Action without vision is only passing time

Big Vision Baby Steps

Action without vision is only passing time
Vision without action is merely daydreaming
But vision with action can change the world.
Nelson Mandela

This quote caught my eye this week. It really resonated with me, because for so long now, I’ve spent my days carefully selecting how I spend my time and being super aware of where it’s taking me and how much I enjoy it. It’s why I’ve chosen to spend most of time creating and delivering my program Big Vision Baby Steps. To me, that’s what this quote is all about – daily actions towards a vision.

So, I thought I’d study it a bit more and look at what it really means and how we can make sure we’re taking REAL action towards our vision.

‘Action without vision is only passing time’.

There’s plenty of busy people in the world, full of action, with daily commitments – to the point of overwhelm. Do they have a vision? I’m not sure – I’d say mostly no. Maybe they have a vague sense of where they’re headed, what they’d like to have or do if they had the money or the time. But not a clear, specific vision that drives them in a certain direction and helps them make good decisions. Many people are spending their days completely unaware of where the choices they are taking are heading them, going through the motions believing that’s their lot in life. Others are aware that there are things they could, or should, be doing, but prefer to ignore the messages they are hearing and continuing to live life as they’ve always known it. And others are frantically busying themselves with doing things, to ignore the growing feelings of dissatisfaction brewing up inside.

Passing time? To me that’s just doing things day after day without being aware of why you’re doing them, just doing them because you’ve always done them, or because you’re not ready to make a change, or you’re too scared to explore something different. It’s accepting where things are, rather than being bold and looking at alternatives. There’s nothing wrong with passing time if you’re content to drift and watch the world go by. But if you’re someone who wants to – deep down – create something MORE with your life, do something MEANINGFUL or create something with impact, drifting is not the solution. That’s what is known as day dreaming.

Vision without action is merely day-dreaming’.

I’ve been guilty of this I know – having a big vision and feeling like as long as it’s there – it’s OK – it’ll happen one day. I’ll start soon. When I’m ready – just not yet. You have the comfortable feeling that because you have a desire, and inner fire that wants more – it will somehow miraculously happen without any work! Well the truth is visions are great, but nothing is going to happen without action – consistent, significant action specifically selected to take you forward towards a desired outcome. There is no other way.

I’m not talking about crazy focused goal setting, or obsessive task setting to the point of getting overly attached to the outcome. I’m talking about daily actions that have been consciously chosen and are carried out happily, knowing that each day you are moving towards your vision. You are spending your time consciously, purposefully and mindfully – then the achievement of the vision is really just a bonus!

Vision with action can change the world.

When you combine the two – Action with Vision – you can create amazing things and yes you can change the world. Even if it’s not to the degree that Nelson Mandela did globally, you can change your world to whatever degree you decide. Your own individual world, your family’s world, your community – or a wider community – it’s up to you.

It’s so sad but it’s so true, many people are walking through their days with a blindfold on. Doing things that they don’t enjoy and selecting to continue doing them, not willing to stop out of fear of change, a sense of duty or just plain laziness to create anything better.

Getting real about getting moving into action

If you’re keen to get moving and start taking consistent, committed action towards a vision… here’s a few ways to get you started.

  1. Take stock of where you are – get real about how you’re spending your time – where are you not aware? What is being done that doesn’t serve you? What is being done that is not taking you somewhere great? What’s in your life that you don’t enjoy? You could try using a time sheet and see where your time is going.
  2. Review the vision – If you’ve got a vision that’s lying dormant, now’s the time to get it out and dust it off. Get it more clearly in your minds eye. You might need to dig into some ideas you have had over the years and see if there’s anything worth shaping into a solid vision. Explore how you can re-ignite your vision and bring it back to life if it’s lost its sparkle. Re-write it, create a vision board, talk to friends or family, research its potential – give it some dedicated time and attention.
  3. Get real about how you’re spending your time. Isi t is truthfully, honestly taking you towards any of your visions or ideas for your future? Are you wasting time? Are you frittering away time like it was something that will never run out? Write 5 things that you could be doing towards your vision or idea right now. Out of those 5 things, choose one thing you could do on a regular basis to take you closer to your vision becoming a reality.
  1. Look at what you’re prepared to do. If you’re ready to take action, now you have to decide what you’re willing to commit to. Where will you trade your time? Take a look at the list of how you’re spending your time and see what you’d be willing to trade to make room for your one action on a regular basis. Maybe it’s an hour of TV a day, or maybe it’s getting up an hour earlier. Whatever it is, make sure it’s planned into your life - diarise it, make room for it. Make it happen!

I’d love to hear about your action… and your vision. Email me HERE

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