(Sorry I didn’t realize I was out of the screen partially!)
Britney Spears, a Visionary
I can relate to Britney Spears in her very first music video where she day dreams in class. For most of my school life I day dreamed during class about ideas for the world that excited me, well, in addition to boys. Generally day dreaming is looked down upon as an unproductive habit. But on the right topic and with the structure, it’s actually very valuable in achieving our goals. I ponder, what if….what if Britney was day dreaming about the dance moves and setting for her music video that really shot her to stardom? Then that was a multi-million dollar day dream.
This type of productive daydreaming is really vision development, and actually one of the key components to success.
In this blog post, and my first real one (excited!), I will discuss
The story of how developing my vision helped me go from discouraged and lying on the floor, to sitting up straight filled with inspiration
What do they mean by visioning? The unique way I define the term to make sure I’m applying it effectively to my goals
Your missing step to reach success (we need this step to take action)
he type of visioning you need to practice for it to be effective
5 Steps To Creating and Developing Your Vision
The strategic moments to use your vision to guide you to success
The switch in strategy that helped me take action towards my goal
Constipation – Trying to Force Do-Doing Out of Me
When I started working on this project (creating a system to live our most exciting, fulfilling life), I remember spending a lot of time anxious and unhappy staring at my computer. I had this idea of what I was trying to do and what i was trying to say but every time I sat down at my computer, instead I felt restless and wondering when lunch would be (at 10:32am). I literally had to create a specific lunch time for myself so I would stop asking myself this.
I had lots of experiences and information in my head to draw upon to write on this topic, from my successful tennis school (www.BumbleBeeTennis.com) I started 6 years prior, to my real estate investments, to my meditation practice. These were all facets of the puzzle I believed in to create our passionate exciting life, but for some reason when I looked at the white blank glowing screen I was at a loss for words.
This was painful because as I stood at the kitchen counter staring through the window onto a brick wall, trying not to eat lunch at 10:35am, or a snack that would essentially become my lunch, I would only criticize myself. “Why wasn’t I writing, creating and being productive, that’s what people do at 10:36am on Tuesday mornings Kristy!” I would say to myself.
While others were off to important meetings with important people to talk about important things, I thought to myself, I was sitting in my east village apartment alone, producing nothing on a topic I wasn’t 100% clear about. I felt terrible (It’s amazing how these difficult moments where we don’t see progress, can lead to just crazy cruel critical thoughts that doubt our abilities and dreams.)
The Change in Focus
By 2:25pm in the afternoon as I lied on the 30 year old carpeted floor (totally an estimate, probably older) of my rent stabilized East Village apt, wondering if anyone loved me, I thought hey why not take a break from this self destruction, just for a moment, and ponder what I could do instead to get the words flowing.
The most natural thing to do was, well, first get off the floor, and then take out a pen and a sheet of paper.
Finally upright at my desk, I asked myself what was I trying to figure out? Essentially what was my question? Well, I thought to myself, I wanted everyone to wake up everyday excited about their life and their day ahead of them! I wanted everyone to jump out of bed and feel such excessive optimism, that it would almost be annoying to their roommate.
Hmm…Ok…that’s a start.
So how would someone achieve that I prodded myself? I kept scribbling random ideas, which led me to focus on our main daily work (aka job/career) as the primary influence of the energy in our life. From there I refined my question to, “If I or someone, wanted to discover our most fitting passionate job, what steps would I advise to take?
I started to just write out various thoughts, and then further questions for myself on the topic. Sometimes I would stop and google a topic and get ideas to work off of. Then I would review what I wrote, refine it further to a more clear thought and usually come up with more ideas. Finally after 2.5 hours of what I call splatting, aka brainstorming, I started to see in my head key concepts and steps in choosing a fulfilling career path.
The next few days I went to the library and read everything I could on it, and talked with friends about the topic.
Like I took some Ex-Lax laxative pills the night before, the next morning things just flowed
About 72 hours after the morning I spent doubting my existence on the floor, I was sitting up straight and actually writing about finding your life’s passionate work.
So what was the difference between that moment and 72 hours prior? Besides my proximity to the floor, I had a clearer vision of what I was trying to do. However, if someone NSA’ed my computer screen for those 72 hours, they would have proclaimed I was completely unproductive during those past 3 days. And, well that’s usually the voice that I gravitated towards before.
However this time as I reflected on my process, during those 72 hours the most important part of the work had taken place…the development of the vision of what I was trying to say. 72 hours later with the vision alive in my head, the answer had been found, and now it was just a matter of putting my vision on digital paper.
What do they mean by visioning? A much more clear definition of the term vision
I often get confused when I think about the term vision. I realized I had to be more specific for my brain to respond and make use of it. I generally now define a vision as:
A picture/sense of what success/finished will look like. (Success could be a finished product or a point in time.)
