Words paint pictures. They create images, inspire art, break hearts, set the course of history, challenge beliefs, confirm knowledge, injure, heal, etc. Words have power, and that power can be good or bad, hot or cold, life giving or life stealing. One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 18.21, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Words have power.
How we interpret and use words impacts our lives. For instance, if you say the word, "Depression" it paints a picture in your mind. For some, it is a dip in the land or piece of wood, a low area or an area of low atmospheric pressure. To others, it conjures the image of sadness, a fallen affect and a challenging ability to see the positive side of life.
Words have meaning, and depending on how we use them, they will affect our lives. One of my favorite words is "Vision." Vision is another one of those words that is interpreted in myriad of ways. For some, it's the ability to see something. "I can see you. I have vision." That sounds simple enough.
For me, vision is a magnet. I still adhere to the idea that vision is the ability to see something, but for me, it may be something that is unseen. When I was growing up, my family was of the mindset that you leave school, find a good job and stay there until you retire. That was what I assumed my life would be while I was in high school. I didn't know anything different. I didn't have vision.
When I entered the workforce, I was satisfied for the first 4-5 years, but I kept seeing things that could be done more effectively. Fortunately, my employer (a major global manufacturer), was willing for me to redesign parts of their equipment. What a huge gamble that was for them, but everything I redesigned did make the process more efficient and saved them a lot of money.
That opportunity lit a fire in me. What it really did was awaken something that had always been inside of me. It gave birth to an entrepreneurial spirit. I began to crave more than the 9-5, work 40 years and retire with the gold watch mindset of my family. I had a magnet pulling me to a new way of thinking that was completely foreign to my upbringing.
Suddenly, I started to see things I wanted to do that were way outside of my comfort zone. Some things were beyond my skill set. That didn't discourage me, it encouraged me to learn more. Vision was pulling me toward a new way of life. I didn't have any idea where that magnet inside of me would take me, but it has constantly drawn me beyond the current state of comfort and satisfaction.
I'm the first member of my family to ever start a business. I've started three. Two have been successfully operating and employing others since 1984. The third was shut down in 2008 when a major company lured me away to work with them. I only lasted 5 years. Why? Vision. The magnet force inside of me continued to pull me toward "more".
What vision has done in my life has been to give me the ability to see needs and ways to meet them. Both of my companies do that, but that isn't always enough for me. I see more needs and I see more ways to meet them. That has inspired me to engage others to be visionaries. Once they've gained the vision to see needs met, I've been able to withdraw and watch them take the process on as they meet the needs of others.
It has been a wonderful word in my life. Vision has a magnetic force that draws you out of your comfort zone into areas you could have never imagined you would be. It helps you develop skills that can be reproduced and shared. It paints pictures of solutions, methods and ways to create better services and greater outcomes. It offers life-giving inspiration that starts like a trickle and turns into an endless fountain.
What is your vision? Is it something you can build with, grow with, share and inspire others with? Is it tangible, inflatable, unlimited? Is it magnetic? What's your vision?