August 25, 2010

by Jim Selman

My teacher and friend Dr. Fernando Flores was a candidate for the Presidency of Chile. In one of his speeches, he declared, “We don’t have an economic problem so much as we have a spiritual one… we’ve forgotten who we are… we lack a vision and purpose for our nation.” He dropped out of the presidential race, but this phrase has stayed with me. I think it is true of most nations, including our own.

There is a maxim that states, “A vision without action is just a dream. Action without a vision is a nightmare.” A vision provides a context, a ground of being for our lives. A vision is not a goal: it is the organizing principle for whatever goals we may have. A vision is a place to stand – the future as possibility — a place to “come from” in all that we undertake.

Most of us do not distinguish between vision and goals. We think of vision as merely a “big goal” out there in the distant future someplace. Yet, we’ve also all experienced being connected to a vision at various times in our lives. These are times when we experience a breakthrough or transformation in our relationship to the future–when the future is an opening for unprecedented action. These are the times when we are inspired by what is possible and who we are in the game of life.

There are three questions I am asking my clients and students these days. They are:

1) Who are you?
2) What do you want to accomplish?
3) What is missing for you to accomplish it?

I am learning that most of our other questions will take care of themselves if we seriously engage these 3 questions.

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