Don’t Put The Cart Before The Horse

People have often said to me that they are unclear about the difference between Visions, Goals, Actions and To Dos. Sometimes clients can get bogged down into a state of inertia and confusion when they attempt to accomplish things in their lives and don’t know where to start. Which comes first- “the chicken or the egg?“ I say, “Don’t put the cart before the horse!”

I used to send people to their dictionaries but now we get out our iPhones and Google to find out the standard definitions of these words. For our purposes in this discussion, I like the following descriptions best.

VISION-
“A vivid mental image, especially a fanciful one of the future.“

GOAL-
“The object of a person’s ambition or effort: an aim or desired result”

ACTION-
“The fact or process of doing something.”

TO DO-
“Perform, execute.”

There is a reason why these four activities are listed in this sequence. My experience has been that the the last item listed, the “TO DO” is the easiest. We make “to do” lists all the time. The usual “to do” list does not indicate the magnitude of importance or urgency of each “to do” listed. My tendency was to “cherry pick” the items on my “to do” list and tackle the easiest low lying fruit, so I could feel I got a lot done quickly.

When trying to make transitions in your life though, I have found it best to start with “VISION” and that is why it is on the top of this list. Yes, it is perhaps the most difficult item on the list, especially if you have not gotten in touch with your purpose in life. But we will save the subject of our life’s purpose for a future blog.

When seeking visions, many have asked me the difference between vision and fantasy and we can go back to our computers again for a comparison of definitions of VISION v.s. FANTASY.

FANTASY-
“The faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable.”

Yes, there is a big difference between VISION & FANTASY! We may not know how we will get a vision, but we need to have faith and trust and hope that we could accomplish that vision. We can look at other visions we had in our life that seemed overwhelming but ultimately materialized.

For example, I think I had my first vision when I was about nine years old. I was a voracious reader, and had already left children’s literature behind. One of the grown up novels I discovered was Ayn Rand’s book, “The Fountainhead”. She wrote that New York City was the center of the universe and I believed her. I then declared to anyone in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, that would listen, that New York City would be the place I would live someday! Though I did not consciously know it, living in NYC became a goal, my destiny. When I was graduating from college, I took the actions that would lead me to a job in the “Big Apple”. There were a huge amount of “to dos” required to actually move here and manage to survive. But I have been living that nine year old’s vision in New York City every since the year I graduated from college. Look and see what visions you brought forth in your life that prove you can create and proclaim more.

Start looking at your visions and go for the ones that seem just beyond your grasp. Then come up with goals related to the visions. Break those goals into action steps. Your “to do” lists will evolve from the action steps and your priorities will be revealed.

Of course after all of this, you may decide that the vision you thought you wanted requires too much. That is a good thing to have found out before spinning your wheels. At least by going through this process, you will now know that was only an idea, not a vision and you have chosen not to go in that direction. Now you are free to let go of that idea and be available for a vision you deem worth the effort.

It wouldn’t hurt to pray a little for your visions to be revealed. Show the universe, or whatever higher power you have, that you believe in the possibility of having your visions come to fruition and that you will do whatever it takes to accomplish your vision.

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INTEGRATED LIFE DESIGN Marilynn Frances Lundy One Lincoln Plaza, Suite 30s New York, New York 10023 Tele/Fax 212-362-7057 MarilynnLundy@IntegratedLifeDesign.com

  • Comments
40
  1. mitchel  Reply

    Thanks Marilynn,
    This was helpful. I love a different perspective on tools.
    So much so that I'm going to print a copy for a sponsee of mine. I hope you don't mind.

    • MarilynnLundy  Reply

      That's terrific that you are sharing my perspective to others. It helps me fulfill my visions of putting what I have learned out into the universe!

  2. Yvonne  Reply

    Found your vision interesting.

    • MarilynnLundy  Reply

      Thanks for responding to my approach to Visions, Yvonne.

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