The Birth of a Vision
By: Marie Williams, Writer Dallas Yoga Magazine & Yoga Enthusiast
Everyone desires to be successful in life, but few really understand the process by which to follow to achieve it. Most success involves an eventual destination, somewhere we hope to end up. This destination will include roles we may play along the way, desires we hold close and individuals we meet on our journey to guide us. Our destinations usually start with some sort of vision we have. Since there are so many parts to our journey, it becomes multi-faceted. In retrospect, such a journey requires a multi-faceted vision.
In the book, Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision, author Andy Stanley talks about how visioneering is the path an individual follows to make his/her dreams become a reality. It is a process by which ideas and convictions take an identity. Initially, visioneering is the engineering of a vision.
Within the last seven months, I have had a vision to start my own business involving affiliate online marketing where all my networking and communication is done using my smartphone, tablet and laptop. My grandest desire is to help others discover their gifts and upon doing this, tap into their truest and purest potential to become the best version of themselves. I am also using my blog site as a way to promote both myself and my brand on social media. My blog site content is derived from mindset books I am currently reading or have read in the last year. I am also a magazine subscriber and read Yoga Journal each month to find articles I like that compliment a holistic lifestyle I feel will resonate with my readers and viewers. Through the use of social media and typed up content, I envision myself changing people’s lives on a global level from the inside out, while becoming a social media phenomenon.
Visioneering has many components to it and each one plays a significant part in this process of achieving success. Each part can be thought of as necessary “building blocks” that help an individual complete one part at a time. If visioneering were thought of in the way of a formula, it would look something like this:
Visioneering = Inspiration + Belief + Action + Determination + Completion
Inspiration can start when a single thought pulls at us and stays on our minds. This inspiration starts developing as a belief that we can do whatever it is we have set our minds to and through this belief, we become convicted or moved by such faith in what we can do. This conviction then compels us to act. Our actions, when done consistently, provide the determination needed to work on the vision to see it through. Completion is the final result of all these “blocks” that produce success over time.
Vision also encompasses being able to see where we desire to end up. We should be able to look past what actually “is” and visualize images of what could be or what could be manifested in our lives. However, this vision must be clear because if it is not, we may come to the end of our lives wondering what all we could have or should have done. We may even wonder if our lives mattered at all. One of the good things about a vision is that it gives significance to what would otherwise be meaningless details of our lives. It helps to bring our lives into focus by bringing order to chaos. A clear vision allows us to see everything from a different perspective.
There are four key elements that must be a part of a vision; these factors help to evoke emotion and they are passion, motivation, direction and purpose.
Passion stems from a clear, precise vision that when executed, allows us to experience all the emotions associated with our predicted future outcome. All these emotions reiterate our commitment to the vision based on what we can visualize ourselves doing or where we see ourselves going. These feelings are eventually channeled back into our present reality. Feelings are powerful and compelling, but we must remember they are just a form of energy passing through us that we can either choose to attach or detach from. The clearer the vision, the stronger the emotion coupled with it.
Any vision provides motivation, or the urge to follow through with a specific plan. Vision-driven people stand out because these individuals include all details from the mundane to the most important in the process. They cannot wait to get started and they see the planning aspect as something fun, not actual work. Vision can also serve as motivation to even get things done, such as finishing college, graduate school or acquiring a new job. These are all big milestones in which an individual should be focused. The end goal would hopefully lead to possible jobs and future careers.
Before a vision can take flight, an individual must have a direction they desire to go in, so they can carry out the vision. The direction will then serve as a road map to guide the person with all decision-making concerning the established vision. Anything or anyone who moves us closer to accomplishing the vision gets approval. Anyone or anything that does not help us should be either eliminated or approached with caution.
Vision also helps us to prioritize our values, while helping us determine any distractions that would hold us back. We are able to redefine our lifestyles and adjust our schedules to fit so that everything balances out.
Our vision should give us purpose, a reason to get up and start moving towards progress. If we do not show up, things will not get done and lives cannot be impacted. A good example is my current job at the community college I have been working at for six years now. Four days a week, I am blessed to be able to help students improve their grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and critical thinking skills in the subjects of English Composition I and II, History, Psychology and Government. Being a part of their academic journey inspires me to work just as hard as they do to start up my own online business. I am encouraged when my students tell me I am making a difference in their lives because I helped them improve their writing ability or was a significant factor in their making an A on a paper. My passion for my work further fuels my own vision of becoming an entrepreneur. My work at the college serves the purpose of helping my students become the best versions of themselves in preparation to attend college after graduation.
