I believe that it’s best to prepare for transitions by doing a small, DIY, vision quest. Your vision is in question during transition times and there’s no use pretending that your standard goal setting process is going to get you through a period of uncertainty. Instead, you need a strong vision.
There are three points of focus for the direction of your urban vision quest, they each relate to the future: Being Happier, Doing Better and getting things done Faster.
Let me explain.
The human separation from nature is costing our world, especially at work, far more than we know. Mental and emotional health is not improving, all you need to do is look at what is being consumed in pharmaceuticals, yoga classes, drugs, alcohol, sweets, cosmetics and remedial surgery to see that we are heading away from, rather than toward, a better humanity at work.
As business people, who need to compete in the real world of performance, efficiency and creativity, maintaining that ever improving standard of personal performance is crucial however, what is not clear to us, is that our willingness to suffer domestic dysfunction and to sacrifice parenting in order to achieve the business performance is in decline. We don’t want to pay the price personally for income and business success. We have a dilemma.
Many HR organisations have offered solutions. But they are all corrupt. They are corrupted by the barrier between home and work. The HR solutions, the companies like Human Synergistics are hamstrung because they cannot manage all the variables that determine work performance.
Leaning on first hand experience, I have worked with people and their lives for nearly 40 years now as a change consultant and coach. Here is what I’ve learnt:
“The person you meet at a corporate training programme is only half the person you meet in coaching.”The Art of Coaching – Chris Walker
The premise of corporate training is simple: “We want to teach people how to make their happiness bullet proof by linking what we do at work with how happy we are.” This is why Corporate Training fails to really work.The Art of Coaching – Chris Walker
For real coaching to work it must have a remarkable impact on people at home too, because many people struggle with those they love in relationship and hope the relationship will somehow improve through personal development or working better. Sadly, this cherry picking concept of the human condition breeds even more unhappiness. Under this strain, careers struggle under a burden they cannot sustain. That burden is the desire to become happy at work in order to overcome challenged circumstances at home. This fails, 100% of the time in both career and family wellbeing.
YOUR URBAN VISION QUEST – HAPPIERThe Art of Coaching – Chris Walker
The emphasis in coaching therefore is to address life in compartments to ensure a holistic understanding of happiness. I use the term “Turning Up” to evoke a sense of enjoyment and wellness in each and every one of the seven areas of life. And, for the sake of a vision quest, seven visions, one for each area of life.
To be happy in life, relationship, sport, work cannot be played off one against the other. You will often hear the sad echo’s of “Work Life Balance” which is the precursor to so much personal distress and, ironically, life destruction. But it can also work in reverse. Many Gen-Y and younger, are obsessed with Life and use work to counterbalance their “fun” and “enjoyment” of life by wanting smooth, easy, no stress work life.
Total human awareness is a remarkable freedom and most of our high end athletes and entrepreneurs report and extraordinary shift in their productivity and achievements in this one awareness / skill alone. So, we’ll chat about this early in your coaching program should you elect to be a professional champion in your work-life.
YOUR URBAN VISION QUEST – BETTERThe Art of Coaching – Chris Walker
The second, and in many cases the most difficult area of this initiative is in BETTER. There are many definitions of better that it can fall to poverty to resolve what is better? What one calls better, had better be right.
So, let’s resolve that before we go further. What is better? You will probably hear people say “better relationship” or “better job” and “better health” and so we can take that most people generically have a most common definition of better. And simplifying it as much as possible, I would say better always means more of something. (which in the negative means less of something else)
More fun (that’s better), more income (that’s better), more intimacy (that’s better), more peace of mind (that’s better) and of course they all have a “less of” built into them … less pain, less poverty, less rejection etc.
So you’ll be asking yourself what do I want more of…. your urban vision quest will be encouraging you to look to the future to create more of those things you want and less of those things you don’t want. This is important.
Of course, the secret to get more of something is to have people say thank you for what they’ve already got… what we appreciate grows and nothing affects the future more than this appreciation.The Art of Coaching – Chris Walker
YOUR URBAN VISION QUEST – FASTERThe Art of Coaching – Chris Walker
If we could distill the entire meaning of life into one word, that word is faster. Evolution means faster. Getting things done faster.
Consider the life of your grandparents and how much faster everything goes now. And not without it’s challenges. And in 100 years they too will laugh at our internet, computers, brain surgery and transport and marvel at how we coped going so slow.
Faster is the key to stress reduction. Those who go slow, who try to do it how it has always been done, will not make it into the future. Study faster, learn faster, change faster, everything. And yet, if our human condition can’t cope, we’ll burn out. Keeping up this pace, that’s the demands of your coaching: staying one step ahead.
YOUR URBAN VISION QUEST – PROCESSThe Art of Coaching – Chris Walker
The process of preparing for the HAPPY, BETTER, FASTER vision quest involves simply being alone, at home, in silence for 10-20 minutes a day.
What this process involves is asking yourself a series of simple questions and writing down the answers – as they come to you in any random, unintelligible order.
Each day, answer the questions then put the sheet with your answers in a safe place, and don’t look at it again until this is all finished.
Each day, start a fresh sheet of paper and ask yourself the same questions as yesterday. Don’t miss a day.
By my calculations you should be able to integrate 30 continuous vision days. Try not to discuss this with your partner until after you finish, but, if they’re inquisitive and you can’t explain it, please just give them this introductory article and let them fully understand the reason you are embarking on this journey.
The base line of health, energy, success, ambition, romance, leadership and peace of mind is DESIRE.
When we know what we want and we think we are going to get it, we’re inspired. When we know what we want and we think we are not going to get it, we’re depressed.
Ambition is a two edged sword. Set the ambitions too high and we become disillusioned and usually end up in some Eastern Ashram saying “It doesn’t matter.” But it does.
Set the ambition too low and there’s no challenge, you become bored with yourself, your work, your life and lose concentration. Such loss of focus often results in calamity, accident or disaster.
Set the Bar High Enough
When doing your daily questions aim for around 3-5 years for the time-frame and, make sure the bar is set so that you’ll have to do some serious improvement in your abilities to achieve it.
Sometimes it’s good to compare yourself to someone who has achieved more than you but don’t aim to the height where you become envious. Envy just means you set the bar too high too quick.
Be, Do, Have
The emphasis of a vision quest must start with have. What do I want to HAVE in 3-5 years from now. These things are tangible, countable, measurable and can be weighed. Please don’t write HAVE HAPPINESS… That’s a BE.
The second question, and equally important but not of material nature is BE. What or Where do I want to BE in 3-5 years time. That could be a place, (New York) a space (pregnant), or even a change of status like married or CEO.
Finally, theres DO. What do you want to be DOING in 3-5 years time.
Doing could be More of what you are currently doing, but please, don’t make the mistake of saying NOTHING. Doing nothing is not a Goal, it’s slow suicide. Doing means MORE that would inspire you, cause you to concentrate more, study more, learn more and teach more. It can even involve giving.
Nobody but you will read these answers so, please avoid the all too often tendency to be right, or say what others would like or what you think you should say. Just use this chance to be really, really, really, honest. NO ONE WILL EVER READ THESE SHEETS BECAUSE.
When you finish the 30 consecutive days of filling out these sheets, make a little back yard ceremony and burn all but the last one. This is a process, not an outcome.
Each day might be the same as yesterday, but, like a child treat this as a chance to dream beyond your current reality.
Go on, have a go!