Well, Kari, it's the beginning of 2014 and traditionally at this time of year, we make New Year's Resolutions. Why we wait until midnight on December 31st to make these resolutions — this turning over of new leaves — beats me... We should be making resolutions continuously, throughout the year. I didn't make a single New Year's Resolution, as I chose a long time ago, precisely where i want to be.
Nevertheless, I think it fitting, in this first week of 2014 — and particularly in light of the journey you and I have embarked upon together, Kari — to discuss the importance of developing a Vision.
To me, the word "vision" implies literally what is says: Using the mind's-eye to see, with crystal clarity, the path or journey that lies ahead. We envisage where we want to Be and who we seek to Be-come. A vision is about consolidating one's dreams and ambitions into a single, unwavering, focused train of thought.
A vision can be held either individually or collectively, as in a company vision. Not, as one might think, framed and hanging on the wall in the company foyer, where the only attention it's given is a weekly dusting — rather an organic process, constantly in amendment and perfecting; the milestone by which progress is measured.
So, the 'silly season' is drawing to a close and we're back to work, in one form or another, and it's time to lay out that bunch or resolutions on the table and see what can be made of them! Whether it's a case of setting out to discover and implement your calling, or if it's something like quitting smoking, or taking up golf, these I would term as goals, which need to find their place within your vision.
It is also important to establish both a short-term and long-term vision. This ensures that, along the road to manifesting the fullest potential of yourself or your business, you don't stray too far from the step-by-step path you're creating.
Kari, perhaps you could share what having a vision means to you, and thereafter we could give a few pointers to our readers as far as building the foundations for a sustainable vision.
You certainly started our first conversation this year with a very appropriate topic, Guy! And... I'm sorry to say... many of the resolutions that where made on New Years Eve...may already be blown with the wind.
For me personally, I didn't make any new resolutions either. My life is exactly where I want it to be, simply because I have to take full responsibility for what I've created. I have goals I haven't reached yet, but the fact is, it's the road to get to our goal, that is important. That is where we discover what we're capable of, where we find our potential to grow.
Again I want to reiterate of the fact that our conscious mind is only about 5 % of our capacity. So many things and processes happen unconsciously, when we try to change old habits. And, obvious, but often forgotten, when we take something away, what kind of substitute do we find?
Every single thing we have ever experienced, the brain has a picture of it. Let's take an example I often use for my clients. A new-born baby sees a pen (why a pen...? Because I usually have a pen near by, because I'm taking notes while working...). She has never seen a pen before, she has no idea what it is. But the picture will forever be held in her brain, together with whatever else there is in this situation. Is she happy or sad, does it smell anything? What is she hearing at the same time... All this creates an image that her brain will use every time she sees a pen for the rest of her life. Then, every time she sees a pen again, the picture will be filled out with new information, new feelings, new smells, new sounds. And she learns the practical use of it, she learns how to take advantage of it. She experiences how it can help her getting what she wants, or not getting what she wants...
This is pretty amazing! Think about it! Our brain uses every single piece of information of everything we have ever experienced, the whole picture of it, as a reference to make new resolutions! And for every word we speak, every thought we think, images are put together in the brain to make it understandable.
Have you ever experienced, Guy, when you want to make new resolutions, that it's easy to see the goal, but when you try to make a complete vision of it, it's starting to be difficult? I have experienced that!! And I also see it almost every day, when I get new clients! I usually ask them before we start, what intentions they have with the treatment they're about to get. This is a very typical conversation..:
"I want a life without my headaches, I want to feel good..."
"So, what does 'feel good' mean to you?"
"I don't want these headaches anymore..."
"Ok, what do you want instead?"
"I want my headaches to disappear, it would be a new life"
"Ok, how do you envisage your new life?"
"It would be wonderful, no headaches..."
" So, what do you want?"
" I want my headache to go away..."
You see, Guy? Round and round in circles... And the brain get the message, in this case the vision is to continue having headaches...
What happens if we change this conversation a bit:
"I want to be filled with new energy, I want to feel strong and healthy!"
" So, what is that for you?"
" I would have energy to play with my kids, to listen to my partner, to end my working day happy, knowing that I've done a great job, and now, just looking forward to come home and meet the rest of my day"
" Ok, so how do you envisage your day?"
" I can see myself laughing and dancing through life, I feel completely safe, I know whatever comes, is the right thing to come even if I don't understand it right away. I trust my surroundings to reflect what I send out and I understand that it is my responsibility to make those changes needed in order to reach my goals."
You see the difference? Again, the brain get the message... Now, the vision is completely different!
And the biggest difference here, is that in the first conversation, the focus was on pain. And pain is connected to fear. Then the brain's defense system reacts and then you get into a fight/flight mode. When in fight/flight mode, you don't find new solutions to your problem, you don't even reach all your new learned ways to do it! You just unconsciously repeat your old pattern...
In the second conversation, when making that vision, you stay focused in the moment, and step by step you create new patterns of behavior. It's important to hold on to the vision, to stay focused and in the moment, be aware of what you feel and acknowledge it. It's your history, you are the only one in the world with exactly this history and that's why other "expert's" advice should continue to be just that. Advice. Maybe you just have to let it work for a while. Remember, everything you experience is references for what you choose. So, it could be that at one point, it's appropriate for you, even if it's not right now... It could also be that another solution is appropriate for you, at some point. As long as you keep focused on a vision filled with what you want, not what you don't want, fill it out with as many details as you can, make it alive and stay in the moment....
