It’s time to turn your dream into a vision. A vision is a picture of the result or the impact of the dream. Here are a few questions you can ask as you turn your dream into a vision:
-Who is this dream for? Who will it benefit?
-What type of benefit will they experience?
-What will they be able to do or become as a result of this dream becoming a reality?
Complete this statement:
I want my dream to help people do the following:
These are the skills or tools that I need to take the next step in bringing my dream to life:
The Scriptures speaks of writing the vision and making it plain.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 King James Version (KJV)
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (YES!)
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
The important instruction is to write the vision and make it plain…so that he that reads it may run! This is brilliant and deeply empowering to you and your dream. The act of writing the vision and making it plain will give you the ability to run with it. It gives it a structure to move from one place to another. Writing the vision makes the vision mobile. I’ve only listed a few questions that you can ask yourself when it comes to writing your vision. You may need to ask yourself many more questions.
Don’t shrink back from this part of the discipline.
Write as many questions, explore deeply, look at the dream from different perspectives and fill up as many pages as you need to get deeply connected to the vision as it’s coming to life. As you do this, you will feel an inner stirring or an emotional, physical or spiritual connection to the vision. You may even feel a specific nudge from the Holy Spirit giving you even more clarity.
Write it all down; the only caution that I will add here is that you are careful not to get paralyzed by writing the vision. This is not an exercise of perfection; it’s an exercise of exploration and definition for the vision. Once you’ve explored and increased your clarity with probing questions, write your vision in a few short sentences or a short statement. A true vision is something that you not only write, but that you believe in and willingly embrace.
Example: My vision is to help families who are in transition due to a job change, loss of a parent or sibling or other life altering event and build communication plans so that their children can process change in healthy and safe ways.
This vision is clear and provides the framework to run with. It’s important that you believe in the vision and embrace it from the inside out because the power of nailing down the vision is the exponential realization of it. It takes courage to be willing to define the scope of the vision. This is difficult because visionaries are always seeing something more and more, yet the biggest fear is the dislike of being in pigeon-hole. There is a maturation that must take place in understanding that writing the vision and making it plain is not limiting; it provides a platform for expansion.
As when looking through a telescope, there is the wide view that allows you to see the bigger picture, but it’s the narrow view adjustment that allows you to see with greater clarity the details and the specifics. This way, others looking at your vision are on the same page as you, they have more than a vague understanding of the vision, and they see it clearly and move toward it.
Dr. Daniel Nathanson, of the Leavey School of Business in his article The Importance of a Vision Statement writes:
“A good vision statement is a clear picture of where you want to be at a particular point in time. The most famous vision statement (perhaps of all time) was JFK’s proclamation that we will have a man on the moon within 10 years. A good vision statement will serve as a galvanizing and motivating force, especially if it is a challenge. It should be possible, but not easily attainable. It should be clear and should be described in enough detail so that people can imagine what it will be like when they get there”.
“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;” Proverbs 3:13 (NIV)
Now that you have your dream and have written the vision, wisdom can guide you forward. Just as you did when you explored your vision, it’s time to explore how to engage wisdom in bringing your dream to life.
You may ask, “what are the next steps I need to take to realize this dream?”
• What am I lacking? What resources do I have?
• Who can help me?
• When and where will my dream/vision take place?
• What’s the best path or plan to travel next in bringing this to life?
• How will I know I’m on the right path?
• Where can I seek counsel or support from?
• Can I practice resilience as my vision is being brought to life?
• Will I validate or invalidate resistance from myself or from others? And, how?
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes to make them possible”. T.E. Lawrence
Now that you have these important pieces in the place, taking action is the next step. You will be able to take more productive and consistent action because you have gained greater clarity through your discipline model. You have the dream, you know the vision and you are open to the wisdom that supports the two. Now, action will set you miles apart from the person who is always dreaming, but never moving forward.
Here’s an important thing to remember about action – it’s not perfect. The action you take now is more about alignment with the dream, vision and wisdom. Perfection is not our friend, but rather can be an enemy to realizing our dreams.
An action question to ask is “what am I creating?”
• new service
• new division in my company
Once you’ve done the work of the discipline mode, the fun part begins! You are ready to be a responsible steward of the dream and the vision. No one can or will do it like you, so be mindful of comparison or competition. Your only competition is you and how you are being true to the life-giving creative process.
It’s a great thing to have a dream. Having a discipline model will propel you forward so that you can bring your dream to life. Don’t believe the myth that dreamers can’t execute. Dreamers who use a framework can execute all day long with great results following deliberate action! You were made for this. I believe in you!