“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” Japanese proverb
When we guide our clients through personal and professional future planning, we share this quote over and over again. As many of us contemplate the future, we often either dream of our castles in the sky and yet do nothing to get there, or we keep moving and doing what’s in front of us without a thought about where we really want to go and what/who we really want to be. We forget to act in ways that will lead us to our ultimate goal or to even allow ourselves the time and space to figure out what our ultimate goal is.
Both sides of the equation are necessary for a fulfilled dream and a successful business or life. I had a client who talked of reinforcing her love of international cultures and languages, but would never make the time to take a course or to speak with others in a foreign language. A client who quickly put out every fire that came her way but never stopped to envision what she wanted from work and life, and then wondered why she felt ultimately unfulfilled by what she was doing. A client who began to address the leadership issues that were damaging the company, but stopped mid-way in the process, never completing the actions that would help the organization achieve its ultimate vision. When these three clients clarified their desired futures and took specific steps to realize their visions, their lives and work fell more into place.
It is essential to clearly map out our vision for the future, and just as essential to take the actions that will lead us to that vision. With these two combined we can be truly successful.
Where do you have a vision but no action? Where do you have action but no vision?
Take the time to develop your vision (for yourself, your life, your organization, your business, your career, etc.). Then take the time to identify and take the actions that will move you on your way towards your vision.