All visions are born in the souls of men and women who are filled with thoughts of what currently is and what could be. Anyone emotionally involved who fills things could be improved in any way, including in their own lives, is a candidate for a vision. Visions are birthed in the minds and hearts of those dissatisfied with the status quo or desiring to see significant change in their lives. They are a preferred future, a way of life. Visions demand change and push an individual to exceed well beyond his/her perceived limitations, but most importantly, require courage to act on bold ideas.
Just seven months ago, I was financially struggling and growing more frustrated and discouraged by the month. It had become difficult to take care of monthly financial obligations and I felt like everything was overwhelming me involving money.
I talked to a close friend about the difficulty I was having, and she told me about a new business idea she felt aligned with she was excited about starting. Every time my friend talked about the new business concept, her eyes glowed and her passion seemed to be oozing out in her words. I could not help but wonder what she was doing to change the course of her income and how she thought about money.
My friend and I would meet at Starbucks to discuss the questions I had about starting this online marketing business. She would text me tools or ideas she was exploring about new business concepts so foreign to me. With both her persistence and encouragement, I began watching webinars, which broke down the business concepts and provided personal testimonials of people already thriving in this business. She connected me to her personal contacts whom have become some of my closest friends I consistently stay in touch with today. Finally, my friend discussed with me the power of shifting my mindset. I did this before I fully decided to commit to start a new journey to become an entrepreneur and wear a different hat as a businesswoman. Through the mindset shift, my vision of having my own business to live abundantly has never felt more possible! This just goes to show that timing is everything when beginning a new adventure and going down an unexpected path!
Establishing a vision for our lives takes time and can sometimes be a painful and uncomfortable experience. Due to the time needed to be put towards the vision and the manifestation involved, the process itself yields a beautiful product that is worth all the hours, days, weeks, months and years that are worth such a sacrifice.
Timing is everything and at the beginning of a vision, there is a tendency to be so involved and obsessed to the point of moving too soon, instead of waiting for the clarity to make the best decision and allowing things to fall in place naturally. The online affiliate marketing business is my biggest and grandest vision yet! Based on where I am at in my life financially and the fact that my other areas of employment are all encompassed in my business platform, now is the perfect time to take a leap of faith on something I really feel aligned with and watch myself and my life transform into something magnificent!
In order for a vision to truly take flight, it first starts as an idea in our minds we cannot stop thinking about! Time allows us to identify between both good or bad ideas/thoughts linked to the vision. Patience gives us a chance to identify any and all feelings that surface and examine these emotions to see how they will factor into our vision. Then there is society, which can be tough and even cruel towards a vision, especially when these people do not understand the premise behind the vision. Visions involve change and most of the time, change is not welcomed because it serves as an interruption to what is expected or familiar. Visions can only survive if they are mature and healthy before exposure to cynicism, criticism, a stubborn environment and negative energy. These characteristics will quickly damage or possibly wipe out any premature vision.
As our vision matures, we should be maturing as well. This maturity could mean talking with a mentor either professionally licensed in the areas we are desiring to cast the vision or close friends who are already experiencing success and growth within their visions. Finally, we mature from experiences we have from our mistakes that can serve to teach us what we may be missing so that we learn from these mistakes and turn them into positive gains that help us grow.
There is usually some investigation or research needed before implementing parts of the vision. Asking the right questions to gather necessary information, doing independent research online and taking notes, watching webinars and attending lectures on topics of interest are all great ways to dive in and for an individual to start educating his/herself on what he/she might need to carry out his/her vision.
Before a vision can come alive, a person needs to feel assured and confident in what he/she is desiring to undertake. Prayer is a powerful way to connect to the Universe for granted requests as well as clarification about what direction to move in regarding the vision and wisdom concerning decisions needing to be made.
When I truly committed to the reality of starting my own online business, suddenly going into business for myself became larger than life! I knew I needed more wisdom than I currently had about something I had never done that seven months ago, seemed crazy! Each day after I woke up and at night before I fell asleep, I talked to the Universe about my visions (which were actually dreams) I was having about the business. I needed the Universe to reveal to me what these dreams meant. By consistently praying daily, the Universe not only provided me excellent knowledge, but helped me focus on the mindset shift needed to start up the online business.
