NOTE: This is part 3 of a series of articles about the power of living in ‘the Gap’ of possibility and purpose. Today, we’ll look at how the process of creating a “Visionary Reality” can inspire us out of bed each morning, excited to move our lives forward along the Purposeful Path.


PART 3 – The Tremendous Life Shaping Power of Vision
By W. Bradford Swift

Perhaps the Bible says it best — “Without vision the people perish.” But what is vision? In working with thousands of people over the last 16 years as a coach, I’ve found that vision is a key ingredient of our life purpose.

It’s what we see to be possible, not only for ourselves, but for our families, our communities, indeed for the world. Without it we perish. I’ve found helping people reawaken their sense of what’s possible so important that it’s a key component of preparing for the journey along the Purposeful Path because the more someone taps into this realm of possibility the more inspired they will be to take the actions necessary to make it their current reality.

Through the coaching process you want to create a new future for yourself that you will know what this new reality looks like, feels like, what you will be doing in it, and what you will no longer be doing because those actions are no longer consistent with who you are. You want to be able to taste, hear and fully experience this new future. Then, from this new reality you will look back to your present reality and discover “The Gap” that exists between where you currently are and where you are DESTINED to be!

And yet this gap will look completely different from where you will be looking from because the perspective you are accustomed to look from your entire life is from the past and present looking forward into the future.

But through this “visionary reality process” you will reverse this — you will stand in the future, in the visionary reality you’ve created and looked BACK to the present. The view from the future is profoundly different — life altering in its profound shift in perspective. Here’s an example that will illustrate the point.

The View from Mount Everest

Imagine sitting in your living room leafing through a National Geographic magazine when your eyes fall upon a picture of Mt. Everest. You’ve longed for years to climb this mountain but in the busyness of life it’s been a dream placed on the back burner. Now as you stare at its majestic summit you think, “Wow, wouldn’t it be awesome to stand at the top of one of the tallest mountains in the world?” As you read the article you begin to speculate about the possibility of climbing it.

In the process what is also likely to happen as you do this? If you’re like the rest of humanity, a lot of what will be there mixed in with the dream is all the reasons you CAN’T fulfill on the vision. You’re not strong enough — you smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day and climbing a flight of stairs is a major challenge. Besides, your family would never support you in pursuing this dream. On top of which you couldn’t possibly take off from work for such a massive undertaking. So as you begin to focus on all the reasons you can’t accomplish this dream you begin to attract more and more negative energy, which will probably result in your dropping the magazine on the coffee table, clicking on the television and strolling into the kitchen for another beer while lighting a cigarette. POOF! So much for your dream of climbing Mt. Everest.

Switch Frames to Your Visionary Reality

This time imagine you’re standing on the peak of Mt. Everest. Just moments ago you took the last few steps that brought you to the pinnacle of the mountain and of your life. You raise your arms in the air as you gaze over the most majestic view before you. The sense of satisfaction, fulfillment and accomplishment is almost more than you can bear. It’s so strong that it brings tears of joy to your eyes and you feel your legs weaken as you fall to your knees in a humble prayer of gratitude for the power that made this moment possible. As you kneel there giving thanks you take a few moments to reflect back to when the seed of this dream was 1st planted — that evening in your apartment when you were leafing through the National Geographic. But this time you’re looking back on that moment from the pinnacle of Mt. Everest with the goal already accomplished.

Can you begin to see how different your perspective would be? You’d be able to see many of the obstacles and roadblocks you had faced and you would know that you had successfully overcome them all. Now, imagine doing this for a vision that is a true reflection of your life purpose. How powerful would this be? What effect could it have on your life? What contribution to the world would become possible? That is what is available when we use the power of vision to shape our lives while making a difference for others. What is your vision for the world? Have you been willing to surrender your life to its fulfillment? If not, what are the obstacles and roadblocks that stand in your way? What would allow you to take the realization of that vision to new heights? What resources do you need to attract to support your vision? What are you waiting for?