We are experts in doing this! We do it every day! That's how we've created the things we now want to change...
How do you, as an Ontological Coach, approach this, Guy?
As you say, Kari, our vision should be all about the things that we want, not what we don't want. This is one of life's greatest illusions — after all we always get everything we ask for, it's just that most of the time we're unconsciously asking for all the stuff we 'don't want' and we wonder why!
So we need to watch our language — and your examples of the two differing conversations illustrate that observation of language perfectly, Kari. I've said before that we vastly underestimate the power of language, for with it we construct our lives, our dreams, our vision...
We also use language to dis-empower ourselves, as well as others. It follows then, that in a business, if the language of management is clearly communicating the vision as it should be, the mood for success will automatically rub off on the rest of the staff, leading to exponential growth.
During one of my coaching workshops for entrepreneurs, I introduce coachees to a guided Visualisation. Much like the baby stores away the memory of the pen (along with everything else it represents to the child's senses), so I urge the entrepreneurs, via a meditative process, to visualise their ultimate business, from its location, to the fittings and fixtures, the people employed there, right down to the kinds of conversations taking place and the mood-space you occupy... This kind of visualisation is a very powerful tool — especially when visited on a regular basis for tweaking or altering. By adding to the mix a meditative setting, allows one's Way of Being to cement new imagery and thinking into the memory banks. Here you begin tapping into that remaining 95% capacity!
Personally, I find that this works far better than having your vision rattling about in your head, where it soon dissipate; or even written down in a journal somewhere, where it eventually becomes forgotten at the bottom of a drawer... Having said that, I will never knock the usefulness of a journal, as you can record the progress made and thought you might have. Add the visualisation process to the equation on a regular basis, though, (set aside time for it, just as you might for a daily meditation routine) and you have a guaranteed recipe for success. This is the legitimate day-dream that actually brings results!
As I always maintain, this takes perseverance. Keep at it though, because the more you visualise what you WANT, the more observant of your language you will become, and the more you will notice the stuff that you're not saying, thinking or doing that will fill the gaps in the bridge to Abundance!
What further gems do you have for us, Kari, in establishing and maintaining our vision?
I had this wonderful experience yesterday, Guy, when I was about to leave my clinic to go home. I often use my bicycle to work just to get some exercise, and yesterday, when getting ready to end my day, it was very dark, like it is in Norway at this time of year, and it was raining. One part of me said I really look forward to biking, while another, grown up voice somewhere told me that it was a stupid idea,. With a lot of persuading arguments....You get wet, you get cold, it's traffic, there is no light on your bike.... And there is a bus going the same direction in 15 minutes! So, stop this nonsense! Do you want to get sick?
So I decided to take the bus...
I could almost hear little baby Kari whining: I want to bike home... I want to feel the wind and rain in my hair!! And grown up Kari said: No, you can't do that! It's too dark, it's too wet! Listen to me now!
So, little Kari gave up. And grown up Kari went to catch the bus. And it wasn't there... I had to wait for one more hour, the bus schedules had changed. I got back to my clinic to get my bike and little Kari was happy again!
I was thinking about that on my rainy and windy way home. I created this situation, like everything else in my life. In my heart I really wanted to use my bike, I wanted to get wet and a bit cold, I've done that all my life and the vision in my mind was so clear, even without me reflecting on it. It has been a natural part of me, and my whole body is happy and feels young and strong again, when i follow this vision. And, the most important here, this vision is so clear in my mind that it creates the biggest potential.
Was it just that I wanted to bike? No, it was all the other details, darkness, temperature, rain, wind.. It reminded me of a long forgotten memory from my childhood, the same weather, the same darkness, the same temperature and I felt so very happy! So safe! So loved!
So my vision created the same feelings in my subconscious mind, it created a potential! I tried to ignore it, I tried to behave like a grown up, rational woman. But my vision was stronger, this potential was stronger! And the strongest potential won! I was stopped by changed bus schedules.
Did my strong vision change bus schedules???
No, of course not! But as I said, I usually take my bike. Some days I take the bus. I knew they had changed the schedule, I'd just forgotten it. It was absolutely out of my focus, it wasn't a part of my vision. Grown up, rational Kari listened to her left, rational, structured brain and did what made the most sense in the moment. It was a conscious choice, a choice made of the 5% conscious mind. My vision was an old one, made when I was a child, filled with feelings and emotions, now it resides in my sub-and-unconscious mind and that is 95% stronger...
We can use this by intent. When we envision something for the first time, a great result for an exam, speaking in public, finding the perfect love, enough money, the best job, whatever we need for a life in Abundance, we start to build potential. Every time we create our vision, it gets clearer. And every time we touch some memories, something we have experienced before. It's like a game, a game with the brain. It will play along, it will get everything you need to make the vision stronger and stronger. And the potential grows for it to happen.
What is really happening here? You reprogram you brain, like reprogramming your computer. You're the boss, you can program your brain with whatever you want, through your thoughts and words! And you will get it! Exactly what you ask for. Maybe not today... But when the potential is big enough....?
Unconsciously you know it, we all do! Because that is what we do! We create everything in our life every day, mostly unconsciously. And as long as this stays unconscious it's very confusing and we mostly have the same results over and over.
Why not start using it for the benefit of good, both for yourself and everybody around you?
Next week I want to continue and go deeper into the obstacles we can meet, when we want to change our life through conscious vision. And how we can take ownership of the obstacles and change them!
Make sure you follow us next week!