Prayer is critical to vision development because it allows us to see exactly what we are searching for. It keeps our eyes and hearts in a mode of expectancy because we are certain of the Universe’s divine intervention. Prayer makes us sensitive to subtle changes involving the situations connected to the vision. Once the Universe moves on our behalf, we recognize its presence and at that point, we can rest assured if we remain optimistic and full of positive energy, we will not miss future opportunities centered around the progress of our vision. Therefore, we need to pray for the Universe to grant us more chances to connect on deeper levels with our vision. Lastly, our prayers should be focused on what we determine needs to happen in order to get our vision off the ground. We also need to pray for the individuals involved who have the power, resources and influences to help make our vision a reality.
No successful vision can be accomplished without some type of planning. The type of planning I am referring to is strategical planning, where careful thought is given to what needs to be done in preparation, how the process might be carried out and tactical decisions that may need to be made concerning money, overall time spent and networking to get specific people connected to the vision. The idea here is to develop some sort of plan, even if it fails or does not quite fit. Plans can be adjusted as the vision unfolds and often, they will need to be because it is not easy to have a perfect plan when executing a vision.
Before I knew I would be launching my own online marketing business, I had to seriously think about what my business platforms would be, meaning what services could I offer potential clients?
It did not take me long to figure this out. I immediately wrote out a two-page business platform and met my good friend over tea to discuss it. She liked it and thought it was brilliant! I came up with the platform in a matter of hours, based off of what I am passionate about, which is helping people discover their true gifts and using those gifts to tap into their truest and purest potential. Then, another idea came to me: create my own blog site and use articles from Yoga Journal and mindset books I have read to create blog posts over interesting topics people would want to know about.
I created my own blog site within three days with the help of an e-book I stumbled across on WordPress and set about creating content. That was back in September. Within three months, I had quickly blogged 50 posts over various subjects! The key to great blogging is to keep all the material fresh, interesting and up to date.
I had never done Facebook Lives, but knew I needed to make some kind of visual connection. I was scared to get behind the little screen on my iPhone and talk. Who would want to listen to me? Was my presence worth it? How would I talk without letting my nerves get in the way? All these questions hit me at once, but I also knew that I desired to become a social media phenomenon and someone everyone could connect to in their own way. I gave my first Facebook Live video in August. After getting past the initial shock, I decided to give two Lives at month, each for 30 minutes on one or two topics that were relevant to my life I thought others could relate to. I did not get as many views, but my putting myself out there through a live video, I made my presence known.
My plan came together rapidly and as my creative spark started to ignite all sorts of great ideas, I wrote every one of them down on paper. Afterwards, I reviewed my ideas, often tweaking my notes, usually adding something. My friend and I discussed all my ideas, sometimes through text. I read an e-book in a matter of weeks before designing my blog site in three days, which I had never done before. I designed new content as it came to me. I also searched for and found professional development courses to watch over subjects I never studied in school and did not have a degree or background in: content marketing, advertising, personal branding, business writing/blogging and tax law for small businesses. These are just a series of the things I felt I needed to do in seven months to adequately equip me to go independent in launching a vision I feel aligned with.
There are good ideas and then there are ideas from the Universe. If we are only pursuing a “good idea,” then most of our time will be spent devoting effort trying to figure out how to pull it off. On the contrary, a divine vision is limited only by the Universe’s potential and resources. Anything is possible! This vision keeps us focused because it is a reminder of our depending on the Universe. Those individuals with a vision live with a certain sense of expectancy. They look to the Universe to show up and perform. They lean into that “gap of uncertainty” believing something great will happen. These types of people are referred to as visionaries. Visionaries see themselves contributing to society. They look for every opportunity to move and shake things up! They are not satisfied with the status quo. I consider myself a visionary.
In order to be convincing, we must be able to state any problems associated with our vision along with solutions as well. The problems are usually apparent, but not always easy to address. Solutions usually come later after trial and error has occurred. A vision must also include compelling reasons why the urgency to complete it is important. In my case, I desire to have more income to not only pay my bills, but to travel with and spend on other things I desire, rather than on what I need to have each month. I desire to re-create a luxury lifestyle that fits who I am and live life by my design.
