Did Steve jobs had a vision and a business plan to own the communication world with iPhones? Did Elon Musk crafted a well described document outlining the dominance he is planning in both electric vehicles and space explorations?
I can continue with these questions referencing Mark Zuckerberg, Sergei Brin, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and many others. The answer will remain a resounding NO!
The technologies that enable their revolutionary contribution to the world didn’t exist and therefore such a vision was highly unlikely.
So, what is the purpose of having a vision?
May be your life story is nothing more than just as serious of coincidence that happen to you and not to others. How often we have seen companies declaring their vision only to see them falter and fall short (sometimes way short) of those declarations.
Deliberate or serendipitous? What is the essence of our story?
Does it make sense to create a story vision f there are so many unknowns that may change it creating unknown obstacles and unimaginable opportunities?
In a world that is changing so fast, and technologies are transforming whole industries and people’s lives in such radical way, the question become even more relevant than ever before. Some would argue that in today’s fast-paced change, the best path forward is to remain open minded, uncommitted so you will see opportunities without the vision blinders. Capture the unimaginable as opposed to pursuing limited, dated visions.
Redefining Vision – Being deliberate
It is true that life is moving fast, and today’s vision may miss tomorrow’s opportunity. But living visionless is far worse. The total openness to anything and everything may result with perpetual indecisiveness and misalignments between who you and what you can do and you’re the path you will pursue.
Let’s start by what vision is not. Vision is not a prescription. Vision does not detail your path for the next 50 years. Vision should outline a path and define it based on who you are and what you are capable of. Like bumpers in bowling, it should eliminate the wrong path as opposed to define all the right paths.
In short vision should be about deliberate, not detailed path.
A deliberate vision consists of four components: direction clarity, competence recognition, efforts commitment, values definition. Together these four components will create a definition of what you should avoid capturing the right opportunities for you and the impact you will create on the world.
Direction clarity – where would you like to be in the near and far future? Would you be in medicine, arts, education, sports, production, service, hospitality, industrial design? There are endless choices. Be clear where you want to be. Where would you feel most purposeful and, in the process, eliminate the rest. Being deliberate is being able to see a better future and know what general direction to pursue to get there.
Competence recognition – I may want to be an NBA superstar, but my competence will not support this effort. It does not mean it is impossible, it means that is highly improbable. As I once said to my kind’s teacher “I would rather focus on moving him from B+ in math to A+ then focus on his C- in history. He is likely to become the best mathematician rather than a mediocre historian” It makes more sense to work with your strengths than try to perfect inherent flaws. Your direction should meet your competence to increase your likelihood of pursuing your deliberate vision
Efforts commitment – at my early years I admired the statement “If you can dream it, you can do it” It took some hard experience throughout the years to realize that the quote was missing a critical component. It should real say “If you can dream it and willing to put the required efforts, you have better chances of to do it.” Dreams without commitment of efforts are useless. Be honest with yourself what price are you willing to make to reach your deliberate vision? What are you willing to give up pursuing it? No real achievement is gained without efforts and price. State the efforts upfront. You would probably not be able to realize the full scope of the required commitment, but you would at last recognize this is not a “dream it – do it” kind of magic. Be ready to dedicate efforts.
Values definition – while you are clear about the direction, align it with your competence and committed the efforts, there is one more aspect to examine, your values. Some people will be ruthless in their pursuit of their vision. Others will refuse to compromise their ethical code. Others will insist on using their values to achieve their vision. What are your values? How would they serve you on the journey towards that direction?
These four aspects create the framework for your vision. They make you deliberate in pursuing it. Equipped with them you are still open to explore new possibilities, technologies, and opportunities. And those that you will select to pursue will most like be successful because they are suitable to who you are, where you want to go the price, you are willing to pay and the value system you bring with you. Your pursuit of the future will therefore become very deliberate and unique to you.
Human deliberation to stay focus on what matters
If two people one with liberal opinions and one with conservative opinions will conduct a Google search on “The state of the union” they will receive very different results. Google will match their past searches and reading to the most suitable results for them based on their opinions. What if you will conduct this search but Google does not know anything about you? Well, Google will be confused. They don’t know who you are and what you stand for and therefore will not know how to match the best results that will suit your preferences and liking. They need the clarity of vision of who you are to support you and get you to where will suit you the most.
There is a growing industry of Art Artificial Intelligence generators. They create images based on humans’ command. Some argue that this is the end of art and artist as we know it and now everyone can become an artist without lifting to many fingers. Here is another frontier of computer takes over humans. Creating better outcomes than real humans. Well, historical flashback, they said the same thing when photography was invented and yet the art world is alive and kicking alongside the photography world. More than that, if art is merely the practice of putting pain on canvas, you might be right. But if art is a deliberate human vision being put to practice by efforts and hard work, then it is indispensable.
Just as I will not appreciate a purchased Olympic medal because it will be devoid of the commitment, vision, time, and excellence associated with the real medals, I will equally reject art created by computers.
When humans live with deliberate visions, they create the impossible. AI art is a replication of available association on the web. When you wan to live as an original with a unique promise for this world, live deliberate vision life.