Inspiration with Cynthia Chirinda
About 350 years ago, a shipload of travellers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year, they established a town site. The next year, they elected a town government. The third year, the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness. In the fourth year, the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?
These were people who had the vision to see 3 000 miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years, they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision. With a clear vision of what we can become, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries.
Vision beyond eyesight
I was quite intrigued when I recently had an opportunity to learn from Erik Weihenmayer, an adventurer, author, film-maker, and speaker. Despite going blind at age 14, he had the privilege of living an adventurous life. On May 25, 2001, he became the only blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. At age 39, he reached the top of Carstensz Pyramid, completing his quest to climb all seven summits, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. Time Magazine said: “There’s no way to put what Erik has done into perspective because no one’s ever done anything like it.” It’s a unique achievement.
Helen Keller is known to have said: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” This is an interesting quote from a blind person about the difference between having sight, and having vision. Keller was not even two years old when she went blind and deaf from an unknown illness, possibly scarlet fever. With two of her five senses taken from her, the course of her life was irrevocably altered. At this time in history, life looked pretty bleak for a person in her condition. With the help of her beloved teacher and friend, Anne Sullivan, Keller learned to read, speak, and write. Highly intelligent and determined, Keller went on to become the first blind and deaf person in history to graduate in college, and she didn’t stop there. She became a highly regarded writer and social activist, influencing the social and political mindset of her day. As an author, she used words, once so far out of her reach, to communicate her spiritual and moral ideals to people everywhere
Sight is a function of the eyes, and allows us to see. This is something a blind person doesn’t have, but the rest of us have. Vision, on the other hand, is in the mind or the mind’s eye. It is a proactive portion of our imagination, and helps us plan and think about our ideas. The quote states that while she is not happy with being unable to see, she feels it is better than being able to see, but not being able to imagine, to plan, to think beyond our meagre existence.
The importance of vision
In the corporate world, a statement of the vision of a corporation is something which is expected along with its mission. The mission statement says what the present state and purpose is, along with what it does, who it does it for, and how it does what it does. It is focused on the present. A vision statement says what the ultimate goal is, what they wish to do or accomplish in the future. It provides guidance and direction over time towards that end. In this manner, it is the inspiration for what will be done. It is focused on the future.
While most people don’t do these things for their personal life, both statements are useful to get a larger group of people synced up and working towards a common goal. Mission is about the present and how to do things now, while vision is about the future and the inspiration to achieve it.
That said, people without a vision for the future are in an endless present, without hope, without expectation, without guidance. But with vision, even if it isn’t achieved, there is hope, expectation, and drive to achieve what you can see in your mind’s eye.
What is your future beyond survival?
What do you see for yourself in the future? If you don’t really have any future beyond surviving this day, there would seem to be a lack of vision in your life. You may have a mission, but that’s about it, right? For those with some dreams, aspirations or plans for the future, you have already applied it to your life, even if by chance.
Take a moment and think and write about what you want to achieve or accomplish in the three most important things you wrote down. What is your vision for each area in the next month? In the next year? In the next five years? How does that series of visions evolve over time? How much do you think you can actually accomplish?
Bernard Haynes said that: “Relying totally on what you see with your physical eyes can blind you from seeing your future possibilities”. Have you been operating your life by sight or vision? Vision is the source and hope of life. One of the greatest gifts God gave to mankind is the gift of vision.
Sight without vision is dangerous because it blinds your hope for a better future. Operating by sight can cause you to see the problems and challenges around you instead of the solutions that reside within you. Your vision should be much bigger than what you can actually see. After all, what you envision is what you get. Look beyond your eyes to see the possibilities.
Cynthia Chirinda is an organisational and personal development consultant, life coach, author and strategist. Her two new additions to the Connection Factor Collection — The Connection Factor for Leaders and The Connection Factor for Women — speak to matters that position organisational leaders and women respectively, to achieve greater levels of success through their strategic connections. Looking at improving your career, personal effectiveness, communication skills, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Wholeness Incorporated Coaching offers you strategies you can implement today to review your progress and achieve your goals. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. LinkedIn: Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi. Mobile: +263 717 013 206. Website: www.cynthiac.net.in