by Warwick Fairfax


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Finding a Vision You Can Believe In

Moving Forward

A vision is often borne amidst a crucible experience. The seeds of hope can sometimes be found amidst pain and despair. How can this be? A crucible experience is like a shock to the system. The loss of a business, getting fired, a health challenge can all rock our world. A crucible experience causes us to take stock. We ask ourselves what is life all about? What is my purpose? Where am I going?  What was I designed for?

To move forward, we need to find a vision that is uniquely ours. To make forward progress, we need to understand how we are wired. We need to know what are our innate gifts; what are our passions, beliefs and values.  

Anchored by a deeper understanding of our crucible experience, which may include learning from mistakes we have made, and more fully appreciating who we are and how we are wired, we are in a good place to move forward.

Your Vision is Your Mission

We need to ask ourselves what truly matters to us in life. What are we passionate about? What cause or mission do we believe that we should give our all to?  How does that cause or mission line up with our unique wiring and gifting? What role should we play in this mission? How does that role fit with who we are?  

Notice how I am viewing a vision as a mission, part of something beyond ourselves. A vision that is in keeping with leading a life of significance has to have a sense of mission from our perspective. A vision that is anchored by our deeply held beliefs and passions will have staying power.  

Bringing a vision to reality is not easy. There will be many obstacles. But if that vision is anchored by deeply held beliefs and passions, it is far more likely that we will have the motivation, the staying power, to keep going, to bring that vision to reality.

Vision Overcomes Conventional Wisdom

Walt Disney was one of the great visionaries. He was a serial visionary. He had many ideas that people at the time thought made no sense. Disney made a feature length cartoon in color called Snow White. At the time the conventional wisdom was that no one would come to see a feature length cartoon and take it seriously, at a time when cartoons were typically light hearted short animated features. Snow White premiered in Los Angeles in 1937 with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood present. When Snow White is presumed dead, the audience of Hollywood stars were wiping the tears from their eyes. At the end of the movie, they all stood and cheered.  

Walt Disney went on to make many feature length movies, as well as launching Disneyland in California in 1955, and laid the groundwork for Walt Disney World in Florida, which opened in 1971 after Disney’s death.  

One key moment earlier in Walt Disney’s career, happened on a train from New York to Los Angeles in 1928. Disney had gone to New York to ask the distributor of his cartoons to movie theaters for more money for his Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons. But when Disney arrived in New York, he found the distributor had secretly hired away almost all of his animators and had inserted some fine print in the contracts saying that Oswald the Luck Rabbit belonged to the distributor. One the train back to Los Angeles, rather than sinking into anger or despair, Walt Disney got out his yellow legal pad and began sketching a series of circles. His sketches became Micky Mouse. 

Vision + Perseverance = Achieving the Impossible

Disney did not wallow in his misfortune or beat himself up for not realizing what the distributor was doing to him. He kept on going. Few have heard of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The whole world has heard of Mickey Mouse.

Walt Disney illustrates the key attribute of dealing with a crucible experience. He kept going, and did not let this misfortune hold him back. I am sure there were lessons to be learned, such as reading contracts more closely, and being careful which business partners you trust. These are important lessons.   

But Disney knew what he loved and was good at, making cartoons and constantly innovating. His vision would grow from cartoons, to feature length movies, to theme parks. Disney never gave up. Disney had this phrase that shows a great mindset for making a vision happen, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”  
 


Reflection

What vision is a mission that you truly care about?

How does that vision fit your unique wiring, passions and beliefs?

Do you care enough about the mission of this vision, that you feel you will overcome obstacles come what may?

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