Vision: Practising to Fit the Pieces of the Puzzle Together
Hundred and fifty four days of taking time to write my vision. Hundred and thirty three days more than the original twenty one days I had in mind. And still counting.
Well, in the beginning of 2017, I made it my goal to take time out in every week for self-improvement and learning something new as part of my focus to balancing my approach to life, business and me-time. I would focus on structured planning. My goal for 2017 in a nutshell:
Thanks to the courtesy of receiving the regular newsletters from Flying Solo in my inbox, I ended up listening to a podcast from Catherine Plano about approaching life and business and it fitted really well in my goal for 2017.
Approaching life and business
The podcast focuses on six key areas for approaching life and business:
- The importance of having a vision and mission;
- Knowing what you want to be, want to do and want to have – but mostly focus on being what you want to be rather than what you want to have;
- Consistency – showing up consistently every day for at least 21 days to rebuild the neuropaths in our brains (good tip for working on the areas where you want to get out of your comfort zone);
- Practise gratitude;
- Having a curious, learning mindset; and
- Understanding that there is no such thing as failure, just feedback.
In the end, just like a puzzle – the six areas fit together to set a solid approach to business and life.
I certainly recommend listening to the podcast if you are in need of a reboot or rethink on how you approach life, work and business.
Developing Good Habits rather than “Breaking Bad”
As a business owners we get confronted with the 30 second pitch of what we do and how it benefits our customers on a regular basis.
We have to be mindful of being clear to explain what we do in such a manner that it makes sense for the person or the potential client in front of you.
Explaining procurement can be challenging.
“Procurement” makes sense for people in procurement but it takes some thinking to explain to those who have never heard of the term or seen procurement in action.
Without vision and a plan in hand, it can be a difficult exercise to pitch procurement.
Also, it is generally accepted to take at least 21 days of consistent focus to change your neuropaths to create a new habit rather than go back to the old comfort zone. And to really imbed a new habit, probably in the area of 65 days.
When listening to Catherine Plano’s podcast, I decided that instead of focusing on breaking some bad habit, I would focus on developing a good habit.
I committed to consistently show up for twenty one (consecutive) days of taking time out to write my vision.
Vision – A Roadmap
According to the Business Directory, vision is:
“An aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serves as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.“
Vision is a roadmap – a guide that sets direction.
Although the focus is very much on companies or businesses and their vision statements, as individuals vision becomes an intertwined, complexed matter. It touches on:
- what we do,
- who we have relationships with and associate with,
- where we want to get to and
- importantly why we have the vision we have.
In life and business, we unfortunately cannot go to the toy store and select a puzzle.
In my opinion, instead of having all of the pieces of the puzzle in a handy box, with a nice picture on the front, we are confronted with different pieces along the way. The picture often is not clear and thus being clear about:
- your vision,
- the big picture and
- why we are on the journey we are,
become critical in order to keep our sense of direction.
Big Picture – Still a Thousand Pieces
It took a number of days to settle into the habit of writing my vision and developing a big picture that is clear to me.
For the first 21 days, I showed up every day whether it was Monday, Sunday or a rainy day.
For the first ten or so days, I would almost try and recite what I wrote the day before. Since then, it has become more natural and flows really well. However, I do not write the same stuff every day.
There are days where I cannot get to write my vision, but in those days, I stop and think about what it is that I am doing and work out why it is keeping me from getting to write it down. I make mental time to think about my vision.
Similar to a puzzle, vision has it corner pieces.
It has the sides that connect the framework for the puzzle and sets the outline for the big picture.
And just like when you do a puzzle….
- you think that a piece has a particular spot and it so almost fits perfectly, but alas – not the right place or time.
- or you have to step back and look at it from a different perspective in order to make the piece fit in the right spot.
- it takes someone else to fit the piece in the right place for you.
And in desperate times
- you break it up and start all over again – either with the same puzzle or a different one.
But without your vision and your roadmap, there would be no corner pieces, no framework and thus no real direction. The puzzle will not make sense.
Vision – A Sense of Direction
Listening to Catherine Plano fitted the pieces together for me on how I approach life and business.
My vision for life and for my business guides me to make decisions that align with my big picture as I have a clearer sense of what that is.
It creates foundation and connects.
Know who I want to be
One of the key wins for me in this process, is how this process highlighted to me over time what I want to be and thus what I want to do.
Life is a journey, it is an adventure and sometimes we all have to make decisions reaching very deep. Some decisions are tough ones, but having a sense of what we want to be rather than what want to have brings context and understanding and it keeps us going when we really don’t know how we can go on.
Twenty one days came and went. I made the decision to stretch myself for sixty five days.
Right here and now I stand on one hundred and fifty four days.
I am showing up consistently and when I cannot, my neuropaths kindly remind me – consistently.
Writing my vision has certainly taken me out of my comfort zone but with a sense of direction and a new appreciation for the value of my time.
I am grateful for the daily opportunity to stop and reflect. It grounds me and helps me tackle the next piece of the puzzle.
I am grateful for the many a-ha moments along the way.
A curious, learning mindset
This is the fun bit of the daily routine. Trying to work out and learn along the way what the next step will be.
I have not done my monthly newsletter for a few months now. It’s been great to have friends and connections reach out to see if I am ok and still around. Checking in.
Since my last newsletter, it has been a busy, rollercoaster time between working on my business, with my clients, presenting in Melbourne and donating some of my time to be chief judge for the WAITTA Incite Awards and life in general.
I could see this as a failure on my part but I don’t. My newsletters take time, care and effort and second rate efforts do not fit my big picture. They will keep coming.
Any feedback is appreciated.
I certainly recommend taking time out to listen to Catherine Plano’s podcast if you want to evaluate what you want to be.
If you would like to know more about my approach and vision, drop me a line and I will share more information with you.
Have a great day!
Celia Jordaan has 21 years international and corporate experience and worked in the areas of procurement, tenders, supply chain, contract management, law and risk. She works with business, procurement leaders and teams to develop and implement strategies to boost business performance, make tendering easy and improve bottom line performance.
To learn more about Celia Jordaan, please click here.