I have recently heard a lot of people talk about visioning – basically, what you visualize is what you’ll get.  Now, I believe in visualization – I even mentioned it in my last blog post – it’s a very effective means to work out what to do when you can’t afford because of time, money or location to actually do something.  However, there is something that you need to do along with visioning.

When I was in my late teens, I read a news story about a man who, when he was a teenager, wrote down a list of about 110 items that he wanted to do before he died – a bucket list before we were calling it a bucket list.  The number of items wasn’t what was impressive about the list – it’s what he had on the list:

  • Cross the Sahara Desert lengthwise
  • Sail each of the Seven Seas
  • Climb the highest mountain on each continent
  • And there were 107 other items just like these!

At the time of the news story, he had accomplished all but seven, as I remember.
Now he obviously believed in visioning – but the article also explained how he had accomplished so much.  Every time he completed one of the items on his list, he would select another, then he would write down everything that had to be done in order to accomplish it.  With that list as a starting point, he would start gathering information and materials to complete all the steps needed to complete the accomplishment.  He had a solid method for achieving his goals.
And that is the difference I notice in many people that are espousing visioning – they vision fine, but they don’t go the next step which is planning and then executing their plan.  Somehow, they have fallen into the trap of believing that if they just vision hard enough, then what they want will fall into their grasp.  They even go so far as saying that if bad things happen it’s because you were visioning them – like if you’re eaten by a shark you were thinking of the shark.
Sorry, doesn’t happen that way for most people.
I recently had an occasion to attend a banquet honoring blood donation volunteers which was held at a local casino/resort.  I parked on the wrong side of the resort and had to walk through the entire complex to reach the banquet.  On the way back to my car, I took the time to stroll through the gambling area just to see what was there.  The gaming machines were probably three quarters occupied – but no one was looking like the pictures in the advertisements for the casino – no smiles or wild excitement.  I bet every person could vision themselves making that big strike – and I’ll grant you they took a step toward that goal.  But was it a solid plan to achieve the goal?  NO, they expected to be the one who would be lucky.  Incidentally, I once spoke with the Chief Information Officer for that same casino and he said, “People give us money!”
So, if you are visioning your success, then what are you doing to make it actually happen?

A physicist by trade, author by choice, a born teacher, a retired veteran, and an adamant problem solver, Frank has helped the White House, federal agencies, military offices, historical museums, manufacturers, and over 250 technology startups get stuff done, communicate effectively, and find practical solutions that work for them. In his spare time, he makes sawdust and watches Godzilla movies.