When I was a child, we had fill-in-the-blank Saturdays. Sometimes we had some extra time to sleep. Often we would take excursions just for fun.
Then there were those other Saturdays. The kind when you would wake up to a morning of “Clean-out-the-closets.” Or “Work-in-the-yard.”
Those Saturdays were boring. Not fun at all!
Now on the Saturdays when we had fun activities on the calendar, I would hop out of bed – even before the alarm went off. There was excitement in the air as we packed our picnic lunches or loaded our beach equipment.
Not so on those “other” days. My Dad would have to call to wake me several times before I would hear him. Then I would drag to get dressed. Drag to eat breakfast. And drag around even more as I attempted to put off the inevitable.
What was the difference? Why did I eagerly wake up on some days and dread facing the day on others?
A clear vision of the food, the friends, and the fun we will have.
That vision brought the motivation.
As adults, our lives get cluttered with so many necessary activities that sometimes we lose our vision. We don’t stop to think about where we are going. Where are all these moments of work – or play – taking us?
Yet we were created by God to be people of vision. When we have a clear vision of where we are going, then even the mundane tasks become easier.
I’m reminded of the man who came upon two bricklayers. One was scowling as he worked. The other was smiling and humming as he set brick upon brick.
The visitor asked, “What are you doing?”
The first man barked, “Can’t you see that we are laying bricks?”
The happy one responded, “We are building a cathedral.”
What was the difference?
In Hebrews 12:2, we see that Jesus endured the cross because of the “joy set before Him.” And what was that joy? It was us. It was the vision of the many people who would be reconciled to God as he paid our sin debt on the cross.
Jesus was a Man of vision.
All of this makes me think: Is my own vision clear enough?
Certainly we will not be able to have every detail of our future revealed to us. There will be many twists, turns, and surprises.
However, when we have a mission or a project to accomplish, it’s important to have a vision of where we are going. That vision will be one of our chief motivating factors.
The vision is what will compel us to take care of the necessary details. Vision is also what will compel us to continue our mission when the going gets tough.
With proper vision, we will be motivated to carry through our project to the end.
One thing is clear from listening to successful entrepreneurs, you can’t just write a vision and forget it. You need to be reminded again and again and again.
You might have heard about the authors of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. They were turned down by 20 publishers before they found a tiny publishing company which was willing to take their book.
When they were marketing, the authors took massive action in promoting their book. However, every day they started out with a 20 minute session of visualizing and dreaming about the future success of their project.
Jack Canfield even talks about copying a New York Times Best Seller List and inserting the name ”Chicken Soup For the Soul,” as if it were already there.
They diligently developed their vision, and their vision paid off. They stayed motivated to continue the hard promotional work, because they knew where they were going.
Today this franchise – with all of its editions – is the biggest book franchise of all time. (Except for the Bible).
Now I’m not saying that with vision your book will be a best seller. I am saying that vision is one of the necessary elements to motivate you and me. To keep going when things get tough. To make us perform all of the necessary tasks.
And to bring us joy as we proceed.
And, of course, to eventually bring us success in whatever we are doing.
So how’s your vision? Take some time to establish this picture of where you are going. Then find ways to remind yourself frequently of that vision.
For motivation and for success.