We can have longer term visions for what success looks like, for example, our ideal career in 20 years. Or, it can be very short term, such as how you want a conversation with your boss to go about an idea you would like to present to her.
We need an example, hmm ok…uhm here is my vision for a goal that is very important to me
A vision for a major goal of mines is to have a successful web show, it would creatively be called The Kristy Oshita Show. I envision it as humorous, inspiring, guiding, and interesting. One aspect of my vision that I keep having is that sometimes I will have guest sock puppets come on the show. I’m not sure yet if I will in the scene talking to the sock puppet guests or that they are talking to each other, because logistically that’s difficult. Of course there will be other human guests on the show.
I envision that a successful show would have viewers feeling inspired, supported, and taking those courageous steps of action. I imagine you and I talking and working together to build a community with this show. Sometimes I see myself as a cross between Ellen, Oprah, Sarah Silverman & Janeane Garofalo. I really wonder if anyone will take me seriously. I am hopeful they will as long, as I use quality brand new socks for the puppets. I also envision it being one of the top online shows. Most of all I envision myself as super excited each moment I work on the show, and that makes my heart smile :).
How to Define Your Vision Understanding the different aspects of success
By dissecting this very ad-hoc explanation of my show’s vision (so what I think success would look like), I see 3 main angles to describe success, and therefore describe our vision. These are:
The actual physical state of the finished product or point in time
In reference to my vision, this would be what is literally in the show, such as the puppets, me, other special guests.
For each person involved, their experience and interpretation
For the viewers experience, it would be to feel energized, happy, peaceful, loved and laughing. I hope they click away thinking that was awweeesooome, and I want to watch the next one. So not just their experience, but how they interpreted the experience.
For my experience, that would be me feeling bliss by creating the show and feeling lots of love from the community. 🙂
- The result from all of that, I hope to have a lot of subscribers, commentors, and a strong community of people achieving their goals (which I believe is the starting point for change in the world!)
Your missing step to reach success (we need this step to take action)
Vibrant Energy Formula
The coe principle that my work is based off of is the Vibrant Energy Formula that I developed. In a sense it is more like a theorem that explains how our energy flows, and that to live our most fulfilling and successful life is just a matter of living in a alignment with the order of how our energy flows.
*In the Vibrant Energy Formula, the vision is so important that it is one of the key components. I don’t want to make this post too confusing since it has a lot of info, so I will go over the formula more in a future post (I promise!), and just focus on this component of the vision for now.
Our energy flows from vision then to action (so vision always precedes any action)
We never get up and go to the fridge without some type of idea (this can be called our vision) of what we are trying to do and why. Often it’s a visual image, but it can also be another sense that guides us, such as our hungry stomach imagining it can feel full by going to the fridge and finding maybe an orange to eat.
Evidence of this subtle truth can be found through the fact we are constantly evaluating our experiences by comparing what happened (really our perception of what happened) to what we expected to happen (the vision), and then deciding if we are satisfied, neutral or disappointed. To feel disappointed by something is to determine you didn’t experience your expectation. So when I open up the fridge and see grapes instead of the orange I envisioned sitting there in the fridge, I’ll feel slightly disappointed.
Or when I go into Walgreens expecting to pay full price for a $1.75 cup of Chobani Greek yogurt, but with my Walgreens club card it turns out to be $0.50 off! Moments like these truly make it worthwhile to carry those 10 club cards around because, well, I received something I didn’t expect. I could even go into how using club cards is expecting something we don’t expect, but won’t lol.
In everyday life, a general expectation of something is a vision.
Although some visions can be very general, while others very clear and developed, everything we do is preceded by a vision.
This realization brings us to the Aha! that if we need a general vision to look for oranges in the fridge, we probably need a really developed vision to reach more complex goals.
The More Developed Your Vision, The Better Your Chances of Success
I remember watching an episode HGTV Design Stars where interior decorators vied for an opportunity to be the host of their very own design show. They both seemed to have good designs, but I remember what stood out the most to me was that contestant 2 said, “I know I can win this, that I can almost taste it!” with so much energy that you really believed her. Contestant 1 on the other hand showed a lot of doubt. The difference between Contestant 2, who ended up winning, and contestant 1 is that contestant 2 had a very clear developed vision that she could even taste it.
Peter Thiel, the co-founder of paypal, and backer behind many successful companies said about Mark Zuckerberg and great entrepreneurs, “that the best entrepreneurs, like Zuckerberg, have a definitive view about the future and plan for it;” (Forbes article) relating to his decision to not sell Facebook for $1 Billion to Yahoo.
Inefficient Visioning is the same old visions
Often when we envision about what could be for our goals, we only think about a few general aspects, and then re-think about those same aspects over and over. This type of visioning is not very productive because nothing new is being thought of, or explored.
