Vision Brings Hope

By Rick Forbus, Ph.D.

Life is uncertain, unpredictable, and lately, just plain bizarre. Is it possible to find certainty in an uncertain world? Let me answer the question later in this article. Certainty can mean “a conclusion or outcome that is beyond doubt.” My experience has been that when we formulate visions in our minds we most times birth images and ideas of hope.

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.
Gail Devers

Is it contradictory to think that certainty can be found in the middle of uncertain times and social environments? Well, it depends on where you are looking for the indicators of certainty. Finding certainty in the midst of turbulent times is possible when one looks for it within, rather than, without.

My opinion is that this process begins calibrating your vision for the future. What is your compelling vision for your future? How would you like to see your future unfold?

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
Jonathan Swift

What is a vision and why can it help bring some rest in the middle of unstable times? Vision actually means an image or concept in the imagination. In the science called parapsychology a vision is an image or series of images seen in a dream or trance, often interpreted as having religious, revelatory, or prophetic significance. When we take the purely positive viewpoint a vision is a beautiful or pleasing sight that we have constructed in our mind. Vision can further mean an idea, a mental picture or a vivid disclosure. The mind can achieve marvelous things one of which is imagining a preferred future that consists of your most noble passions, dreams, aspirations and images.

Try this. Imagine the happiest place, a time in personal history and the most peaceful scenario you can. It may be helpful to silence your mind, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Visualize a place, time and scene that make you feel peaceful, joyful and fulfilled. Write this visualization on a piece of paper nearby. This short description will serve later as a project for you in your mental health development.

Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for–because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.
Peter Marshall

Look at this short excerpt from an internet article that is significant to our discussion.

End of the Trail—or the Beginning?

By Alan Cohen

One of my favorite hiking trails on Maui leads to a magnificent hidden waterfall far off the beaten path. The path to the waterfall begins as an offshoot of a main trail in a county park. One day as I set out on the waterfall trail I noticed that county officials had posted a sign, “End of trail.” As I stepped over the sign onto the fun trail, I chuckled to think that what was advertised as the end of the trail was really the beginning of the trail. If hikers simply heeded public signs, they were led to believe their hike was over. If, however, they paid attention to their inner guide, they would discover that the hike was just getting good.

Sometimes in life it appears that we are at the end of our trail, when we are really at the beginning. If you take your direction from social signs, you will just follow the herd and be programmed by other people who think for you, and are guided primarily by fear. But if you follow your joy-inspired inner voice of guidance, you will be led to experiences that far surpass any the sign makers post.

Vision brings hope many times. How do I know this? Well, personally, each time a vision is forming in my mind, expectancy is emerging, as well. Vision and hope are word companions and work together to help us in overcoming certain negative thoughts and discouraging images in our minds. Look at some of the definitions of vision and hope:

Vision Hope

A dream Expect

An idea Trust

A mental picture Anticipate

An image Wish

Visualization Expectation

A revelation Anticipation

To have a vision that brings about hope is not a magic formula. But much like optimism, vision and hope improve our mental health and our disposition. For instance, during the economic crisis of late, an idea came to my mind that probably would not have come under my normal work pace and multi-tasking lifestyle. Because there was a little free time and a little less action in my schedule, a great vision came to me, which formed into a great idea which caused me to anticipate how that could grow into implementation steps. This vision, then idea, brought me hope. Hopefulness makes a dreary day into a brighter day! Confidence and anticipation follow closely behind vision and hope.

We are limited, not by our abilities, but by our vision.
Source Unknown

Hope is a powerful word and a more powerful thought. Nations and cultures with no hope have greater crime rates, lower economies and measurable unrest and underachievement. Conversely, nations and people with hope seem to overcome crisis after crisis, and change after change. Challenges seem to become incentives for accomplishment when people have hope. Hope never prospers when things are going well. it takes challenge, change and crisis for hope to flourish.

Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all…As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be strength.
G. K. Chesterton

Vision and hope are actionable thoughts that need our attention to become energized. As a coach, I suggest that an on-going action plan helps you to clarify your visions and your hopes. These should be clear, achievable and time bound. Having visions and hopes to work towards brings the energy necessary to overcome the doldrums and the tendency to slide backwards in our development.

Laboratory Experiment

A number of years ago researchers performed an experiment to see the effect hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope!

Those animals somehow hoped that if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them. If hope holds such power for unthinking rodents, how much greater should its effect be on our lives.

Source Unknown

This week, attempt to write your vision and hope ideas in a journal or personal development plan. If you do not have a personal vision statement, then, maybe start there. Include your long term, intermediate and short term goals that will get you to your vision. If you are not sure how to begin this enlist an accountability partner or hire a coach.

One thing is certain: vision brings hope. Try crafting your vision and hope this week.

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