Life is growth. Babies blossom into children. Seeds spring up as lush plants. Although both of those examples are physical, growth also manifests itself mentally and spiritually.
While physical growth occurs naturally with time, mental and spiritual growth rely on the individual and choices made in life. This is where vision comes into play. Vision, at its best, allows us to see into the future, beyond merely today and tomorrow. With thorough vision we can see what lies far ahead in life.
Let’s use a white belt, beginning martial arts student to illustrate the meaning and power of vision.
The white belt comes to training and sees other martial artists of higher rank performing difficult techniques with speed and precision. As a white belt, it’s simply not practical to expect yourself to walk into class and replicate a 360 roundhouse kick like a black belt; and here lies the crossroads where vision takes over. Someone with shallow vision views the difficult technique as out of reach. Maybe you can’t jump very high or stretch far enough. As a beginner, no one really can. So, you must let positive vision take over and frame the situation for your benefit. Those difficult techniques when seen from the proper perspective are not out of reach. They are simply in your future; not today, nor tomorrow, but ahead down the road. You must envision yourself with the black belt strapped around your waist or the 4th degree stripes on your belt. Use your imagination and paint that image strongly in your mind. See that the goal can become reality.
Now, you must find direction to bring forth successes you envision. In martial arts, you don’t need to look far. Your school’s curriculum, instructors’ guidance and belt testing all provide direction you need. Outside of martial arts, direction can be provided for you by family, friends and teachers. But in many cases, especially in young adulthood and beyond, you must find direction on your own. You must rely on your vision to discover a path for you. Do you want to improve in school? Start a business? Eat healthier? All of these choices are examples of directions that require dedication and are not attainable in one day. Discovering such choices for yourself, and being able to picture success, is a product of your vision.
The successful building contractor sees an empty lot and pictures a thriving shopping mall there. A doctor sees a sad, sick patient but envisions their path to recovery and complete health. And a winning martial artist looks down at his or her waist, sees a white belt, but mentally peers into the future and pictures a black belt tied across that same waist.
Moving forward is simply part of life. While we cannot stop the passage of time, or avoid aging, we can use vision to give us a clear path to worthy goals and a life of success and happiness.