One thing that I bear in mind is that my vision is not my problem; it is actually a solution to a problem I have had for several years now and that is not having enough income to pay my bills and to enjoy later on. The problem should provide a clear context for setting up the vision.
Another solution is that my business can be run and operated from my laptop, smartphone or tablet, all of which would allow me to work from home. My vision of operating my own business allows me to imagine my future in a unique way that will bring about change right now! By sharing my vision with others as I work towards putting it into motion, I am engaging these individuals’ imaginations as well.
The process by which a vision starts in the mind is truly fascinating! My reason behind what could be with this online business moves me to believe that it should be. Having crossed this line, I am committed to jumping in! I am passionate about taking a leap of faith and some risks to acquire something worth the investment in both the business and myself! I find I am getting more energized by the mere thought of a great opportunity sitting before me! This urgency translates into the incentive to live an abundant life and truly thrive in ways I never expected possible! One other factor that is so important is all the inner work I have done over the last seven months to summon up the courage to start something bold and new I believe in!
Stanley feels the majority of the visions we cast will be centered around other people and their futures. He says our “…words can help to point people in a direction because they work to plant mental seeds…” (110). Our words can make or break someone else’s self-image. In turn, every relationship we establish can be grounds for a potential vision-casting opportunity. “The position we hold in other people’s lives determines the weight of our words and our potential to shape their future” (110).
Any vision worth going after will require great sacrifice and risks taken. An individual must be willing to leave the all-too-familiar and comfortable behind so he/she can embrace the unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Of course, there is the nagging thought that the vision itself we are investing so much time and ourselves into may not work out, but this is sort of the point! We will not know whether or not our vision will work unless we are willing to make the honest effort to try! In addition, both the risk and the payoff later far outweigh the present feelings of fear and uncertainty.
In regards to launching out on my own independently, I am nervous about getting involved in business I have no current background in. I do not know what will happen, but I am excited to find out because by starting my own business, I have so many great opportunities to expand the business once it gets going and grow into a new and improved version of myself! I consider myself a confident individual after not having any confidence until the age of 25, but confidence actually comes after we have done something and we see the results of our efforts. Any vision requires a person to venture out into unknown territory as if they were absolutely sure of an outcome. No vision can become a reality until someone is willing to jump in and wholeheartedly commit with everything they have, both internally and externally. The risk factors will be there, but he who shrinks back will never know what could have truly been for fear of failure or worse, never even having had the courage to try.
I have to admit that I have no idea where the money is coming from concerning my online marketing business; I am just continuing to trust I will have what I need to get it going and keep it running efficiently each month so that I can maintain consistency throughout this process of starting up something new.
Apparently, money usually follows vision and the way we handle our money is an indicator of where our hearts are. The success of my latest online business venture depends upon others’ willingness to rally and help me out where and when I need it, serving as mentors and guides as I learn and grow into an entrepreneur. As an employee team leader at work involving collegiate tutoring, I cannot expect to lead people any further than I am willing to go myself; moreover, I cannot cast a vision out to people if I am not courageous enough to take risks and make any sacrifices myself.
Stanley feels it “…it is hypocritical to ask anyone else to take a risk we are not willing to take ourselves…” (134). By moving forward, the vision becomes a part of us and as we carry out these sacrifices we have made, our ability or potential to lead others in our direction increases. Unfortunately, if we sink back into our limiting beliefs, doubts and any negative feelings that surface, we will always be wondering or guessing what could have happened if only we had the courage to face our fear and go for it!
As a visionary, I know this business will impact my life in so many wonderful ways! Although I am a little bit nervous as to what awaits me once I make the transition, I am excited to become a part of an online business community where I can creatively shine, bless others and work with other bright and like-minded individuals. This business is heart-centered and my first apprenticeship. I joyously embrace such an opportunity granted me by the Universe!
About the Author:
Contributing Writer and Advertising Representative of Dallas Yoga Magazine, Marie Williams, is a dedicated yoga practitioner who specializes in the genres of both narrative nonfiction writing and profiling. She enjoys taking her yoga experiences and infusing them with vivid imagery and detail to invoke a deeper connection within her readers. Marie’s passion is to focus primarily on both her yoga and meditation journey in her articles, while giving her readers fresh and unique perspectives about life.
Contact her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell at 214.215.8120. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram as littlestblackswan37.