Needing a Vision?
I’ve been thinking that I need a compelling vision for my life, but now I’m not so sure. I am not talking about simple motivation. I am referring to something that transcends specific goals.
Starting in 2000, I emotionally (not just intellectually) understood that I would have to take care of Barry and support myself. I started working. In 2004, I went back to school to get computer skills. In 2008, Barry got cancer and I was in grad school. I didn’t finish school until last December. Afterwards, I was exhausted and getting Barry onto disability, along with consolidating and getting my student loans automatically debited. It has been one thing after another for 13 years. I have had plenty of motivation: classes, work/study positions, chemo, radiation, and other dramas. I’ve had more than enough to keep me occupied. I’ve been dealing with reality as it comes.
The reason I’m not sure I need an actual vision is something I recently read that makes perfect sense. It comes from one of my favorite authors, Otto Scharmer, in his book Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies. On Page 113, he writes, “The world is full of grandiose leadership visions that were beautifully communicated—before they crashed and burned. Think Enron, Lehman Brothers, GM, AIG, Goldman Sachs, and the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld vision leading up to the Iraq War. The problem was not a lack of vision. The problem was that the vision was completely out of touch with reality. The problem was a lack of listening. All great leadership starts with listening.” Vision is unrelated to ethics and the greater good of the whole. Hitler had a compelling vision.
Motivation is more complicated today. There are endless distractions: 24 hour everything, the internet, casinos everywhere, shifting demographics, political shenanigans, climate change, and everything imaginable. People today have all the traditional sensual distractions and then some. How do you motivate people whose lives revolve around their favorite distractions?
My perceptions today are clearer than ever because I have simplified my life. I have Barry, some family, and a few friends I am devoted to. I have found dimensions of inner silence. So I notice things others don’t simply because I have removed many of my personal distractions.
I am trying to make myself into an empty space, a sacred space, a safe space, for ideas and innovation for a future that will benefit us all.