The_Passion_of_Vision

The_Passion_of_Vision - 5: The Passion of Vision It's easy...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–14. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 4
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 6
Background image of page 7

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 8
Background image of page 9

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 10
Background image of page 11

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 12
Background image of page 13

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 14
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: 5: The Passion of Vision It's easy to say ‘no!" when there '3 a deeper “yes!” burning inside. VIKTOR Frank], an Austrian psychologist who survived the death camps of Nazi Germany, made a significant discovery. As he found within himself the capacity to rise above his humiliating circum- stances, he became an observer as well as a participant in the experi- ence He watched others who shared in the ordeal. He was intrigued with the question of what made it possible for some people to survive when most died. He looked at several factors—health, vitality, family structure, intel- ligence, survival skills. Finally, he'concluded that none of these Factors was primarily responsible. The single most significant factor, he real- ized, was a sense of future visionmthe impelling conviction of those who were to survive that they had a mission to perform, some impor- tant work left to do.1 Survivors of POW camps in Vietnam and elsewhere have reported similar experiences: a compelling, future—oriented vision is the pri- mary force that kept many of them alive. I The power of vision is incredible! Research indicates that children with f‘future-tocused role images" perfonn‘far better scholastically and are significantly more competent inhandling the challenges of life.2 Teams and organizations with a strong sense of mission signifi- cantly outperform those without the strength of vision.’ According to Dutch sociologist Fred Polak, a primary fact-or influencing the success of civilizations is the “collective visiOn” people have of their future.‘ Vision is the best manifestation of creative imagination and the pri- mary motivation of human action. It's the ability to see beyond our oresent realitv. to create. to invent what does nnt vet exist. to beonrne 104 HRST THINGS FIRST what we not yet are. It gives us capacity to live out of our imagination instead of our memory. ' In this chapter, we'd like to explore the impact of personal vision on our time and our lives. We’ll look at how we can create an empowering vision and integrate it into the fabric of everyday living. We all have some vision of ourselves and our future. And that vision creates consequences. More than any other factor, vision affects the choices we make and the way we spend our time. . If our vision is limited—if it doesn't extend beyond the Friday night ball game or the next TV show—we tend to make choices based on what’s right in front of us. We react to whatever's urgent, the impulse of the moment, ourteelings or moods, our limited awareness of our options, other people's priorities. We vaeilila-te and fluctuate. How we feel about our deciSionHven the way we make them—«changes from day to day. . _ If our vision is based on illusion, we make choices that aren‘t based on "true north” principles. In time, these choices fail to create the quality-of—lite results we expect. Our vision becomes no more than platitudes. We become disillusioned, perhaps cynical. Our creative ' imagination withers, and we don't trust our dreams anymore. If our vision is partialm—if we focus only on our economic and social 'needs and ignore our mental and spiritual needs, for ex.a|nple—'—we make choices that lead to imbalance. If our vision is based on the social mirror, we make choices based on expectations of others. It’s been said that "when man discovered the mirror, he began to lose his soul.“ If our self-vision is no more than a reflection of the social mirror, we have no connection with our inner selves, with our own uniqueness and capacity to contribute. \Ve're liv— ing out of scripts handed to us by others—family. associates, Friends, enemies, the media. ' And what are those scripts? Some may seem constructive: “You’re _ so talented!" "You're a natural ball player!" “I always said you should be a doctor!" Some may be destructive: “You're so slow!" “(bu can’t do anything right!” can’t you be more like-your sister?” Good or had, these scripts can keep us from connecting with who we are and what we're about. And consider the images the media p-roiect———cynicism, skepticism, violence, indulgence, Eatalism, materialism. "Important news" is bad news. If these images are the source of our personal vision, is it any won- der that many of us feel disconnected and at odds with ourselves? THE PASSION 0F Vial-ON- 10-5 VISION THAT TRANSFORMS AND TRANSCENDS When we talk about "the