Very few childhood memories still linger in my mind, but one stands out like yesterday morning.
The year was 1969, and I was a young boy of 6 years. It was late at night, well past my bedtime, but my mother was keeping me up for what she called “a historic moment.” Being a child, I had no grasp at what she meant at the time, but now I am so thankful for her foresight.
As I sat in our den in my pajamas, I saw live on television how Neil Armstrong walked down the steps from his lunar module. Then right before he made the last step, Astronaut Armstrong said the famous words that now define a generation: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
At the start of 1960s, President Kennedy made a vision statement for his generation — By the decade’s end, the United States would have an American walk on the moon. This vision for the country boosted morale as well as created a surge of growth to our neophyte space program. With Kennedy’s vision, NASA took off and became a dominant force, with all eyes looking upward at the moon, wondering, “Can we really do it?”
When Neil Armstrong’s foot landed on the moon’s surface, it was an evolutionary step for humanity. It showed that anything is possible, but it all starts with a vision.
Our vision is our guiding light. We all need this light. In a sense, it is a survival mechanism. Psychologists discovered that when mice were placed in a tub with no way out, they would stop swimming after 45 minutes and drown. However, if the mice had a light shining upon them, they would continue to swim for 36 hours. The mice were motivated through the darkness by a vision of light.
In his book, “The Power of Purpose,” Dick Leider interviewed hundreds of people in their 70s and 80s. He asked them two simple questions: “If you could live your life over again what would you change?” and “What is the wisdom that you would pass on?”
The most frequent answers were that they would have had a better vision for their life’s direction and that this vision would have made a difference.
Becoming aware of your true vision and having that vision aligned with your life and career may be the most difficult task a person can accomplish, but it is one of the most important tasks to fulfill. Here is some help with accomplishing this goal:
Discover your vision
The most important step in this process is to develop a vision statement. This is a purpose statement about what will give you meaning and direction. While a difficult statement to develop, a few questions will assist in this endeavor:
1.Whom do you admire and why?
2.What are some of the greatest contributions to our world?
3.What do you see as meaningful?
4.What significant contributions would you like to make in the world?
Once you have answers to these questions, create a vision statement that resonates with your answers. Post this vision statement on your computer, and anywhere you will gaze upon it when needed.
Henry David Thoreau once said, “In the long run, men hit only what they aim at.”
I would add, “We need to know where to aim.” The passing this week of Neil Armstrong reminds us that when we have vision in our life, we will hit amazing targets.