There was this professional who was depressed. He told me that he had no idea what to do and he spent his day staring at the walls. He had no enthusiasm for anything. He went through each day with one foot in front of the other. He neither looked back nor looked forward. And he didn’t live in the present. I asked him what would give him the most joy if he could do anything. He had no idea and had never thought about it. I suggested he take a walk, think about it, and maybe something would come up. He said he was comfortable in his recliner.
One of the many problems we face in life is that we get stuck in our comfort zone. We live in the past, or we are fearful of what may happen. The guy was me about fifteen years ago during the recovery from prostate surgery. I had all the classic symptoms: felt sorry for myself, asked why this happened to me, and really didn’t care about anything anymore. If you have ever been to one of our retreats you probably heard my story and how I met Cheryl. This was B.C. (Before Cheryl), another time in my life.
I got to thinking about those days and all that has happened to me since, while I was coming up with a good way to start our year off. Many of the new clients I have met are locked into their comfort zone, have lost their way or had a major event beat them down. They are off their path, frustrated and basically not happy. This sounded just like me.
Have you ever wondered what your purpose in life was? Are you just a victim of circumstance or do you have a grander purpose? If you are like me, from time to time it occurs to you that you must have a purpose. Perhaps it is my mature years or some yearning to just figure it out, but I have been working on this puzzle for the past few years. The result of all this was no great revelation but instead the pieces of a puzzle started coming together.
There is a neat exercise you can use to discover your purpose in life. Dare to DREAM! In this exercise forget about all preconceived restrictions and just dream about the perfect future. What does it feel like? What does it look like? A vision is a dream that focuses on what you want the future to be like and your role in creating that future. Visionless people view all change as a threat. They live in denial of the future, wedded to the past, longingly remembering the way things used to be. Life is an endurance test for these folks and hanging around them is a test of patience. Does this sound like anyone you know?
A good vision statement will take you out of your comfort zone and will frequently redefine success for you. Your vision is a long-term approach to life. It is not something you will accomplish in the next month, the next year or probably not within the decade. The vision will be full of colors and emotions and excitement.
The lack of personal vision can be physically and emotionally debilitating. You have no desire to do anything. You are not excited. There is no anticipation about the day, no looking forward to getting up in the morning. All you want to do is exist. When you create a vision that you really believe in the energy comes back.
So go ahead and dream. You don’t have to share this secret place with anyone. Believe in yourself and develop passion for your vision and you will discover joy again.