passion of vision," we’re talking about a deep, sustained energy that comes from a comprehensive, principle— based, need-based, endowmenhbased seeing that goes beyond chronos and even kairos. It deals with an neon concept of time, from the Greek crion, meaning an age, a lifetime or more. It taps into the deep core of who we are and what we are about. it’s fueled by the real- ization of the unique contribution we have-the capacity to make—the legacy we can leave. It clarifies purpose, gives direction, and cmst us toperform beyond our resources. We call it “passion” because this vision can become a motivating force so powerful it, in effect, Incomes. the DNA of our lives. It's so in grain-ed and integrated into may aspect of our being that it becomes . the compelling impetus behind every decision we make..1t's the fire withina—the explosion of inner that happens mass is reached in integration of theer fundamental needs. it's. the ' energy that makes life an adventure—the deep burning “yes!” that empowers us to say "of—peacefully and confidently-4i: the less im- portant things in our lives. This passion can empower us to literally transcend fear, doubt, dis- couragement, and many other things that keep us from accomplish- ment and contribution. Consider Gandhi, for example, who came from a background of timidi-ty, scarcity, jealousy, fear, and insecurity. He basically didn't even want to be with people; he wanted to be alone. He didn't like working as a lawyer until he gradually began to find some satisfaction in hammering out whi-win relationships be- tween opposing people. 7 But as he began to see the injustices against the Indian people, 2 vi- sion was born in his mind and heart. Out of that vision grew the idea of creating an experimental community—an ashram—wartime the pie could practice egalitarian values. He saw howhe‘couldheip the in» dian people transform theit image of themselves as to their British overloads and develop a sense of Self-math. _ - As he focused on his Vision, his pezmnality weaknesses m essen- tially eclipsod. Vision and purpose mated personality grown and de- velopment. He wanted to love people, to serve people, to be with people. His highest wish was to help redeem a nation. As a result, he eventually brought England to its knees and freed three hundred mil- lion people. Near the end of his life, he remarked, "l claim to be no more than 105 FIRST THlNGS FIRST an average man with belcrw average capabilities. I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have it he or she would put forth the same etfort and cultivate the same hope and taith.""The power of transcendent vision is greater than the power of the scripting deep inside the human personality and it Subordinates it, submerges it, until the whole personality is reorganized in the accom— \ plishnient of that vision. . The passion of shared vision empowers people to transcend the petty, negative interactions that consume so much time and effort and deplete quality of life. Stephen: l recently spent two days working with the faculty and ad- ministration of a college in one of the provinces in Canada. They were dealing with very divisive issues, and they were totally caught up in scarcity thinking. The environment was inundated with. smallness, pettiness. and accusation- ' ' I They had spent some time thinking around a mission statement, and as we worked together, they came to a sense of closure. They fi— nally determined that their mission was ‘to become a mentoring edu- cational college " for their province. They wanted to be an organization that cares about and mentors other organizations in becoming princi— pie—centered. As they came to that decision, the smallness and pettiness evapo- rated. l-‘hese people became energized by something more impor- tant, by a transcendent purpose that made other things irrelevant. This is what happens when people have a real sense of legacy, a sense or mattering. a sense of contribution. it seems to tap into the deepest part of their heart and soul. it brings out the best and subor- dinates the rest. Petty things become unimportant when people are impassioned about a. purpose higher than self. The passion of the kind of vision we’re talking about has a trans— forming, transcending impactv-«probahly the greatest impact of any single factor on time and quality of life. ’ CREATING AND LIVING M EMPWEerNG MISSION STATEMENT One of the most powe‘rtul processes we've found to cultivate the pas- sion of vision is creating and integrating an empowering personal mis- sion statement. You may already be aware of the concept of a personal mission statement. The idea isn't new. People from a variety of cultures have THE PASSlflN OF VISEON 107 “ created statements .of belief, personal creeds, and similar statements ‘thro-ughout time. You may have already mitten your own as part of a corporate personal development program or in some other capacity. But as we’ve become involved in mission statement work world- wide, we've found that some statements are significantly more em- powering than others. People attempting to write a mission statement for the first time often write to please or impress somebody else. They don't go the distance or pay the price to create a deep inner con-nec- tion. Their mission statements become a potpourri of platitudes, .a “to do" checked off the list and filed somewhere for occasional inspira- tron. On the organizational level.’ this is what happens when mission statements come down from the cxeoutive “Mount Olympus" and are wordsmith-ed by the PR department. There‘s no significant involve- ment, and, therefore, no buy—in. The-statement ends usp'ha-nging on the wall instead of living in the hear-ts and minds and Hares. of the poo- ple who work there. What we're talking about here is not simply writing a statement of belief. We're talking about accessing and creating an open connection with the deep energy that comes from a weliwdefined, thoroughly inte- grated sense of purpose and meaning in life. We're talking about ere» ating a powerful vision based on the true north principles that ensure its achi-evability. We’re talking about the sense of excitement and ad— venture that grows out of connecting with your unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes in fulfilling it. . AN EXERCISE 0F CREATIVE IMAGINATION if you've never attempted to write apersonal mission statem.ent-——or even if you have one but you’d like a different perspective—we invite you to take a few minutes now and exercise your endowment of cre- ative imagination. Visualize your eightieth birthday or your fiftieth wedding anniversary. Try to imagine a wonderful celeb-ration where friends, loved ones, and associates from all walks of your life come to honor you. Imagine it in as much detail as you cane—the plane, the people, the decorations. ‘ See these individuals in your mind's eye as they stand, one by one, to pay tribute to you. Assume they represent roles you are now fulfill— ing in life—~perhaps as a parent, teacher, manager, or community ser- vant. Also assume that you have fulfilled these roles to the utmost of your potential. 108 FTRST THINGS FIRST ROLES TRIBUTES I um agar-Wm in THE PASSION OF VISION 109 What would these people say? What qualities of character would you be remembered for? What outstanding contributions would they mention? Look around at the people there. What important differ- ence have you made in their lives? As you ponder, try writing dawn your roles, and beside each, the tribute statement you would like to be said of you on this occasion. How do you feel when you look at this vision of what your life could represent? Now what if you were able to take that vision, ensure that it was principle-based and connected with your deepest inner impera— tives, translate it into words, thoroughly refine it, use it as the basis for weekly Quadrant II organizing, memorize it, envision its hsl'fillment. write it in your nund and heart so that every moment of your life was touched by it? . This quick exercise will give you some insight into the potential power and passion of vision. Actually creating and integrating an em- powering mission statement takes time and earnest investmentln order to do it, we have to get into and create an open connection with our deep inner life. GETTING INTO OUR DEEP INNER LIFE In a sense, we each live three lives. We have our public life, where we interact with other people at work, in the community, at social events. We have our private life, where we're away from the public, We may be alone or we may choose to he with friends or family. But our most significant life is our deep inner life.'This is where we . connect with our unique human endowments of sdfawareness, con— science, independent will, and creative imagination. Without these endomrents, it's impossible to create-the of ere-powering mien that will create quality-oblife results. Sew-mm In our deep inner life, we can use our endowment of self~awareness to explore our needs and capacities and integrate them on every essen- tial level. We can examine our paradigms, look at the roots and fruits in our lives, explore our motives. One of the most powerful uses of self-awareness is to become aware of conscience and haw it works within us. " Conscience Conscience puts us in touch with both the unique and the universal. Only as we tap into our conscience can we discover our unique pur- 110 FIRST THINGS FIRST pose and capacity for contribution. Think deeply about the people represented by each of the roles in the birthday or anniversary exercise - you just went through and of the unique opportunity you have to in— fluence their lives. No one else can be the mother or father you are to your children. No one else can be the husband or wife you can be to your spouse. No one else can be the doctor you can be to your pa— tients, the teacher you can he to your students, the sister, the friend, the community volunteer you can be to the people whose lives you can touch. ‘Nhat you alone can contribute, no one else can con- tribute. Viktor Frank] said we don’t invent our mission; we detect it. It’s within us waiting to be realized. