Beware: Vision is Contagious

Beware: Vision is Contagious
March 7, 2016 Kristin Hayden

Magic happens when Vision is shared. It is like watching a person come alive before you. I love being on the receiving end of someone sharing their big, bold Vision with me. Even if they are a bit shy to share it initially, because it is the first time they had ever acknowledged this deep desire out loud to another person, I notice how their eyes begin to sparkle as they imagine that possibility for themselves. Some people can barely contain their excitement, as they share their bold dream and connect with what it would actually feel like in their body and their bones to have it. In these moments, I notice that my own eyes begin to sparkle too, I feel inspired and I want to support that person in whatever way I can.

Over the past decade, I have led countless workshops and talks on Vision to thousands of young people and adults through my work at OneWorld Now! and VisionVenture. The best part is always when people step into their big, bold Vision and declare it out loud to another person. Their whole being lights up. The energy in the room is transformed and the spirit of possibility takes over. Even though it can sometimes seem scary to say what you really want, or share your dreams with others, this is the only way the world can begin to support you in making it happen. Time and time again, I have seen that help comes in ways we never would have imagined, but it comes only after we have the courage to share our dreams.

When declaring your Vision, three things tend to happen:

1. You are starting to make the Vision real for yourself, by getting it out of your head and into the world. You have named and acknowledged your inner truth — the first step to making it concrete.
2. You are inviting others to support you in making your Vision happen (in ways that both you and they probably didn’t expect), by enrolling them in your dream and giving them an opportunity to help.
3. Your courage to declare a big dream inspires others to reflect on their own Vision and then consider even bigger possibilities for themselves.

At a recent Vision workshop, a young woman shared her dream to attend a particular graduate school program, but she didn’t know how she could ever afford it or if she would ever get accepted. One of the participants was a professor, who overheard her story. He was then inspired to connect this young woman with a faculty mentor in the department where she wanted to apply and shared precious scholarship information with her to help make it happen. What happened next, was a sequence of miraculous events that leads her to the realization of her dream, the professor to a state of gratitude for having been a fundamental part of it and the world a better place for all of us. Powerful stuff!

I remember when Jackie, a OneWorld Now! student, made a Vision Board with drawings of pyramids. She told me that since she was a little girl, one of her big dreams was to see the pyramids in her lifetime. Considering she came from a low-income family, she had no idea how that dream could ever happen. And even though all of the scholarships we were offering at the time were based in Morocco, Jackie was the first person I thought of when a rare opportunity arose to send just one student on a full scholarship to Cairo, Egypt. Jackie got to see those pyramids much earlier in life than she ever expected, because she had the courage to share her Vision.

It feels very good to be on the receiving end of someone confiding their dreams in you, and helping them make it happen. Sometimes the biggest way we can support someone is just by “Holding their Vision”, and being their moral support and encouragement along the journey. Other times, we might know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who can assist in making that Vision happen. I’m a firm believer that we all know somebody that can somehow help make our own Vision or somebody else’s possible. To find that out, we have to start by asking and sharing with others what is most important to us.

The other feedback I always hear from people who have heard or learned about someone’s big dream, is the impact that it has on their own lives. When we experience someone being courageous and fired up about their Vision, it makes us want to dream bigger too. So the next time you are feeling hesitant to declare your big, bold Vision to another person — know that not only are you taking a step towards making it real for yourself, but you are also likely inspiring that person to consider their own big dreams too!

Changing our world by changing ourselves! Social Entrepreneur, Movement Builder, @Ashoka Fellow, Public Speaker, Vision Coach & Mentor

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