Visioning is amazing and essential to achieving our goals.  But done the wrong way, and it will actually be detrimental to your progress.  This is post 2 of the 3 part series on taking action.

In this article you will learn:

  • Why you MUST vision and why you MUST stop visioning
  • What the dark side of visioning is
  • The story of how I almost got separated from the group – searching for secret volcano pools
  • How to avoid being trapped in negative vision energy
  • Why our head is like a web of freeways
  • More pics from the hike!

The third day: An impossible mission, a sea of volcanic rubble to cross

Halape was a beautiful oasis created by hallow lava tubes sending fresh water to this spot on the coast.
Halape was a beautiful oasis created by hallow lava tubes sending fresh water to this spot on the coast.

How my fear almost separated me from the group

Day three of the meditation hike was the much needed rest day from hiking.  We had set up camp at Halape.  Halape which somewhat stands for “crushed missing” in Hawaiian felt like the background to an enchanted tropical fairy tail.

Michael, our teacher suggested finding the fresh water ponds that were secretly hidden within the huge cracks of the volcanic ground to the north of the camp ground. So I and two of the other students, William and Lita, eagerly embarked on an adventure to find these hidden pools just about an hour before lunch.

Not in my zone…only the danger zone

We reached a point where the ground looked like it had caved in about the length of a Olympic sized swimming pool.  A sea of broken seemingly unstable volcanic rocks filled the gap.

Looking out across to the other side, the journey seemed really dangerous, almost impossible.  While my other two zen compadre’s legs charged forward, my legs stopped (but my worries did keep running on).

“There is no way I could keep up with them” I thought, “Even if I did I couldn’t keep the same pace.”

Uhmm...this looks dangerous.
Uhmm…this looks dangerous.

Just save yourself and leave me behind

Maybe I could do what I usually do when I’m afraid and think I can’t keep up, just tell them to go ahead of me.  But, with now just 45 minutes until lunch I knew even I couldn’t delay or else I would miss lunch.

“Hmm, I think the ponds might be this way,” William said as he just about finished crossing the pool of lava rocks and continued to walk farther off towards the coast.

It was now or never.  I took a step, then took another one while still keeping an eye on William walking farther off in the distance.

“Darn it,” I thought as worry and self criticism started to stream through my head, “I think I might fall.  I’m just not as good at volcano walking as them.  What’s wrong with me?”

I had a vision of where I was trying to go but was overwhelmed with worries that seemed very accurate and prevented my progress.


From visioning we can begin to take action

In my very first blog post, I talk about the amazing reasons why we should envision what success would look like for us.  Visioning is 1 of the 4 major components of the Vibrant Life Formula (a formula that I came to that explains how to live a fulfilling & successful life).

Side note: About the Vibrant Life Formula

Since there is so much to say about this formula I am forced (against my will) to be patient and elaborate on the formula in a future post.  For now I would like to at least share with you what it’s about.  It’s a formula that illustrates what components we need and in what order we need them to live a fulfilled life.

There are 5 main components to the formula, all based around energy.  Each energy component channels energy to the next component.  I started piecing it together in March 2012, understanding and refining it with each realization I had.

Visioning – The 15 in 1 goal achieving tool

For now going back to these 2 components of the formula – Visioning & Action – we can understand how take action and feel good.

Visioning is essential to achieving our goals because it helps us:



Visioning – BEWARE DON’T GO to it’s DARK SIDE!

Visioning is really important, but there is a dark side to visioning when done the wrong way.
We start to experience Negative Vision Energy (NVE) when we stare at it for a long period of time without taking action.
Subsequently, inside our head we start to believe or do the following:
  • Put all of our attention in thinking about it – Result is being distracted in (unable to enjoy) what’s happening now.
    • This usually leads to being resentful of the present moment – The common thought we start thinking is, “Are we there yet?”
  • Thinking our vision is set in stone – Making us inflexible to improving our vision & strategy as new things come up
  • Link it to our self worth – Leading to burnout & low self-esteem when things don’t according to plan
  • Believing only if we achieve it will we be OK – Makes your journey (aka life) full of fear & unhappiness
  • Start comparing ourselves to others farther along – And become paralyzed in taking any action at all
  • Believe achieving it is much more important that our internal care for ourselves

Know your vision, then let it go

Looking straight down at the rocks
Looking straight down at the rocks

Standing in the warm sun with the beautiful pacific ocean crashing against the shore to the left of me and on a meditation hike – this totally seemed like the wrong place to feel worried and unhappy.