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that dot-hands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaned, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone: task is unique ashis specific opportunity to implement it.’ Nineteenth~ce11tury-Isocial reformer and writer W’il-liarn Ellery Channing had this tosay: Every human being has a work to do, duties to perform, influence to exert, which are peculiarly his, and which no conscience but his own can teach.“ Only as we connect with our conscience in this deep inner life can we create the fire withinIiVIission statements that come out of public or private life thinking will never access that deep inner core of per- sonal empowerment. _ _ As explorer, writer, and. filmmaker Sir Laurens van der Post put it: We have to turn inwards, to look into ourselves; look into this con- tainer which is our soul; look and listen to it. Until you have listened in to that thing which is dreaming through you, in other words—answered the knock on the door in the dark, you will not be able to lift this mo- ment in time in which we are imprisoned, back again into the level where the great act of creation is going on.’ Roger: Some years ago, i met Tom at a seminar for university stu- dents. When i asked him to introduce himself and tell a little about his goals. he indicated that he was majoring in civil engineering. Later during the seminar, i asked him to share with others what he would do if he had a month with no demands on his time and unlimited funds. THE PASSILON 0F VISlQN 111 " His face lit up like a Christmas tree. "That's easyl' he replied en- thusiastically ‘i'd buy a table saw, a planer; and . . . oh, lots of other tools. i'd set them up in my garage, get all the kids in the neighbor« hood together, and we'd build things—tables, piayhouses, furniture. it would be great!” As i noticed the shining eyes, icouldn't help but remember the ap- athy with which he had announced his college major a few moments before. ‘ _ “You really like to teach, don't you?" i asked“ "i love ltl' he said simply. 'And you ergioy working with tools ?" “Oh, you bet!" "How are you enjoying your cleseeo in civil engineering?" "Oh, i don 't know. There's good in engineering . . ." His voice dropped off. “Tom.” l said, “did it ever occur to you that they pay people to teach kids how to build things with tools?” it was fascinating to watch his face. it was obvious that his deci- sion to major in civil engineering was not the result of a deep inner connection with his own talents and a Consolenoeinsplred sense of contribution. But when he touched that connection, even briefly-— when he suddenly saw the possibility of fulfilling his own nonme- ness—he became totally energized. . While Tom might have been an adequate civil engineer, it was easy to see he would be a phenomenal wood shop instructor, and that his love for woodwmking and for young people would empower him to make a difference. ' Conscience not only puts us in touch with our own uniqueness; it also connects us with the universal true north principles that create quality of life. We can use conscience to align our values and state gi-es with principles, ensuring that both the ends-and the moan-s of our mission statementwboth the contribution and the methods used in making the contribution—Hare principle—based. t Creative lmoglnntion Once we tap into conscience, we can use our endowment of creative imagination to envision and give meaningful expression to con- , science-inspired vision and values by creating an empowering personal mission statement. It's the blueprint before the construction; the mental before the physical creation. After writing a mission statement, we can use our creative imagina- 112 FlRST THiNGS FIRST tion to visualize ourselves living itm-today at worlc, tonight when we come home, when we're tired, when our expectations haven't been met, when we’re disappointed. We can use our minds to face and ere- atively solve the most difficult challenges to our integrity. We can live out of our imagination instead of our memory. Independent war When living our mission statement means swimming upstream, going against the environment or our own deeply ingrained habits or scripts, we can use our endowment of independent will. We can act instead of- being acted upon. ‘ The passion of vision gives us a new understanding of independent will. Without the passion of vision, “discipline” is 'regimentation and restraint—“control yourself, grit your teeth, white-knuckle your way through life. The basic paradigm is that without some form of tight control, we'll mess up. We don't have trust in ourselves that, left to our own internal motivation, we would moment by moment make ef- fective choices. But the passion of vision releases the power that connects "disci- pline" with its root word, "disciple." We become followers