One of our favorite Challenger quotes comes from Helen Keller, the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree:

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.”

It is so easy in today’s fast-paced, “always on” world to go through your day merely reacting to whatever is going on in your work and life.   If you are like us, after emails, phone calls, meetings, and the seemingly endless demands of life, you can arrive at the end of your day and feel you accomplished little.

When you are in the Victim Orientation, you move from reacting to problem after problem— especially the ones that trigger the most anxiety—without being sure why you are doing what you are doing.

Last week we were working with a group of professionals whose purpose is to support their internal clients to improve team effectiveness, as well as coach individuals dealing with a variety of leadership issues. This was the second time we met with the group and we began the day with a “check in” about how they had been using TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™ since our last session.

They reported on whether or not they had had the opportunity to apply TED* with their clients. To a person, they also shared how they had applied it personally and with their families.

In a vulnerable moment, one person shared that the TED* work had helped them see they lacked vision for their work. They had noticed they tend to move through their day just reacting to the next client problem and could not state the purpose for their work.

Vision does not have to be a “grand guiding light” for your life (although we encourage clients to reflect on what holds meaning and purpose for their lives and work). However, if you cannot see the vision or the reason for your work, you will be resigned to react to what shows up in the current realities you face, whether with clients, family or in life.

Dynamic Tension is the framework in the TED* toolkit that can lift your sights.

When problems or situations arise, before reacting, pause and ask: “What is the outcome that I (or we or you) want here?” Another powerful question you can ask is, “If the problem or situation were solved, what would it allow me (or us or you) to have, do or be?”

By asking these questions, you will move the focus of your “sight” to a vision of possible outcomes, rather than focusing on just the problems of the day.  You can then work the Dynamic Tension of defining as clearly as possible the outcome; telling the truth about the current reality and identifying and committing to Baby Steps that will get you closer to, and clearer about your vision.

By thinking about your vision, and not just being resigned to reacting to the problem of the day, you can take action toward what you really want to create in life—-and support others in doing so themselves.

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