Vision and Action
Inspired by writings of Mark Nakell, MSW

The combination of vision and action is a key element in our lives.  Everything you can name, and everything you can't, originated from an imagination ~ a Vision ~ and became manifest in 3D through Action...everything!

Vision is not merely "looking."

Vision is the ability to see into...

Every animal, bird, fish, and insect can see. We have the capability of seeing freshly into ourselves and others;  we have the capacity to see into the nature of all aspects of our world;  we can see into the meanings of experience;  and sometimes we can see into the future.  This is one of the human being's greatest gifts.

On a world level, vision has been crucial to every step of the long development of civilization. 

Scientific and technological revolutions, new religions and political systems, cities and civilizations have all been the result of vision.  Columbus, and Einstein and Buddha were all exemplary visionaries.  But vision also operates importantly in our everyday world.  Everything about how we live is guided by vision, by imagination, from planning a meal to building a house to starting a business to deciding who to marry.

All Life follows vision, and vision is empowering.

Yet vision is stillborn without being tied to action.  Vision is not wishing.  Wishing is based in dreaming and hoping.  Vision is seeing into possibility.  But the possibility which is envisioned remains only a possibility until it is put into action.  Sometimes the only action required is simply speaking about our vision.  Most of the time though, the action of embodying vision in physical form is necessary.

Having vision is itself not something we do.  Vision comes to us: a universal presence speaking to us in forms relevant to who we are and what we are attentive to.  We are the "keepers" of vision, the carriers of it.  It lives through us.  This makes us all visionaries.  The visionary nature of our existence connects us with a presence beyond ourselves, grounding our lives in deeper connectedness with each other.  This is as true when we are alone building a birdhouse as when we are working with thousands of others building a city.  We exist as part of a universal web, and each instance of vision interacts with all the other parts of the web, whether or not we are aware of this. To live most productively with vision requires that we nurture our capacity for vision, and that we actively engage in taking action to move our visions out into the world.  The smallest incident of our vision belongs to everyone; by acting on our vision, we join the whole.

Turning Vision into Action: The Three steps

Innovative visions would be popping into reality on every block in town if it weren’t for one problem—fear of the unknown.  It’s definitely safer, and certainly more comfortable to deal with what you already know than to step out onto the wings of a vision.

How can you cut through the fear and take action on your vision?  By making your vision from an unknown into something you know intimately. There are three concrete steps to doing so.

The first step is realization

You need to realize that a vision is a gift, and it has a power unto itself.

 Whether your vision is for a new color scheme in your living room, a new job or, business venture, a relationship, it is a gift to you, a flash of awareness from "something greater than yourself."  It doesn’t matter if your vision is new to the world or only new to you—it’s still a gift.

How do you seek a vision?  Only rarely does vision come in a 'blinding flash.'  Sometimes, we need to create an 'imaginal space':  a time of quiet, undistracted time, sealed off from the rest of the world to simply day-dream.  Isn't that what Jesus did in the desert?  or Black Elk on Bear Butte?  Don't we find a lot of 15 year old kids "day-dreaming" in school?"  While they are so often criticized and scolded for this, I suggest that they are 'dreaming' about what they could become in the future: a boyfriend;  a thief;  a teacher or doctor...anything!

Like any gift though, it comes with responsiblity:  you get to enjoy it, an you also have to take care of it;  maintain it!  This means that it’s up to you to take charge of moving your vision into the world of action.  That’s why you have been given the vision, as a guide to action. You weren’t given the vision to torment you but to enhance your life!

The second step is conversation

You need to be talking to others about your vision.

No one accomplishes anything in this world without the participation of other people, and talking to other people is the start of developing this participation.  Keeping your vision a secret keeps it from growing into reality.  Talking to people doesn’t commit you to taking further actions, but it will result in interest, encouragement and support to go on to the next step.

Perhaps your vision is something you have been holding onto for years, even a childhood dream you never acted on.  Talking to other people about it will help bring it up to date.  Will there be challenging questions?  Sure.  These are also gifts!  Figuring out how to answer them will help you define your vision more clearly and concretely.  On the other hand, you probably know some people who shoot down any new ideas that come along;  I don't think it's a good idea to be talking to those people.  Do you?!

The third step is action

This is where you're called upon to "walk your talk."  

One source of hesitation at this point is that carrying out your vision can seem scary;  too much for you to undertake all at one time.  It actually might be.  Could be that dancing awake the entire vision at once would be unrealisitc.  The way to deal with this is to break down your vision into smaller pieces, and choose a small piece to start with.

Think of this as a demonstration project, something you are doing both to prove that you can take action on your vision and as a way to build your clarity and confidence for the larger pieces to come.  The step you choose to start with should be large enough to produce a noticeable result, but not so large that you find yourself calling for oxygen.

As Lao-tzu wrote in the 2,500 years ago, “The longest journey begins with a single step.”  The small step you take today can be the beginning of a future fulfilling your dreams, and even going beyond them.

In the Lansing Michigan area, please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or to set up an appointment at this address: 

 Peter Roseman Psy.S.
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