of our inner imperatives, voluntarily subordinating the less important to that deep burning “yes!” Instead of “control,” We're focused on "release." The key to motivation is motive. it’s the why. It's the deeper "yes!" burning inside that makes it easier to say no to the less important. CHARACTERISTICS. OF EMPOWERING MISSION STATEMENTS As we’ve had the opportunity to read hundreds of mission statements trom around the wodd, we've found it to be a' humbling experience to see so clearly into the deep inner lives of other human beings. As we read each expression, we fee-l we stand on sacred ground. These statements are incredibly diverse. They range from a few words to several pages. Some are expressed in music, poetry. and art. Each person’s personal vision is unique. But one of the greatest validation-s of the reality of true north is in the almost universal expression in these statements of the basic Laws of Life. The foundational principles and the recognition of the four needs and capacities—t0 live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy—are transcultura], transreligious, transnational, transraeial. Regardless of who or where they are, when people get into their deep inner lives, they sense true north. THE PASSlON 0F VISION 113 Those miSsion statements people have found to be most empower- ing seem to have several other characteristics in common as well. You may find this list helpful to you in writing your own mission state— ment, or in evaluating one you've already written. An empowering mission statement: 1. represents the deepest and best within you. It comes out of a solid connection with your deep inner life. 2. is the fulfillment of your own unique gifts. It’s the expression of your unique capacity to contribute. 3. is tra.nscendent.1t’s based on principles of contribution and purpose higher than self. 4. addresses and integrates all four fundamental human needs and capacities. It includes fulfillment in physical, social, mental, and spiritual dimensions. 5. is based on principles that produce quality-of-lite results. Both the ends and the means are based 0n true north principles. 6. deals with both vision and principle-based values. It's not enough to have values without vision—you want to be good, but you want to be good for something. On the other hand. vision without values can create a Hitler. An empowering mission statement deals with both character and competence; what you want to be and what you want to do in your life. 7. deals with all the significant roles in your life. It represents a lifetime balance of personal, Earnfly, work, coin munityw whatever rules you feel are yours to till. 8. is written to inspire your—not to impress anyone else. It corn— munica-tes to you and inspires you on the most essential level. A mission statement with these characteristics will have the corn- prehensiveness, depth, and principle-based foundation to make it. em— powering. If you'd like more specific help in creating a peisonal mission statement, we've included a mini—nussion statement work— shop with detailed exercises, instructions, and sample mission state— ments in Appendix A. FROM THE MISSION TO THE MOMENT Even with a powerful written document, it's vital to realize that it’s impossible to translate the mission to the moment in Our lives with- 114 FlR‘ST THINGS FIRST out weekly cultivation—pondering over it, memorizing it, writing it in our heart and in our mind, reviewing it, and using it as the basis for weekly Quadrant II organizing. You may also find it helpful to go on a personal retreatuperhaps yearl'y-F—to evaluate and update it. Unfortunately, many people living with the efficiency paradigm of third—generation time management tend to see "writing a personal mission statement" as another “to do" to be checked off a list. As one woman observed: i wrote my mission statement——l actually felt really good about it. But then i filed it in my organizer and mentally checked it off as "done." i went along for monthswsuccessful in business, setting goals, moving ahead with my life. i became increasing focused on the ' 'have's "—l want to have a new car. i want to have a new house. i wrote down goals—“We want to build this house. ' So what do we need to do? Save this amount of money. qualifi/ for this loan—wall those kin ds of things. i thought i was doing everything right. And then late one night. i found myself sitting alone in my beautiful new house thinking, “Why am i not happy?” l'd thought once we closed on the loan, once we signed the papers. all of a sudden l'd have what i was working for. But i just felt lonely. l thought, “There 's something missing. " l didn ’t feel the happiness i thought would come from these things. As i was thinking, i saw my organizer, and so i opened it up and read my mission statement. Never once in all the time we were build- ing our house had i even looked at that statement. As lread, i realized that there was nothing materialistic in it. Every- thing was 'be ”——l want to be a good