Five Things About Having a Vision:

I am convinced that having a clear vision for the future brings: energy, clarity, and companionship to life. I’ve been “practicing” living with a clear vision of my future for over five years now.  It’s been more exciting and energizing than I ever imagined having a clear vision for my future could be.

These are the five things I’ve found true in my own life as a result of having a clear vision.

  1.  Having a clear vision for the future brings focus and purpose into everyday life.  It’s an antidote to the “quotidian” (the “dailyness of life”).  With a clear vision for my future I know how to invest my time, (even a free 15 minutes) into developing knowledge, relationships etc. that support my vision.
  2. Having a clear vision for the future makes decision making easier.  Decision by definition require action and often times mean we choose one action over another.  With a clear vision for my future I find that decision making is easer.  I know where I am headed and who and what  I want to be, and have in my life, thus I am able to choose with my future in mind. I can ask myself does this person, opportunity etc. support the vision I have for my future or does it “misdirect” me? Sometimes the “good enough” is the enemy of what is “best”.  Having a clear vision really helps me discern the “good” from the “best”.
  3. Having a clear vision for the future brings quality relationships. Since I know who and what I want to be, I know who I need to be cultivating meaningful relationships with now.  I have found as a result of having a clear vision for my future it is easier to approach and build relationships with people.  A vision for my future gives me the courage to approach people AND those people are eager to engage and support me because I have a vision and know where I am headed.  People are eager to partner with someone with a clear vision!
  4. Having a clear vision for the future helps me to enjoy the present.  A few years ago I found myself feeling like I needed to “do everything and be everything” right now.  It’s sort of a crazy-making sort of feeling.  As I worked on developing a clear vision for my future, a surprise benefit was it released me to understand that I don’t have to be everything and do everything right nowIt freed me to enjoy the present and enjoy the journey, knowing that I have a plan and a path to being and achieving the things that are important to me.
  5. Having a clear vision for the future fights stagnation.   It’s easy to start to feel that “this is it”.  As I’ve developed my vision and used Strategic Futuring as a tool.  I’ve come to understand that “how it is now is not how it is going to be”. . . we are always changing and growing and sometimes the process is so subtle that it is hard to identify.  With the clear vision I have for my future I know that I’m not stuck and when I start to feel that way I just review my vision and start making decisions, seeking knowledge and building relationships that support my vision.  As I do this, the energy and excitement from being on the path to my vision are renewed!

Living with a clear vision is living with INTENTION and STRATEGICALLY.

Living with a clear vision gives ENERGY and EXCITEMENT.

❧  Do you have a clear vision for your future?

❧  Do you know how to find a clear vision for your future? (I think Strategic Futuring is the best tool out there.  If you want to know more, please contact me!)



I learned this sage advice from my dad.  Judges have good advice like that!

It’s easy in decision making (I find) to get tangled in a maze of “what if”, “but what about”, “did I think of”, “did I ask. . .”, “what will I know tomorrow, that I should know today”, AHHH. . it’s C.R.A.Z.Y. making. When I find myself, or people I know getting sucked into the vortex of “what if etc. etc. ” I come back to these wise words. . .


Ah, sometimes I will make the right decision (on purpose OR by accident. .  .) I have made lots of “right” decisions. Right decisions feel great, but they always lead to another decision!

Sometimes I’m going to make wrong decisions, to date it hasn’t resulted in the end of the world.  I learn, I readjust, apologize, start over, or just move on.  Lessons are learned and it’s usually alright in the end. (Again, my wrong decisions have yet to result in the end of the world as we know it!)

Never in Doubt. . Doubt is like “no-man’s land”. . . it’s a place where we are stagnate, we’re not moving, we’re certainly not being strategic stuck in ‘doubt’.  When I find myself in the wasteland of “doubt” I remind myself. . .

Sometimes Rights, Sometimes Wrong, Never in Doubt!!


What “Good Advice” to you use to when to get “unstuck”?


Reflective Ways to Find a New Map

We can’t rely on the old map, in a new territory. . .

But how do we know that our old map isn’t working? And how do we find a new map?

Last week I was putting together an IKEA chair.  All was going well until I couldn’t get a long screw to “catch”  the little bolt as it was supposed to.  Time and time and time again I tried, It wasn’t working.  My mom who was helping me suggested turning the bolt around.  Bingo! It worked!  I was caught in task pursuit, trying the same thing over, and over, and over again (to NO avail), I needed new eyes, and a new map.

Quinn, in Deep Change, suggests the following “prescriptions” for “breaking the logic of task pursuit.” These are reflective ways to find a new map.

