The more I look and around, the more I realize that one of the biggest influences 0n people’s happiness is pursuing a vision. Could be a vision for a business, a vision for relationships, or a vision for how to spend the day- doesn’t matter much, so long as it’s there. Vision gives us a reason to try and ignites us with energy to create. Otherwise we just float with the whims of the world, reacting. If you see, then you can change ‘react’ to ‘create’ (the subtleties of language are mesmerizing).
It’s a tricky thing in business though, vision, because it’s so hard to measure and thus so difficult to reassure ourselves that results will come from enhancing it. People want to talk in terms of numbers, strategies, attention, payoff- all the sexy things that make entrepreneurship so alluring. That way they can convince themselves they’re not wasting time.
But at the end of the day, if the vision behind those sex-ified metrics isn’t complete or wasn’t ever really considered in the first place, then all anyone’s doing is closing little loophole opportunities in the system. Not that that’s bad, it’s great and it helps our economy run and life go on; however, I think as people we want to do more than that, because we know we can. We want to take something we feel inside that nobody else knows and use it to make the world a little better.
In doing that, we hope to find support for ourselves, but it’s tough. Nobody pays for you to develop your vision, because nobody else directly benefits in the short term. In fact, many roles and jobs prefer that you adopt the company vision and policy and leave dreams and other ideas aside or as secondary considerations. To compensate for this, people often try to find ways to make big money early in their career, with the idea that it can free up their time later on to do what they want.
Still, while get-rich-quick-and-give-back successes are touted in the media and held up as an ideal, they’re incredibly rare and more importantly, they can be a trap. One thing about vision is that it builds on itself- what you will see tomorrow is a compound of what you see today and the experiences you have in the mean time. That means if we focus on monetary or other success through sacrifice of true creative passion, every day it gets a little harder to pivot and find that clarity of purpose and inspiration.
In leaving the secure physics, math and computer science world and entering the world of theory, writing, meditation and social start-ups I’ve had to relinquish financial security and dreams of achieving overnight success. But in return, I’ve received the freedom to know that we can create what we want, so long as we can see it first.