Effective Visioning is Defining Success and the Action Plan More and More
A developed vision on the other hand is where you push yourself to think about the grey area that you are unsure about. Sure you may come up with a few ideas that you may later decide don’t make sense, but that’s ok! In fact, think of those thoughts you don’t use as important stepping stones that lead you to the ideas that you do.
Pushing our brain to develop our vision more can be challenging because:
- Our brain naturally likes to repeat itself when unattended
- It can be challenging to push ourselves to come up with new answers and ideas
- We can be self critical and feel anxious when we brainstorm new ideas we are unsure about
The more developed your goal’s vision is, the better chance you have of success.
5 Steps To Creating and Developing Your Vision
The 5 main steps to clarifying and developing your vision are to:
- Clarify your Question – Clarify the part of your vision that is unclear to you. Then turn this into a specific question that when answered will develop your vision in the right direction.
- Brainstorm the answer – Journal, think and talk about an answer to your question, challenging yourself to become more clear and clear each time.
- Summarize – With this added information update your vision always in the state of what a successful finish looks like. Try to summarize your vision into less than 4 sentences.
- Memorize – Memorize these sentences word for word.
- Say it out loud – Repeat it out loud as often as possible, as if you are saying it with your whole body.
Repeat the process whenever you find gray matter in your vision, or inspiration to refine it further.
Once you have a more clarified vision, you are ready to make use of it whenever you need to draw upon it’s magical powers.
The strategic moments to use your vision’s magical powers to guide you to success
1. When you feel uninspired to work on your goal (Your vision will give you energy)
Like contestant 2 from the HGTV Design Stars show, when you get to that point where your vision is very clear, your energy just radiates! This is because it seems so real and relatively easy, it’s just a matter of physical steps to make it a reality.
Do you remember the last time you were in a not so great mood, and then you started talking to co-worker about the new project you were excited about? Since I work alone a lot, for me that’s going to look like me talking to myself, and let me tell you it works. If I start feeling blue, I talk to myself about my vision and most of the time a few minutes later I’ve traded my blue sunglasses to yellow ones.
To achieve our goals, we have to go back and forth between developing our vision and the nitty gritty work of action (the third energy component from the formula). When you are working and frustrated because it feels like you are knee deep in poo…it’s time to stop and look up at your vision, it will remind you why it’s worth it for your toes to be covered in smelly mushy poo and give you the excited energy to get through it and make it to the hose!
Your energy can turn like a light bulb the moment you start focusing and talking about a vision that excites you. You become energized & optimistic.
2. When you feel doubt that your goal is worth your effort (Your vision gives you assurance & faith to keep going)
My vision for a project becomes handy especially if I find myself on the floor. These are the moments where I doubt everything. These are the moments where I say to myself, “Why am I doing this? I just saw a Flip This House and maybe I could make $50,000 in one month from flipping houses, why don’t I just do that?”
I have found that just getting myself to at least say the vision out loud. I start imagining it. And if I can keep my thoughts on seeing the successful end product, it feels real and worthwhile to keep pursuing. Doing something different from what society, our parents, or our friends say we should do takes a lot of faith. Going after our own goals feels like walking down a darkly lit tunnel. We often feel lonely, and take along that not always helpful self critical voice. But what we do have is our vision, this acts as the torch that gives us glimpses of the exciting things that await us at the end of the tunnel.
3. When you are unsure about a decision (Your vision gives you information to make the right decisions)
When we work on a project, each step is a decision that has a million directions we can go. So how do we know if we are going in the right direction with so many decisions to make each moment?
One of my long term visions is to build an amazing digital publishing company that empowers people to live their most passionate life and to build a cash flowing real estate investment portfolio.
I recently met a successful investor who wanted to help me by introducing me to other successful investors. I couldn’t be more appreciative of his generosity to help me! I was excited as we talked, but soon realized his vision for me was to introduce me to others to help me get a job with them vs. partner with them. “This would be an amazing opportunity.” he said, “If something like that came up, you couldn’t turn it down in this economy.” If I pursued his help, maybe I would find a great 6 figure job. The advice sounded like something I should follow. My mother would be happy, and others would see me as super successful.
What did I think about as he and I talked? I thought of my vision for the company I see myself building, and the type of investment portfolio I also hoped to build. Usually I might ask myself, “Is this a good opportunity?” If I did, the answer would be, “Yes, it’s a fantastic opportunity, take it!”
But because I knew my vision, my question was much more specific, “What is my vision? And is this a good opportunity that will bring me closer to my vision?”
And for me the answer was no. It seemed like the answer could be a maybe right(?), because it would definitely help my investment goals. However, when I envisioned myself taking on an investment job, although I could see myself as successful, I could see my publishing company (or my show) not making any progress. Since this was obviously out of line with my vision, I knew clearly that this was not the right opportunity to pursue.