person . . . i want to be a good example . . . eventually, i want to be a good mother. i found myself crying. l sat in my beautiful new house with the lights off thinking. i had thought this would make me happy. . . as soon as i had this car or this house or whatever it was, then l'o' be happy. But i looked at all i had and i wasn't anythingl wanted to be. An empowering mission statement is not a “to do” to be checked off. To be empowering, it has to become a living document, part of our very nature so that the criteria we’ve putinto it are also into us, - into the way we live our lives day by day. Another individual shared this experience: i A short time after! wrote my personal mission statement, my wife and i had a falling out with some really close friends of ours. We THE PASSlON OF 115 didn 't really know why it happened. All we knew was that it was some thing that had come over a matter of time and suddenly, there was - some straw that broke the camel's back, and we were no longer friends. We lived with the pain of this for two months. We would be in situa- tions where we were with other friends, and we would not even talk to each other. My wife and i would lie in bed and talk about it. There wasn 't a day that went by that i didn ’t think about my friends and how i could bridge this gap that was between us. One night i was driving home and it suddenly dawned on roe-43 the way that i have handled this whole scenario from start toflnlsh in harmony with my misalon as an indhridual? As a Part of my mission deals with learning of the lessons of life and being able to understand mature through them so that i can teach them to (1th only in my family. but also to and whoever else might have the same problem at some point in their lives. . l suddenly realized that the way i had acted was not consistent with my mission, and in that instant—l know this might sound strange-ml was liberated from the guilt and the pain. i knew i needed to really understand this whole experience and learn from ituwhat had gone wrong, how it had happened—and then to make reconciiia- tion. l was able at that point to take my mission and overlay it onto the problem and say, “This is what my mission is and this is how i choose to handle this situation.” i went home and outlined in my mind how i would bridge the gulf. And at that point. my mission be- came real' to me. i went to my friend and told him how deeply‘sorry l was about the whole situation and how painful it had been for my wife and me. I fett humble and teachable. i really, deeply wanted to understand how he felt and what had gone wrong. At that point, he was softened and he was willing to talk about what he felt had been the problem. and how he and his wife might have been wrong. We were able to communicate deeply am work things out. Then we with ow wives and timywere-able to have a similar experience. That was such a liberating l was even ground. far the pain! And it was powerfin form to realize how important how real 8 mission statement can be. it was alive at that point. it'was a living document. ‘ From that experience We been able to take other experiences in different roles and responsibilities and say, 'ls this really part of my mission?” And this whole thingu-this whole notion of Quadrant ll time 116 FIRST THINGS FIRST management and putting first things first—has come to iife. i have been abie to make this document aimost a transparent overlay to put it over any situation and decide how i choose to respond. Most people who feel empowered by their mission statement find that there seems to be some point at which their statement "lives." They own it. It‘s theirs. The vital connection is made between the mission and the moment in life. Then, with nurturing and continuing cultivation, the mission statement becomes the primary factor that influences every moment of choice. A LEGACY 0F VISION Creating and living an empowering mission statement has a signifi- cant impact on the way we spend our time. When we talk about time management, it seems ridiculous to worry about speed before direc- tion, about saving minutes when we may be wasting years. Vision is the fundamental force that drives everything else in our lives. it im- passions us with a sense of the unique contribution that's ours to make, It empowers us to put first things first, compasszs ahead of clocks, people ahead of schedules and things. Creating and integrate ing an empowering personal mission statement is one of the most im- portant Quadrant II investments we can make. And as we live, love, and learn with greater meaning in our lives, we begin to realize that perhaps the most important legacy we can leave is vision. What our children and others see of themselves and of their future has a profound effect on quality of life for us all. ...
View Full Document

Page1 / 14

The_Passion_of_Vision - 5: The Passion of Vision It's easy...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 14. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online