Jay Rifenbary

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How's Your Vision?

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With the advent of a new year where do you see yourself a year, or two or five years from now? Where would you like to be? What would you like to do? What would you like to have? What positive difference would you like to make? Do you have any idea what your future may bring? Do you have clarity for your future, or is it just a blur? Are you nearsighted or farsighted? How myopic have you become? Instead of hindsight being 20/20 for your life, make it the foresight for your future. As Mark Twain so simply stated, “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

To celebrate a new year is easy, to have a vision and plan for what you would like to accomplish in the months and years ahead is more challenging. It takes thought, effort, discipline, implementation and perseverance to have a fulfilling future come to fruition. Don't sit on the sidelines expecting a bright tomorrow, get on the field, call some plays, and make it happen. Resolutions are only a temporary desire for what you wish to achieve now. A vision provides a more enduring meaning behind those resolutions and adds a long-term return on your investment, rather than just a short-term gain. There is little incentive to continue a resolution if you do not keep your eyes on the prize of your long-term collective efforts.

Vision in the context of achievement is defined as, "the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom, a mental image of what the future will or could be like". Is your image positive or negative, anticipated or doubtful, embraced or rejected? It is essential for your vision to align with your core values, for a lack of alignment will only bring internal frustration, heartache and despair. Your vision must complement your values in order for it to be truly fulfilling. The more honest your journey toward your vision, the more rewarding that journey will be. The character of the journey should always reflect the character of the person. As Carl Jung stated, "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens."

Throughout history is has been those who see what might be that achieve greatness, not those who focus only on what is. True leaders take their followers out of the boundaries of the present, and inspire them to strive for a brighter future. Author and renown leadership consultant Warren Bennis stated, "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." First, do you have a vision, and second are you willing to put the effort in to that vision to make it a reality? You will quickly discover that if you languish in the present without an optimistic outlook, plan, and vision for your future you are more prone to blame others for your lack of drive, direction and accomplishments. Why? For many, blaming and whining is easier then making a concerted effort to better your life both personally and professionally.

Taking ownership for where you have been, where you are now and where you want to be in the future is key to being self-reliant, personally accountable, and having a clear outlook on what your tomorrow may bring. To have a vision also generates greater life purpose since you are striving for something larger than just living day to day. Five vision statements to ponder and answer for 2014 may include, * I will make this life changing strategic decision: * I will develop this skill or study and learn this: * I will adopt this positive habit: * I will improve my relationship with this person: * I will prioritize and apply these core values in how I conduct my life:

As Buddha said, “The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.” Happy New Year!



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