I realize now at that point I was on the dark side of visioning.  I felt this little fear inside me and started to have those negative vision energy thoughts:

  • I was definitely not enjoying my hike because all I was focusing on was the other side
  • I started to compare myself to William and Lita’s faster volcano walking abilities, and inferred it somehow confirmed a deep seated fear I had that there was something very inadequate about me
  • I felt this fear inside me that kind of said, “Things will NOT be OK if you can’t catch up with them.”   Looking back I realize things would’ve been fine either way!

Then, for a moment I squeezed my eyebrows, dropped my head, looking down at my feet – away from the vision of where I was trying to go.

I looked at my innocent size 5 feet just hanging out on the my little lava rock waiting for something to do.

Then I had an idea, what if I counted my steps, like I had been taught to during our hiking meditation.  This had helped me get into a zone that was really enjoyable by the second day of the hike.

So I glanced one last time to where I was trying to go, then just looked straight down at my toes.  With each step I then counted, listening to the rocky friction between my Columbia hiking boots and the black rocks for the cue to count.  With each count I kept my attention on my feet moving from rock to rock.

At some point we have to trust we understand our vision and direction and stop staring at it, transitioning our focus to looking straight down, focusing 100% on the now of each physical step to get there.

Focusing 100% of all my attention on each individual action, my next physical step

Called fisherman's village for all the fish there.
Called fisherman’s village for all the fish there.

“One…two…three…four…five…” I counted, while also taking full body breaths every few steps; then I looked up.  Wow I was almost entirely across the rubble and enjoying each step.  I was amazed.  With my overall movement faster I caught up with William.

After 5 more minutes of walking we found a beautiful bay called Fisherman’s Village (although not the pools) that we jumped into filled with beautiful tropical Hawaiian fish and coral.  We even made it back in time for lunch, with me keeping up the whole time!

You don’t want to hear this (about negative vision energy – NVE)

How can we avoid NVE?
You might want to sit down for this.
It’s not avoidable.
Like the yin and yang symbol, with positive, there is negative.  The moment you start seeing an exciting vision, expect your brain to have NVE thoughts.
The good news though, is that
they are just thoughts, and they are not true. 
They may hold clues (that at your discretion) you may evaluate, but they are in no-way-at-all-whatsoever-I-promise-you fortune tellers of the future.
Just as I say polar bear, and you think of a polar bear, that thought meant nothing.
So that thought that starts with, “What if…”, let it come into your head with no judgement or reaction.  Our head sort of has a spiderweb of roads, and a new vision is like opening up a new freeway.  New cars of positive and negative thoughts will come through, it’s kind of part of the deal.  It’s OK.  All you need to know is that you don’t need to get into the car of each thought that comes through.  In fact, the more you might try to stop or resist a thought, the harder the driver will press on it’s brakes and not leave.

Control is an illusion

Let go of the idea of control.  Once that freeway is open, we cannot control who comes in or out.  Instead the much more effective method is directing our attention (without judgement) consistently & patiently back to what we want to focus on.
  1. Develop just enough – Develop a enough of a general idea of your vision.
  2. Re-Focus – Keep refocusing your attention to the positive.
    1. Whenever a negative thought comes up, don’t worry about talking to it, just direct your attention back into one of these 3 positive energy areas
      1. positive vision development,
      2. progress that has happened
      3. or the physical moment.
    2. Don’t be surprised if you have to do this 2x’s a minutes sometimes.
  3. Take Action – Take action, focusing on the physical moment of now as you move.
    1. Immediate Action – Once you have a general idea & direction, then start taking action immediately!  Any action that leads to progress (even researching the idea further) is helpful.  The goal is to stare stop staring at the same cycle of 5 thoughts over and over and over…
    2. Physical Moment of Now – Whatever you are taking action on, put some attention on sensing the physical sensation of what you are doing.

A new view of your vision: Your guiding torch

Our vision guides us and energizes us.  However ironically staring at our vision leads to fear and feelings of inadequacy, leading to procrastination.   Like staring at a flame too long, prolonged staring at our vision disorients us from our immediate surroundings and actually hurts us.

So think of your vision like your guiding glowing torch:

  1. Know it but don’t stare – Glance at it and allow it to guide you
  2. As it guides you, allow yourself to fully get into & enjoy each physical step that is happening right now.

The enchanting tropical paradise of Halape: Additional Pictures

All Photos by William Albritton.  Thanks Will for the photos!

Underwater coral at the secret bay of fisherman's village at Halape, Kilauea, Hawaii.
Underwater coral at the secret bay of fisherman’s village at Halape, Kilauea, Hawaii.








2 thoughts on “Are you visioning the wrong way? BEWARE of the Visioning’s Dark Side

    1. Thanks Desi! If only I could control how I let go of control. Jk. Yeah letting go of the idea of certainty is hard. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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