Listen Carefully

  • Listen carefully to what your heart and soul are telling you.
  • Listen carefully to the directions (if I would have studied the IKEA directions just a bit more carefully, I would have know which way to put the bolt!)
  • Listen carefully to the voices of wisdom in your life.

Try Reaching Back

  • Thinking back to what has brought you joy, pain, purpose.
  • Thinking to old hopes and dreams, what can those things tell you about your present?
  • Reach back to old friendships and relationships, to those “who knew you when”, what advice and insight do they have for you know, given who you were?

Reexamine your Motives

  • What is motivating you now? Safety? Security? Fear? Love?
  • Do you need new motives? Does thinking about this make you defensive. Why?
  • Have you original motives gotten out of alignment?

What ways or questions to you use when you find yourself using an old map, stuck in the “logic of task pursuit?


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If You Always Do. . .

“. . . what you’ve always done, you’ll always be, what you’ve always been”. . .

Robert Quinn, in his book “Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within” illustrates this in a more “academic way:”


“In pursuing a task, we naturally follow our existing paradigms, scripts or frameworks.  These maps are the key to our past success.  The problem is that as we experience success, we change, and so does the world.  A map we have used in the past might be of limited value in new territory. In a new situation, if we cling to our old map, we might become deeply frustrated.  At such times, we often become trapped in the logic of task pursuit.”


I think it’s part of our human nature to figure out what works, and try and run with that.  As Quinn observers though, we need to be aware that things change, you change, situations change, the world changes, and what has always worked, might not be working for you NOW.

What about you? Are you using the same map in a new territory? Do you need to find a new map? How do you break out of that strong pull of “logic” that lures you to “do what you’ve always done”. . even if that doesn’t really work any more?

Stay tuned for some thoughts about how to find a new map!




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Five Question Reality Assessment

“An assessment of one’s current reality is essential if the next part of the journey is to be traveled well.”

Ray Rood Founder & President of The Genysys Group

In work I’ve done with organizations and with people the first step is always to define reality.  On the surface that seems pretty obvious.  Except, I’ve found that too often we aren’t really clear on what the reality we are living really is. In the business of life, we tend to react and respond without taking the time to stop and be clear about what and why are are reacting and responding.

Ray Rood, founder of The Genysys Group recently responded to a question about defining reality, he shared five questions he finds useful to define reality.

“I have found (these questions) helpful in defining my reality sometimes on the fly in anticipation of the next leg of my journey.”- Ray

What have I learned from my recent past?

I think often times we don’t know what we know, until we KNOW what we know.  Taking time to stop and think about what lessons have been emerging in your life helps you to know what you know.  As you stop to reflect you may find that something that has always worked well, isn’t working as well now, or something has started to work that didn’t use to.  Perhaps a relationship that use to be life-giving and helpful is starting to be a drain? Or a workout has become boring and no longer energizing? There are lots of lessons (big and small) waiting to be “harvested” when you take the time to reflect.

What do I know to be true and significant about my current reality?

Is there joy in what you are doing? Is there a sense of fear and dread? Whatever it may be, to identify what is true and significant begins to give us the tools to further embrace where we find ourselves or being a journey of change.

What do I need to do with this knowledge?

This is that “call to action” question.  How do you need to act on the information you have gathered from the first two questions?

With whom do I need to share my knowledge and learning?

We need partners in our life to support and challenge us.  Who do you need as a support in this season?

What kind of support and accountability do I need in order to maintain sufficient stability amidst the white water and winds of change that surrounded me?

I believe there are always people around who desire to support and challenge people in their growth.  As you become clear on what type of support that you need, it’s okay to ask people to support you in the way that you need.  I want to provide helpful and meaningful support in the lives of my friends, and I don’t always know what that is, so if someone can tell me what they need, I’m always happy to listen.

❧ Is it time for a “Reality Assessment” in your life?

❧ What questions help you to define reality in your life?

Banish Balance!

Balance, we talk about it, long for it and strive for it. STOP!

You can’t achieve it, don’t try.

Find a new word! Balance by definition is “all things equal”.  Just think about a balance scale.  When the scale is balanced there are two things of equal weight.  When we spend so  much time talking about “balance” (IE: Work/life balance) we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.  We can’t achieve “equal” parts of “personal time” “family time” “work time” “physical activity time” “personal development” “sleep” “social time” etc. etc. Years ago I began to use the word “integration” to replace balance in my vocabulary.

Integration is finding the appropriate “weight” for each activity in my life. It’s an ever ebbing and flowing concept.  To make sure I have the appropriate “integration” in my life I first have to make sure I know what my big “categories” are: family (nurturing, teaching, cleaning, eating, fun, learning together), Physical (working out), Intellectual (reading books, blogs, news etc.) Relationships (maintaining, developing w/family and friends) Spiritual (relationship with God, prayer, service).   These are the categories/activities/events that really matter in my life, the things that I want incorporated into my life each week. I don’t want balance (equal parts), I want a nice integration of them all.

