Monday, August 29, 2011

How mental binoculars bring success

binoculars by yaratmak
binoculars, a photo by yaratmak on Flickr.
Are you running your life based upon what's right in front of your face?  Are you focused on what you are experiencing right now?  You can only make a difference in your work and in your life through the actions you take right in this moment.  But how do you determine what is the right action to take?

Today's actions require a context in order to determine what is the right thing to do.  And you determine the context by putting on a set of mental binoculars.  What is your vision?  Where are you headed?  Is it in focus?

Binoculars have to be set correctly for your eyes in order for you to see clearly, but once you adjust them you can see detail that would be impossible to notice otherwise.  Same goes for envisioning your future.  It might seem blurry at first, but as you start to develop your sense of direction and fill in some important motivational details, your vision will pull you toward itself.

If you stop looking through your binoculars you will lose sight of the details in your vision.  It's the same with your mental binoculars.  You can keep the vision top of mind when you document it and revisit it regularly.  It's only when the vision is in the foreground that today's activities can be influenced by it.  Start by asking yourself these questions:
  • What would be my ideal day?
  • How will my home look, and where will it be located?
  • What work will I be doing?
  • What will I value about myself?
  • Who will be with me?
  • What will be my prized posessions?
These are just starters - feel free to add and answer your own questions.  This is your vision.  If you have a life partner, it might be a beneficial exercise to do parts of this together.  Alignment between the two of you can contribute to a mutually satisfying relationship.  But even if you are in a committed relationship, the responsibility for your life rests on your shoulders - not on your partner's.  It has to rest on you, because a) you are the only one who knows what you want, and b) yours is the only behavior you can control.

Once you reinforce your vision enough times that it becomes a habit of thought, your daily actions will become more congruent with it without having to apply as much consciousness.  But if your view of your desirable future is quite different from your current circumstances, you will probably have to reinforce it early and often.  Your current habits of thought have helped to create your current circumstances, and so you will have to apply some mental energy to dilute the old thinking with new attitudes more congruent with your desired destination.

Goals can help to keep you on track with the steps that will take you closer to your vision, but once you have it as a frame of reference in your conscious mind, you will start to notice opportunities that might not be documented in a plan.  You can take advantage of serindipity, coincidence, inspiration, etc. - those on-the-spot situations that take you closer to the life you want.  Vision doesn't kill spontaneity - it helps you sort the opportunities within a frame of reference.

What do you see through your binoculars?

1 comment:

Coach Jim said...

Over the top! Super blog this morning, Coach Julie.

I am forwarding it to some who will REALLY benefit and I am tweeting it around the globe for all to benefit.

-Jian Duan!