I was reaching my friend Shawn Phillips’ blog, recently and red an article called The Joy of Putting One Foot In Front of the Others. In his rare and uniquely insightful way, Shawn, basically talks about “vision addiction” and the pitfalls of focusing so much on what it all looks like when you get there rather than focusing on the daily steps we need to take to achieve our goals.
Naturally, this had a big impact on me because I tend to be a visionary, and I have suffered from this addiction; plus, I love reading Shawn’s posts. I suggest you do too.
In his book Strength for Life, Shawn makes a point similar to what we learn in Performance Lifestyle training, and that is: Your Vision is broken down into goals and goals are broken down into daily rituals or routines.
Success is in the daily routines. Assuming you have a vision that is inspiring and you have SMART goals, it is in the daily routines that we find success. I have learned this the painful way, even after knowing this years ago. Vision addiction as Shawn puts it can be very costly.
Now, I don’t always think that an early focus on defining your vision means you have an addiction of that sort; maybe, but I am clear on what he’s talking about. An “addiction” to vision will leave you disconnected from the day to day realities of your business and the ongoing connection to your customers as you get caught up in planning, designing, and developing the future. I went through this somewhat, when I was defining what it means to live a Performance Lifestyle, the basic mindset and it’s skill set.
I was launching the first version of my big goal, MyTrainer.com, when I found myself running into all kinds of hidden lifestyle challenges. Being the entrepreneur I am, before I knew it, I found myself defining the Performance Lifestyle mindset and the skill set – which you can discover in What’s Your Lifestyle Type and it’s companion guide – and training others as part of my business. This took an incredible amount of time and energy and my focus away from MyTrainer.
In that process of playing thought leader, I was also creating many of the marquis solutions for a Performance Lifestyle like eating “Nutrient Rich“. Before I knew it, I had so much going on I was barely hanging on. It was only then that I realized that living in vision can really weigh you down and potentially put you out of business.
What I’ve learned is the balance between setting your sites on a clear vision and breaking it down into focused and achievable goals over time, while staying focused on the daily objectives that matter.
Yet, when I finally got focused myself around what I could actually do well, it almost felt like a let down. ??????
I know that feeling Shawn expressed in his article, do you?
This past Saturday I was catching up with a fellow Colorado entrepreneur, a friend I don’t see as often as I’d like. Doing a year’s worth of catching up, when he hit me with,
“How’s work going?”
My response went something like…
“It’s going…and I’m working.”
I suspect it was the uninspired, desolate tone of my response that triggered him to double-down and dig deeper with a few probing questions about my vision, purpose and passion. All the fun, fantasy stuff entrepreneurs usually enjoy talking about.
After a few attempts it was clear to me that anything short of leaping into and then straight into my own version of the “I had a dream…” speech was going to appease him. So, I opted to just say it:
“I think Entrepreneurs are too focused on—even addicted to—the dream. Carried away in vision and possibility, they eagerly ignore the painful reality that nothing gets done until something gets done.”
The Joy and the Success Is In the Routines
I was set up for failure when I was trying to achieve my vision all at once, today I am set up for success as I continually work on staying focused on goals I can achieve, and better yet, the day-to-day routines that achieve one goal at a time. And let me tell you, that’s where the joy is, because routines get you places; they are responsible for accomplishing all the things that achieve goals. Period. And that’s why they are enjoyable.
Think of the flip side: you stay focused on vision and clarify lots of stuff, but you don’t accomplish and achieve that much. In my case I was realizing a vision that was too big, and had too many goals and therefore to much to do.It was from this overwhelm that Performance Lifestyle was born.
Vision addiction as Shawn puts it can cause you to create too many goals and overwhelm you. By the time you do break it down into routines, you have so many of them you simply can’t do it. You hate the stress and before you know it, you are back focusing on all the feel good visionary stuff, and your not playing your game.
Are you tired being set up for failure?
While all aspects of a Performance Lifestyle are important, the fact that the primary (not the only) purpose of your lifestyle is to achieve your goals while you are hear, then it would be good to get clear on your vision, goals and the daily objectives that set you up for success.
Learning how to focus your time and attention and not have so much going on you are barely hanging on might just be the most influential skill you can learn. This is where I am spending a great deal of time this month and ongoing because it makes the difference between a life on the downward trend and moving forward in a position of strength.
Are you clear on your goals?
On the subject of achieving your goals, be sure to read Tom Terwilliger’s book the 7 Rules of Achievement, these insights will really help you get focused.
Filed Under: achieve your goals