For example:I like to run for 30 minutes. I don’t want to spend as much time running as I spend with my family!  But I want to make sure that some time in my week is dedicated to getting outside and running. I love to read, I could spend all day reading, but my family (and I, most of the time) don’t want to sacrifice quality time with my family over a book, but sometimes, the quality of time with my family is better if I have read a little bit of something! Integration helps me understand what is important, and find the proper ratio in a 24 hour day for all of the things that matter.

Banish Balance!

Embrace Integration!!

❧ Do you strive for balance? Does integration make sense to you?

❧ What are your “big categories?”

❧ What would a successfully “integrated” day look like in your life?

Questions to Get You Off the Bench.

I love questions.

I think good questions, both the ability to ask them, and the courage to answer them are keys to personal growth and maturity.

Questions clarify what we know while challenging us that there is always more to know and understand about ourselves and the world in which we live.

Several months ago I was reminded of two questions that are good to ask in almost any situation.  The person sharing these with me framed these questions as questions that “tap into our intuition”.  He believed that we know what we know, we just don’t know what we know until we stop to ask ourselves what we know. (did you get that?)

These two questions seem pretty simple and straight forward. . . at first. However, when you take time to “work them into your life” the become challenging and also great tools for clarification.

Are you ready for these two questions?

❧What do you know?

❧What do you need to do about it?

Pretty simple right?  But, as you start to ask yourself through out the day, “Okay, what do I know about this situation? And given what I know, is there anything I need to do about this?”  They become calls to action.  They steer us away frompassive living. They challenge us to become active participants in our lives, not just “live and let live”.

These two questions are posted above my desk.  Every time I sit down they cause me pause to stop and think.  I find they call me to responsibility and action in my life.  When I think about “what do I need to do” often time I realize I must improve, challenge or participant in what is happening around me.

These questions call you “off the bench and into the game of life”

So proceed with caution!

❧ What do YOU know?

❧What do you need to DO ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW?

Making Friends. . .

Recently I was chatting with a woman about weakness.  Part of the Strategic Futuring process is identifying a few personal weakness and/or challenges.  It’s amazing to me how quickly and easily people are able to rattle off a LONG list, and yet when I ask them about Strengths. . those things they are really good at, it’s a lot harder to get people to talk.  But that’s not my point today!

As we talked about the five weakness she had listed I challenged her with, “Which of these weakness do you need to make friend with?”  It was met with a little bit of a blank stare, “make friends with my weakness?”

Here’s what I mean.  Math, is a weakness for me.  I know math is logical, two plus two equals four.  My mind just doesn’t work in a “mathy” sort of way.  It’s a weakness. I could invest a lot of time learning algebra and calculus and “conquoring” this weakness.  It just doesn’t seem like a good use of my time.  I’d rather invest my time and energy in my strengths! I’ve made friends with my weakness when it comes to all things math, and I bought a calculator. Done.  Math and I are friends. (And I have to say, it’s a great friendship!)

We all do have weakness that we need to address, character traits and things that generally get in the way of achieving our goals and dreams.  Those are not the weakness that we need to befriend.  Those are things we need to work to address. There is a difference between things that are annoying, and bothersome, and things that are keeping us from achieving our goals and becoming the person we were created to be. That said, I hold that somethings we categorize as “weakness” we just need to make friends with, make peace with and move on!

Living Strategically is about learning what you need to act on and address in a proactive and inventive way AND learning what you need to simply manage.  Some weaknesses we need to manage.  I manage not being good at math by getting a calculator.  Maybe you need to manage a weakness by asking for help, assigning someone else to a task, reframing something, or just “letting it go”  (I think somethings we obsess over, when we step back, might not matter so much in the end?!)

❧ Do you have any weakness or challenges in your life that you need to make friends with?

❧ How can you involve those around you in the process of “making friends” with a weakness?

What truly matters. . .

I recently ran across this quote:

The only way to avoid a life of confusion, being torn between arbitrary

priorities and making decisions that are completely random, is to find a

set of values that is both positive and dependable. A person who is living

in a state of wellness—a life characterized by strong, healthy, consistent

standards of what truly matters—is someone who has taken the time to

understand and affirm his/her authentic priorities

-Robert Hansel

Last week I was talking with a friend about her values.  Part of our discussion focused on realizing that as you become clear about what you value, it also helps clarify and guide decision-making.

Are you clear on what you value and why those things are a value?