As the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said: "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." Truly, life is a creation -- a gift we can build and shape and alter as we please. But as we busily create, do we have a clear vision of the masterpiece we're molding? Can we see the finished product in our mind's eye? Or are we halfheartedly adding pieces to the puzzle day by day, hoping some might be the right fit?
The majority of us take life as it comes. More focused on approaching events and current situations, we often don't think in the long term. And that's understandable, because the present affects us now. But broadening our vision leads to totality of being. Think of cooking a meal. Before you even begin, you have an understanding of your final result. You know what you're making, what ingredients to add, in what order, and the cooking time. If you were to cook without knowing these steps, you would end up with anything but a good meal. Similarly, if you try to create the life you want without knowing what steps to take, you'll live constantly short of your dreams.
The word vision comes from the Latin visionem, meaning wisdom. Having a vision is having the wisdom to see past certain events in expectation of a greater outcome. Growing up in Communist Romania, I dreamed of coming to America with a tenacity and fervor which might scare most people. My personal ambition had been conceived from a very young age. And I remained loyal to my aim through the years, allowing it to guide me through the necessary steps to help it come true. I sewed my vision to the very fibers of my being, so that it became inseparable from who I was. On my own journey, I realized that all visions become reality as a result of three factors: creativity, perseverance, and actions.
Our personal vision begins to manifest once we learn how to use our three eyes: the two eyes with which we see the physical world, and our mind's eye which allows us to project far beyond now. Our mind's eye is an omnipotent and omniscient tool. Our two eyes may see the new house we're thinking of buying, for example, but our mind's eye sees a home for many years, a growing family, and the chance for a great investment. We must fashion our visions from the threadwork of our own needs, abilities, and expanding opportunities -- from the reality we see blended with the reality we wish to see.
Creating a broader vision is the first step to manifesting your ideal life. Put into action these steps to help pave the road for tomorrow and further beyond:
Create a bigger version of yourself. We have the tendency to place ourselves within boundaries that define who we can and cannot be. This mindset causes us to settle for the lowest level of our potential. Form a clear, detailed picture of what the bigger version of your life looks like, one in which you've already attained your greatest goals and fulfilled your deepest desires. Painting a mental image helps you understand what it is you really want.
Write down your objectives. We all have ambitions, and some are more significant than others. Make a list of your ten most important aspirations, and circle at least one you plan to achieve within the next year.
Plan a strategy and timeline. A strategy specifies the actions you will take in order to advance towards a goal. If your vision is to own your own home, your strategy should include how to earn or save the money to buy one. Be realistic about timing and consider all factors that could work for or against you. Keeping a timeline also keeps you on track with your intentions.
Check your emotions. Our vision fogs up when emotions are involved. We simply can't visualize the outcome of something to which we've become attached. When you hit a wall of traffic, you become stuck and can't see up the road to detect what's causing the jam. Your vision is blocked. This is what happens when your own emotions create a wall before your mind's eye, keeping you from anticipating what's to come in any given situation. By learning to control your emotions you can detach long enough to see the truth of what awaits.
Take the first step. Putting your intentions to use initiates action. Your first step may be a leap of faith, but it is with this first step that you prove to yourself your own abilities.
Envision your outcome along the way. Keep your eye on the prize. Don't allow yourself to become distracted or deterred from your goals. Continue to practice the same vision you've always dreamed to be your reality, the one you know you deserve.
See the bigger reason behind setbacks. As we said, wisdom means having an higher understanding of why certain things are happening. Always remind yourself that there is a greater purpose to all events.
Ask for help. The universe wants you to succeed and will guide you if you just ask. Help may not come immediately but when it does, you will receive more than you imagined.
Pay attention to the people you meet along the way. Everyone who comes into your life serves a role and a purpose. Encountering negativity should only reassure you of your own strengths.
Never, ever give up Simply having a vision does not fulfill it; you must work to materialize your dream. You will experience bumps along the road and people who will try to keep you from succeeding, but mustn't allow yourself to be intimidated. Remember that you are on a mission to achieve something incredible, and it'll take a lot to stop you.
Celebrate your achievements. Your journey must include time of reflection. Compare where you were five years ago with where you are now and congratulate yourself for your achievements both big and small. Don't forget to reward yourself for your hard work, careful planning, and strong character.
Never repeat old mistakes. Learning entails personal evolution -- evolving to take new actions and to stay away from past actions. Learn from your mistakes and don't put yourself through situations which you know will attract a similar outcome.
Like laying out an open map of your life, expanding your vision means seeing the full spectrum beyond the present in anticipation of greater prospects. Take into account my 12 steps to envision the limitless possibilities before you and step into your future.
To your future,
Dr. Carmen Harra
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