It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.”
I fist learned about Helen Keller’s inspirational story when I was in grade school. Discovering how she overcame great obstacles to become a world-famous author, speaker and advocate, became one of many great examples to me that there are no limits, except those that are self-imposed.
I haven’t thought about Helen Keller’s story in several years, until last night, when my 7-year-old son brought home a book he had to read for school. It was about Helen Keller; a very short version of her story, appropriate for first graders. It was a great conversation starter for our family and it got me thinking about Helen Keller again.
I especially love Keller’s quote above. What does it mean to “have a vision?” According to Dr. Carmen Harra, in her Huffington Post article, A Vision For Your Future, “The word vision comes from the Latin visionem, meaning wisdom. Having a vision is having the wisdom to see past certain events in expectation of a greater outcome.”
Dr. Harra continues, “As the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Truly, life is a creation — a gift we can build and shape and alter as we please. But as we busily create, do we have a clear vision of the masterpiece we’re molding? Can we see the finished product in our mind’s eye? Or are we halfheartedly adding pieces to the puzzle day by day, hoping some might be the right fit?”
The reason why I started my consulting business, and consequentially wrote a book, is to help my clients live a life with purpose. I want them to live everyday thinking about the desired outcome; to take a step back from the chaos of everyday life and see the bigger picture; to ensure that the choices they are making everyday are leading to something bigger, to their vision of who they want to become.
Even though most people want to have a vision for their lives and develop or update their goals, having this added “to-do” on their ever-growing list is typically a source of more stress than relief. But what if the day-to-day tasks that they are busy with were actually moving them towards their goals? Sometimes, just becoming aware of the difference opens the doors for change.
The tool I use to help clients develop their vision is the Peak Productivity Pyramid™, which I developed based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The Productivity Pyramid defines the motivational relationship among five areas of productivity. To get from one level to the next, one has to master the basics first.
The key is to focus on one area at a time and make small improvements, slowly building new habits. By making the choice to design your life around your vision, you will live everyday ensuring that all the pieces of your puzzle add up to one fulfilling life.
This article first appeared on LinkedIn.