Greetings beautiful people. I hope that you are all enjoying the spring that has sprung upon us. I am feeling the air change and as I write this, the smell of jasmine pervades my senses, a sure sign that summer is on its way.

Last month we spoke about energy and this month I would like to talk a bit about Vision and how it energized my life.

I recall creating my first Vision. It was at a time when I was going through a very difficult stage of my life.  The old way of life as I knew it was on its way out, and what I had lying ahead was, well anything I wanted. I just did not know what I wanted. I was too busy holding onto what I had, which was slipping through my fingers, and I had never bothered to ask myself, “what do I really want out of life, and therefore what do I need to put into life?”.

I made the time to look at this (with a sense of urgency I must admit). This was the moment that I would start writing my own story with the pen in my hand and not others. I first jotted out a few notes. For me it was about a moment in time in the future. I saw myself teaching in a corporate class room – I always had this “calling” to teach and in so doing improve others quality of life.

I began to write around that future point in time, feeling as if I had it all in that moment right there and then as I was writing. I then wrote around my relationships, with my children and my wife at the time. I focused on the quality of the relationships I wanted. I wrote about my life I wanted, feeling the peace, the love and the passion for both my work and my day to day life as if I had it all there and then. I also delved into the materialistic things. It is ok to enjoy the good things in life, but the question I made sure I had clarity on as I wrote down the car and the home I had in my vision, was “Why do I want those things?” Firstly, if it was to prop up my Ego, at the cost of my peace and tranquility then I went deeper, why did I want that car or that house, allowing me to focus on the source of my desires, so I could address those as the symptom.

When writing out my vision I covered a lot of detail, and ignored the nagging thoughts that kept saying “Forget this Colin, it’s unrealistic” or “This will never happen”, it was as if every limiting core belief was forming a choir to make sure I don’t have what I dreamed of. I let them go and continued to write. One of the biggest factors I noticed holding me back was “Reason”. My logical brain kicked in with the internal chatter of “Col you have no idea how to get there so don’t bother with your vision, get the how’s first then write the vision”.  My one teacher had told me, forget your how’s for now, because once you have your vision in place and you understand why you aspire to that vision, those why’s will get you through the how’s. I continued to write.

I spent that afternoon stepping into my future and molding it into the present through the feeling that it was there with me, in that moment, in that room. It was wonderful. I also created a vision board, where everything that I had written down, was given an image with pictures from magazines.

I kept this private and would look at my vision board daily to energise my Will. Feel it, breathe it, and let go.

During this process, I became aware of a life purpose that grew within and it has since been the source of energy that has pulled me through the difficult choices I have had to make to move closer to my vision.

After I performed this exercise, I experienced the losses I had to go through to allow space for the “new” to arrive. These were very difficult days, but daily, the “Why”, my “Life Purpose”, was always there. I think that is why most people do not do their personal visions. It is because it takes time and in a world of instant gratification, the vision will be put on the back burner. After all, the Ego does love it if it can get it now. A vision does not materialize overnight, it takes time. The ego will attempt to convince you “let’s do it later”, and later will always stay later until you just do it.

The days turned into months, and months into years, and bit by bit my life began to manifest aspects of the vision board. Some were quicker to manifest, others took time and some aspects are still a work in progress. For example, that picture of that guy teaching to a room full of people? I have that now and I love it. That picture of a happy family I put up. Well, I got divorced, and I moved down to Swellendam away from my family because I found more peace in a smaller town closer to nature and my work allowed me to commute. During that time, Wilma (my daughter’s mom), suggested I stay with her in JHB when I went up to teach there so I could see our daughters more often. Over time she and I healed our differences because as we both agreed – we would do everything for our children. We ended up becoming very good friends which our daughters loved. Wilma remarried and her husband (who has also become a great friend and co Dad) moved to Swellendam. I could never have planned these how’s in advance, they simply came together through my vision and the day to day gestures (action) required to address the gaps between where I was and where I wanted to be in the context of my vision. These have all contributed to a meaningful life that I am grateful to experience.

I know for me there is some connectedness in our world I cannot fully explain and a vision assists in pulling it together. Peter Senge says that a personal vision is like an elastic band that wraps the future you around the present you, a truth for me.

Practically I know that it has helped me in the present moment, identifying opportunities (sometimes disguised as challenges) I had to address, which helped me get closer to the bigger picture I envisioned. When it came to the very difficult choices in life, it energised my Will to push through. Covey stated in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “to begin with the end in mind”, and “that without a port set for any ship, no wind is favourable”. Visions are important because they provide focus, and energy goes where attention flows.

So, until we chat again dear readers, may your vision you create, light up the path and be your guide.

With Love