Welcome to a new month, a new year, and a new decade!
At the beginning of such a momentous period, you might expect us to encourage you to set specific goals for the time ahead.
Instead, we want to invite you to consider “your vision” in a more general way by asking: Do you have 20/20 vision?
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) “Having 20/20 vision does not necessarily mean you have perfect vision. 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance.” In other words, your vision becomes like a compass and direction for your life.
The 1st of the 3 Vital Questions® framework asks: “Where are you putting your focus? Are you focusing on problems or are you focusing on outcomes?” Where you put your focus – what you are envisioning – has a huge impact on what you experience.
The Problem Orientation is focused on what you don’t want or don’t like, which engages anxiety that then drives reactive behavior. The Outcome Orientation, on the other hand, is focused on what you want to create and is driven by a level of passion, which then propels taking Baby Steps – including the solving of problems – in service to bringing the outcome to fruition over time.
Our experience is that, when you focus on problems, you tend to see and, at times, generate more problems. When you focus on what you care about, you vastly increase the probability of manifesting positive results.
There is a wonderful story we recently read that illustrates this principle:
A man was sitting by the side of the road when a stranger who is moving to the man’s town approached him and asked what the people there were like. The townsman asked the stranger what the people were like in his last town. “Cold and not kind,” was his reply. “The people in this town will be the same,” was the response.
A few minutes later another stranger approached and asked the same question of the townsman. Again, he asked what the people in his previous town were like. “Wonderful, loving and kind,” said the stranger. “I suspect that is what you will find here,” was the reply.
“What you see is what you get,” the old saying goes! So, clarifying your vision and focus is a crucial practice and discipline as a Creator.
20/20 vision entails focusing on Outcomes – which, as the AOA points out – are very often in the distance. We are not inviting you to focus on the proverbial “New Year’s resolutions,” because they are almost always goals, not outcomes. And most goals are actually problem-focused in nature.
Donna tells a story about the difference between goals and outcomes. At one point, years ago, she told herself “It is time to lose those 20 pounds – again!” While shedding 20 pounds is a laudable goal (and one that makes up many a resolution this time of year), it is really seeing weight as a problem and wanting to get rid of it. As she considered what it is that she really wanted to gain, rather than lose, she finally declared an Outcome: “I choose to focus on optimal health as I age.” Such an Outcome may involve shedding pounds, but it is focused on living into a “distant” lifelong vision.
You get closer to your 20/20 vision by taking Baby Steps. And every time you take a Baby Step, you get closer to – and clearer about – your Outcome.
Again, what you focus on is what you get. What is the focus of your 2020 vision?