3 Things I Miss Out On Without a Vision

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Not having a vision almost cost me my marriage, the relationship I longed for with my kids, the adventure my heart craves, and the joy of living into my purpose.

Seriously, it did, and still will, if I don’t choose to live in vision.

If you are thinking, “that sounds really extreme,” I don’t blame you. I probably would have thought the same thing if someone had told me that years ago. I would have thought, “I am visioning and I don’t have those results, so this lady must just be crazy.”

However, I realize now my idea of vision was wrong. I defined vision as my goals, dreams of my future, and New Year's resolutions. With the aid of those things, I got some results in my life, but they definitely didn’t bring me to experience deeper and more meaningful relationships with myself or my loved ones. On the contrary, I was increasingly weighed down with each accomplished goal as it drove me to strive for the next bigger accomplishment.

The reality is, when I began visioning about nine years ago, I was at one of the lowest points in my life. On the outside, I had everything I was supposed to want: top levels of success in my career, my dream home, fancy vacations, and endless job possibilities. But, on the inside, the number of plates I was spinning and the burden of people-pleasing made me want to throw in the towel on everything.

That is when I began to get curious about what I didn’t know I didn’t know about visioning. And boy was I in for a rude awakening! Visioning was hard, scary, and very uncomfortable. It was the road less traveled. Joseph Campbell’s quote adequately describes the gift of visioning for me when he says, “the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.”

Visioning takes me beyond what I think I am capable of and into the hard work of growing my character to the level needed to live in my dreams.

The treasures that visioning brings go far beyond another promotion at work, a bigger paycheck, a fancier house, or fitting into a certain size of jeans. Visioning takes me to the heart and soul of my humanity and brings me into deeper relationship with others as it produces these three things:

  • Resources - things that weren’t possible before become possible

  • Character growth - traits like love, endurance, grace, discipline, respect, and self control grow

  • Intimacy - to know and be known is the deepest desire of every human heart and a vision opens that possibility

Let me offer you a recent example from my life. My husband and I have been married for 26 years, and arguments about money have been too numerous to count. We have had goals and desires to make more money, save more money, and spend more money. While we accomplished certain levels of all those things through the years, none of them seemed to curb the frustrations we experience towards each other around the topic of money.

So, in the last couple of months, we realized this is an area for which we want to create a vision. We each took some time to think about what we really wanted and came to an agreement that we would love to save a specific amount of money to put towards a house. And, most importantly, we want to experience peace when it comes to money. We realized an underlying anxiety that both of us deal with, up until now, has been a huge contributor to most of our bickering.

After we clarified our vision and created some specific actions steps, we began stepping into the daily choices of producing the results of financial peace (not to be confused with Dave Ramsey) and a growing savings account. (Next week, I will lay out the specifics of a vision and how to create one.)

Those choices included things like:

  • Choosing hope when we wanted to give up because we started this in December, typically an “over budget” month

  • Honesty about what wasn’t working with our current way of handling money

  • Owning our own selfishness and the stories we make up about why what we want isn’t possible

  • Realizing that, for us, using cash helps us stay accountable and coming up with new ideas about how to do that

As we took these steps and more, we began experiencing the three gifts of visioning.

Resources have opened up as we have found new apps to make saving fun and easy, an unexpected $400 showed up, and we have found sales and promotions that were very unexpected.

Our character is growing as we are being honest with each other in ways we used to hide. Mutual respect is increasing as we do things we haven’t been willing to do before. And, self-control is multiplying as results are being produced.

Intimacy is increasing as we have had some beautiful conversations about childhood experiences with money and how those formed some of our limiting beliefs. New levels of relationships are opening with others as we ask questions about how they approach finances. We replaced more expensive traditions with more cost-effective ones. We found new ways of connecting that have taken us to deeper levels of conversation, which help us to know ourselves and each other better.

Overall, the results are blowing my mind. When we created our vision, we were $400 short to make ends meet for the month. We felt great disappointment as we came to grips with fears of what we would lose if we stuck to our new financial vision. We were afraid it would be nearly impossible to stick to our new budget.

Yet, as December came to an end, we somehow had $300 left over, and we had created some of the best memories ever. We didn’t feel like we missed out on anything, and we felt more in love with each other and our family and friends as we experienced new levels of connections.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think those results were possible. And yet, had we not chosen to do the hard work of visioning, this December would have been another one on the long list of short-lived highs followed by days of guilt and shame.

I will take the results of new resources, growth in our character, and deeper levels of intimacy any day! What about you?

What are you missing out on by not having a vision?