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Vision is what you do with your life. Vision is the strategy behind the fulfillment of your purpose. You accomplish this strategy by creating several short-term goals to keep you on course.

Van Gough once said,

“I dream my painting and then I paint my dream.”

He knew his purpose in life. His vision, then, was the completion of paintings, each uniquely different from the other. How he put his vision to canvas involved a series of short-term goals.

Vision is the key connector between one’s daily goals and one’s lifetime purpose. You’ve GOT to plot the course. Figure out what you need to do between here and there and make those your goals. Once you have the course set, there are three rules of thumb to remember.

1. Just because you’ve plotted the course doesn’t mean you can put your whole plan on auto-pilot.

2. Don’t get so carried away with the details of plotting the action steps within your vision that you don’t ever get out of your driveway.

3. Don’t be so intent on motoring the goal that you miss the scenery along the way.

Now, it’s imperative that you not confuse your purpose with your vision. In our solar system, the sun is the one stable element around which all the planets revolve. Your purpose is your sun. It doesn’t move; it doesn’t change. Your vision and it subsequent goals are the planets that revolve around your purpose’s perimeter. People will often say that they thought they were keyed in on their purpose in life but, for some reason, nothing seems to be falling into place to further that purpose.

They mistakenly conclude that it’s the purpose that is out off course. While this may be true, in most cases it’s not the purpose that’s off course – it’s the vision that’s not getting you there. If you’ve really honed in on that inner voice … if you’ve been true to yourself ... if you’ve not allowed any negativity to sway you from what you believe your purpose to be ... if you have duly noted that these unique gifts of yours actually run in your blood, then you’re on purpose.

I want you to imagine that you’re in Chicago and your goal is to go to Detroit. Away you go in a rush. You’re driving and driving, you stop and grab a coffee, you get back in the car and keep driving and … all of a sudden … you see a sign up ahead that says “Nashville, 186 miles.” You think, “What? I’m going to Detroit. Nashville is in the opposite direction.” You’re concerned now and even a little worried. But you keep driving in the same direction. An hour goes by and you see another sign …Nashville, 102 miles … at this point, you’re annoyed. “How in the world could this be happening?” you ask yourself. But you keep driving.

Now, if this were a real-life happenstance, you wouldn’t keep driving. As soon as you would come across the first indication that you were traveling in the wrong direction, you’d brake the car to a halt and do a U-turn right there on the highway. You’d bump across the dirt median between the two highways and you wouldn’t even care if a sign stood right there telling you that this median was reserved for “official use only.”You’d grumble to yourself as you swing across and merge with the oncoming traffic. “I’ve been going in the wrong direction for an hour!”

Why is it that in real life you’d have no compunction about immediately changing your direction … but when it comes to changing direction on the VISION you have in place, you keep driving in the wrong direction, even while you know it’s the wrong place to go?

The key is that you take note of the “street signs” and indicators that are trying to alert you to the fact that you’re going in the wrong direction. You know what those nudges are – they happen every day, these “inner knowers” that are working to keep you on track and on purpose. When you are not on track to your goal, when you are not moving on your vision, you’re going to feel bad about yourself and what you’re doing.

This is a clear indication that you’re not on purpose. Your intuitive mind is screaming at you – intuition is that marvelous mental muscle that is telling us the direction we should be going.

“Go as far as you can see. When you get there you will see how you can go farther.”

Thomas Carlyle

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