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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dare to Dream the Future

To make it through the stormy seas of our world or to succeed in new areas, an idea of the future a powerful aid to have. Individuals who were exceedingly successful in one area of our world often had a concrete vision about the future. Bill Gates saw a computer on every desk in every home, Steve Jobs saw the unification of various media experiences into one, Sam Walton saw a future of discount retailing, Mozart saw himself composing great works, Mahatma Gandhi saw a peaceful and free India, Martin Luther King had a dream about children sitting at one table without racial stereotypes and prejudices, Abraham Lincoln believed in a just and peaceful union, Steven Spielberg saw himself as a great director, Albert Einstein dreamed of a unified theory in physics, ... The list could go on and on, to an extent that it is surprising that creating and holding on to a vision is not taught in school. If this seems too young an age, consider that all those individuals mentioned above, especially the ones from the arts and sciences, set out on their journeys in their teens, or even years before. Albert Einstein set out on figuring out how the compass he received as a gift worked when he was not yet ten years old. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began composing when he was not even five years old. In both these latter cases the environment at home was extremely supportive, but, if support plays any significant role, we can look for our own supportive environment even as adults and initiate momentous change.

Visions are incredibly powerful because they motivate and push us towards them, as if we were creating a magnet in our mind which begins attracting us to it in the real world, even if the vision is not completely realized (Albert Einstein and Steven Jobs). A vision should be close enough to reality to be believable, yet far enough away not to be reached any time soon, if ever. Visions are different from goals because they feel like a realistic picture of the future, which is what makes exert their forceful attraction on us. The fact that we piece them together from our experiences of the world around us makes them so real to us. If we feel positive about our vision, emotions and thoughts in us make us want to set out to reach it.

Visions transport us into a future reality, so we can feel and experience the future. Just think back to this one film where you lost all sense of the movie theater, the people around you, and time itself. Communication scholars call this effect, whereby you are being fully immersed in a story, aptly 'transport'. Watching the film you were transported into the film and lived emotionally with the characters in their world. A vision which comes from inside you already fits you and your world, and should be able to motivate you with considerable force. This is why great visions always come from inside yourself, and rarely from other people. Albert Einstein's parents were not physicists, Steven Spielberg's not filmmakers, Steven Job's not consumer electronics designers, Sam Walton's not large scale discounters and Bill Gates' not computer programmers. (Mozart's father was a violinist.)

A vision that is emotionally strong enough to pull you into the future can be put together from the things in your world which you feel strongly about. It is future oriented, but anchored in the past and the present. Why do not more people develop compelling visions? It may be a lack of self-confidence and a fear to trust one's visions or negative experiences in the past that interfere with the construction of the vision. But a vision can build self-confidence and resilience. Look at the things you like and the path they point at, your vision will often form by itself. See if it can make you happy and that it coincides with your values, and promotes life in general. You may see obstacles on the path towards your vision. A good idea is to feel and think through them, maybe even with outside professional help, but your vision should give you the energy and motivation to do so. I have discussed how to build greater self-confidence in other articles and you may want to take a look at them. But once you can enjoy and cherish your vision your path becomes wider and much easier to walk on.

Interesting books on communication by this and other authors: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21 or search for "Christian Jonathan Haverkampf" on your local Amazon website or at your local book dealer. Suggestions for further explorations in communication: http://www.chrishaverkampf.com & http://www.ivy-experts.com
© 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation and/or the risks warrant it. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners. If this article is marked as a work of fiction all references to persons, living or deceased, or organizations, including former ones, are coincidental. I know that this is reiterating the obvious, but thanks for bearing with me.