Vision without action is a daydream.
Action without vision is a nightmare.
- Japanese proverb
In early 2002 I was laid off from my corporate VP job after almost two decades as a Human Resources professional. For the next year, I danced with vision and action, explored possibilities and took risks, all while I figured out how to keep paying my bills with long-term projects and consulting work.
Eventually, in early 2003, I was able to cautiously articulate my vision,
“I want to use my voice to help people.”
One of the first times I said this out loud was on a blind date with my now-husband. I was getting over a cold so my lofty vision statement about using my voice came out sounding all sniffly and nasal-y. Still. It felt really good.
I loved my vision statement and I craved to know what it really meant. WHAT would be doing? HOW would I make a living? WHO would I help?
That is where risk-taking, curiosity, humility, trust and being like a cloud** came in. It is from these things that the right action emerged to make my vision a reality. These are the key actions that gave my vision wings and made it fly:
Fifteen years later, my vision statement continues to enliven me even as the actions that support it have evolved.
Here's a resource list of some of the things that supported my journey.
**My deep gratitude to Liz Kimball for introducing me to the work of writer and philosopher Alan Watts, who writes: Clouds never make mistakes... And if you will treat yourself for a while as a cloud, you’ll realize that you can’t make a mistake whatever you do. Because even if you do something that appears totally bizarre, it will all come out in the wash somehow or another. Then through this capacity you will develop a kind of confidence. And through confidence you will be able to trust your own intuition.