4. When you don’t know what the next action steps are (Your vision helps you develop your plan of action)
Do you remember the time someone told you an idea but didn’t seem to have a lot of details thought out. But in contrast, the time someone just seemed to know every detail of the vision and plan of their idea, and you could almost see that they had a hologram of their finished product in their wide eyes? Because vision leads to action (see Vibrant Energy Formula), it was much easier for the person with the developed vision to conceptualize their action plan and start taking action.
We intuitively know this because it is those people with the great level of detail in their vision, and there plan
that we have more faith in,.
Veteran startup mentor Marty Zwilling writes “ Ideas are a commodity, and are really not worth anything, outside the context of a vision and plan.” A well developed vision is the starting point to a well developed plan, and the plan leads to an even more developed vision.
Visions and plans go hand in hand.
5. When you want to unify and motivate others to help you (A vision you believe in will lead & energize your team)
During my time as the director of BumbleBee Tennis, I thought I could write directions for everything, and if I did it well enough, we would never have human error in our operations.
One day I told a team member to create an attractive graphic banner for the upcoming fall tennis season for our website. I took 30 minutes to write out as much directions as I could, such as which software to use, the size requirements, content and colors. She came back the next day with a banner I swear she got from the Lycoo’s 1990’s archives of internet banners. It had flashing colors of yellow and black and a scrolling text banner.
I said to myself hmm…ok I see it is attractive, but how could I have been more clear? Then I thought to myself, I know the solution is to create even detailed directions! It took me 1.5 days to finish one set of directions. I was so excited for my 3 pages of directions with words and screen shots. However, the team generally never ended up using it. I felt frustrated. If step by step directions didn’t work, how I would direct my team effectively to success?
Then I realized I was pushing them completely from behind via the very specific step by step directions, when what would have been more helpful would have been an example and explanation of what finished would look like (I call this leading them from the front), in addition to some helpful directions. The next time I gave a team member a task, I focused less on detailed their every step, and more on clarifying a picture of what a successful finished would look like. For graphics, this was mainly done by me finding 3-5 examples that looked almost identical to what I envisioned I wanted. Wow much less words, yet more clear directions. Yes this time the finished product came back much more fitting to my expectations.
This is micro-level example of a vision leading others to a goal’s success. Visions in the form of vision statements and words a CEO uses to paint the future of a company also act as the light that leads and energizes a whole company from the front vs. pushing them from behind.
Is the missing link to achieving your goals, a clearer vision?
Let’s talk about this. We all have goals we want to achieve, and often goals that have been sitting on the sidelines asking to be put on the field and woorrked! “Choose me coach!” they yearn. And yes we want to start working our goals, but there is something that keeps stalling us (that can be so frustrating I know!).
Is the answer that you could develop your vision more?
If you feel unclear about the goal of what you are trying to ultimately do, it’s likely your next action is not more doing, but actually more vision development through directed “day dreaming”, paper brainstorming and talking with peers and mentors about what a successful finished product/point in time should look like.
An exciting announcement to be made on Monday that will help you to your goals!
I hope this post was helpful for you in taking a lot at what you need to make progress. What do you think about my first blog post? Writing and getting to this point took a lot of effort and well visioning! I imagined a post that would explain the exciting lessons I have learned, and that we would all begin a discussion and community around making progress on our goals.
When I look at what helps us push farther with our goals and make it actually loads of fun, it’s community and support. I have been working on a QuickStart Vision Development guide for all of us to use, but thought to myself, that’s great, but we all need support also to recharge our goals.
I used to workout alone alot, among the many things I did alone, and then one day I decided to stick my toe out and try a zumba class. Omg let me tell you shaking your ass in a group as a community, is way more fun than by shaking your ass by yourself. Despite my introvert tendencies, the team effort of working through something together is magical. In fact Harvard Business Review just posted an article on the importance of having friends at work. Why not have friends for our own personal work journey?
So to leverage the fact that community makes working on goals so much more fun, I’ve come up with an exciting way for all of us to make progress together. The good news is that I’m going to invite you to be part of it!
I will make the initial announcement via my newsletter that will be sent out next week! Make sure to add yourself to the list to find out about the news!
Stay tuned for Monday!
My questions for you:
- What do you think about this post? Encouragement would be great 🙂 Or if you have suggestions for improvement let me know.
- Do you have any questions about visioning? Ask them here and I’ll respond, and stay tuned for next post about with detailed a Visioning guide.
- What goals are you working on now? How do you think developing your vision more could help you make more progress?
- Leave your answers in the comments.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read this post. I really appreciate it. I just can’t wait to see your progress and hear your comments!