you begin to grow beyond yourself.
In summary, this blind man taught me something about vision.
“When you’re only focused on yourself, you miss life’s richest moments.”
CHALLENGE: Complete the steps above and let us know what you’re learning about your vision.