Why Vision is SO Important
When I was a child, I became fascinated by Helen Keller’s journey after reading her biography. So much so that I taught myself the alphabet in sign language and read everything I could about her life. (This was all pre-Google, y’all…so it took some serious effort! 😉)
What drew me in was not only Helen’s courage and fortitude but that of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Sullivan taught Helen, a “wild” child when they began working together, how to communicate using a variety of tools, in addition to her other senses to see the world.
Through her development and mastery of unique communication methods, Keller viewed herself differently. She embraced the notion that her life could thrive beyond her physical limitations. She went on to become the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. She published about a dozen books and countless articles. She was also a lecturer and advocate for the blind. None of which would’ve been possible without engaging with her vision.
That thought convicts me.
I think for the sighted, we tend take vision for granted. We kind of become lazy. (Maybe it’s just my experience…?) We’re prone to over rely on our eyes to lead us, not often giving margin for other tools, like intuition, to weigh in. Vision is defined as the special sense by which an object’s characteristics may be processed. But vision is also the engagement of the internal, one’s imagination for today and the future, beyond our eye gates.
At times, I fall into a pit of my own making. Focusing on what I cannot do because of this boundary or that shortcoming. Comparing my progress or lack thereof with someone else’s. Relying on my eyes too much…you know that ‘seeing is believing’ fallacy. From this, I allow my vision to become narrow and frankly, small. During these times, it’s stories like Keller’s that remind me to stop playing the victim and get out of the pit!
Y'all know what I mean?
The state of my vision determines the direction and distance of my journey. It’s a very subtle pull…like when the tires on my car are slightly out of alignment.
One minute, you are on top of things, checking off the items on your big picture list. Then a couple of little things (it’s always the little things…) come up and take you off course, just a smidge. Error tends to increase with distance. Before you know it, you’re sidelined in some ditch and struggling to figure out how you got there and how to break free.
Me too…more times than I’d like to recall.
The great thing is that we don’t have to stay in that place. When I find myself getting a bit fuzzy in an area, I do, what I call, a soft reset. And when I find myself stuck in a ditch or pit, I do a hard one.
SOFT vs. HARD
Soft resets consist of some quiet time alone with my eyes closed and breathing deeply. It’s usually less than a half an hour…sometimes only a few minutes. I do these on a daily basis. It is dedicated time to realignment of my thoughts with my beliefs. The deep breathing increase the oxygen distribution in my brain. This relieves stress. Sometimes these resets include inspiring music. Always, I have my journal on hand. I tend to come out of a reset with creative ideas and strategies (vision) that I like to record. I write the vision for future reference.
I allot more time to a hard reset. These are usually necessary when I feel that I’ve been derailed for several days or weeks. I schedule a solid block of time. I engage my body by taking a long walk, and listen to the world around me. I explore what has been going on and how I’ve been feeling in my journal. Many times, these pieces of the picture aren’t clear until I do these practices. I identify the point of misdirection and devise a plan of action to get back on track. Oftentimes, I share this episode with a trusted confidante, too. This helps to solidify my redirection and holds me to it.
The differences between my soft and hard resets may seem negligible. But, when you are in the moment, wallowing in a pit, you’ll know if the soft reset is sufficient or if you need to schedule a hard one, stat!
The key: Don’t remain sidelined, waiting for someone to deliver you with their vision for you. The power to reset your vision, to see yourself and your life as a limitless reservoir of value and purpose with a unique future, is yours alone. And it will drive you toward the fulfillment, joy, and accomplishments each of us craves.
Please, don’t go through this life, blindly. Don’t simply accept things as they are, if they don’t line up with how you envision your life. Determine to keep your vision sharp and be disciplined in moving in the direction of your dreams. Tough times will come but it is your vision for your life and future that will keep things in alignment.
Until next time…