Having Visions (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

Who doesn't like to fantasize? Fantasies, daydreams, and whimsies of all kinds are enjoyable and pleasurable. Dreams are thought candy—enjoyable in moderation and as part of a well-balanced thought diet.

Everyone who has ever made an impact on the world had a dream. Whether they founded a company, ruled a country, or started a movement, it all began in their mind and heart as a dream. Initially, that dream may have been laced with fantasies of fame, riches, or power. They may have imagined success, acclaim, or respect. Therein lie the traps and temptations of big dreams.

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Of course, it doesn't stop there: dreaming is a good place to start, but it's not the place to stop. Bringing a dream to life entails facing challenges and problems, as well as obstacles and outright opposition. So, what distinguishes dreamers from visionaries? What is the process by which a fantasy becomes a reality?

When Reality Smacks You in the Face

When we refer to someone as a dreamer, it is almost never a compliment. We generally refer to someone who is unfocused or lost in their own thoughts, and we anticipate that they will be unlikely to do anything of value or have any meaningful impact.

When we refer to someone as a visionary, however, it is a completely different story. They are someone we regard as forward-thinking, daring, and adventurous. We anticipate great things from them. The distinction is that they make things happen in the real world.

So, what is vision that distinguishes it from dreaming? Vision is the outcome of applying the laws of physics, human nature, and economics to a dream in order to make it a reality. The visionary stops luxuriating in all the possibilities inherent in dreaming and instead chooses one and makes it a reality. Being a dreamer is a prerequisite for becoming a visionary, but not every dreamer becomes a visionary. Vision necessitates refinement, and many dreamers are unwilling to put in the effort or make the sacrifices that such refinement necessitates.

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Is vision required in business, government, education, or religion? No. There are numerous organizations with visionless leaders. If that doesn't sound very inspiring, it's because it isn't: vision is a motivator, so it's understandable that organizations without vision don't do much to improve the world we live in. In reality, they are usually attempting to maintain the status quo. Vision is required for anything to move forward, upward, or onward. With enough vision, even small organizations can have an impact, and small organizations with vision often grow into large organizations. That's how we got Kiva and NPR, as well as Amber Alerts and Girl Scout cookies. It's also how we got Gracia Madre's organic vegan Mexican food and Saint Benoit Creamery's delicious Jersey milk and yogurt.

You haven't heard of the last two? It's probably because they're committed to being both local and healthy, but that doesn't mean they're not visionary organizations led by visionary people. Sometimes the vision is narrow rather than broad. That is the wonderful thing about vision: it is entirely up to the visionary to choose.

Why Are Visionaries Willing to Pay a High Price?

You've probably figured out by now that you can dream all you want for free, but there is a cost to being visionary. Turning a dream into a vision necessitates difficult decisions, such as letting go of frivolous attachments and speculative leanings. That may sound like it would suffocate your fantasy, but consider this: would you rather spend your days wishing you had the perfect pony with a flowing mane and trophy-winning speed, or riding your own real live horse?

Not everyone is cut out for horseback riding. You may be interested in the horse, the race, or the stables. There is plenty of room for opposing viewpoints. Whatever your dream may be, one truth remains: vision is what makes dreams a reality. So go out and buy that horse, because there will be nothing to ride until you do. Learn to ride that horse until you can race, and then race as fast as you can. Whether you win or lose, you are now beyond the dream and doing something real.

Every visionary does not become a household name, but every visionary makes a difference. Join the ranks of those who, big and small, are making an impact because they are living their vision rather than just dreaming about it.

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