Finding Fuel for Your Vision

This is the third in the series of posts about mindset hacks for creating a successful, enjoyable business. Check out the first post here, and the second one here.

If you’ve been following this series and doing the exercises, you have enough material for the next step.

STEP 3: Understand that Form follows Function

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You have a clear (or clear enough) vision that is also sensory and palpable. (If not, go back to the beginning and give yourself more time on the process.) Now we’re going to mine for the gems that are at the heart of your vision. The timeless essence. This is the most potent aspect of your vision and and essential step.

The function or essence of any vision is the fuel you need to make it a reality. That essence is what ultimately takes shape or form — the end result. That essence is always emotional. And, emotion is far more powerful than logic, reason, or rational thought. (That’s why advertising works so well. At the center of every ad is an emotion-based threat or promise.)

Think of anything that you want…anything at all. Now think about why you want it. If you answer the question “Why do you want this?” or “What will that give you?” enough times, you will get to at least one emotional essence. 

Example (exchange between me and a client):

Client: I want to lose weight.

Me: Why do you want to lose weight?

Client: Duh…because I’m overweight!

Me: No, seriously, why do you want to lose weight?

Client: Because I’ll look and feel better.

Me: Why do you want to look and feel better?

Client: Doesn’t everyone?

Me: Hmmm…I’ll try another question: What will it give you to look/feel better?

Client: I would stop feeling ashamed.

Me: Yes. Excellent. That’s what you would not feel. What would you feel instead?

Client: Happy. Excited to be alive. Engaged. Proud. Grateful.

Me: That’s it! That’s the emotional essence.

In the example above, we identified the emotional essence — a.k.a., “function”…as in “form follows function”. It could be a singular emotional state or, more likely a blend of those emotions: Happy, Excited to be alive, Engaged, Proud, and Grateful. This is the fuel that will be used to create the vision. (More on how to do that in a future article.)

Dig Deeper

Now, back to you and your vision. Reconnect to the what you want. Imagine stepping into that future scene of not only having it but fully living that vision — engaging all of your senses again. From here, name the emotional essence of your vision. One way to do this is to ask yourself what you are feeling when you are connected to this vision? What are the primary emotions? 

If you get stuck, journal a bit of dialogue answering the questions “Why do you want it?” or “What will that give you?” several times until you find the emotional gems.

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  •  What is at the heart of your vision? 

  • What is the essence of it? (You’re looking for the substance of the vision that can be boiled down to a few key words that are timeless, formless states of being and/or emotions. For example, Happiness, Fun, Peace of Mind, etc.)

Next Post’s Topic: Pitfalls & Derailers