Your Vision as Your Reality—Living Your Ideal Life
Each of us has a vision—the ideal version of our lives.
But what you may not realize is that your overall vision is made up of your day-to-day and moment-to-moment visions. If you can make those mini-visions become real, your overall vision will take care of itself.
In this context, I’m not talking about a major life goal to accomplish or milestones to achieve. I’m talking about what you want your life to be—the ideal version of how you live, how you feel, and what you think. While this does, of course, relate to your accomplishments, it is more about your approach and outlook than about the particulars. How you engage with and interpret all of the people, circumstances, and events along your path will define both your reality and your vision. As much as it feels like many of those elements are out of your control, they’re not. It can be difficult to not let them drive your outlook, but through intentional living, it is possible.
The intentional life revisited
So much of your ability to realize your vision is dependent on being intentional—intentional about what you focus on, how you react, and where you spend your energy and time. I’ve talked about living an intentional life a lot in this blog, but in this context, living intentionally is more concerned with what you pay attention to and allow into your inner sanctum (more on this later). Everyone has drama, headaches, and distractions in their lives, but not everyone assimilates them into their thoughts, feelings, and actions. If you’re intentional about how you react (or don’t react) to the events in your life, your desired moment-to-moment vision can be realized.
Serenity as a defense
If you’re not focusing on the dramas and distractions in your life, what should you focus on? Serenity. If you’re intentional about maintaining an overall sense of serenity in your life, you can use it as a shield against all the aspects of life that can come in and negatively impact your vision. If anything significantly impacts your serenity, it’s a red flag that you’re focusing on something that’s inconsistent with your moment-to-moment vision. You may argue that in a hectic, busy life, serenity isn’t a realistic goal. But serenity takes practice to achieve, and also requires perspective, presence, self-awareness, and gratitude (more here). If you are focusing on these elements, the rough and tumble of day-to-day life will not get through your defenses. You will achieve serenity, and you will realize your vision.
In general, there are two ways you can react to people and events in the world around you: by leaping into the fray, or by practicing mindful awareness. Leaping into the fray is a reactive response to what is happening around you. It’s getting irritated at something instead of considering its context. It’s getting angry at traffic without having perspective on where it stands in the grand scheme of things. It’s jumping right into a family drama without considering people’s motivations. It’s allowing the world right into your soul without any filters or interpretations.
Practicing mindful awareness, on the other hand, allows you to keep a psychological inner sanctum—a place of peace and serenity, where you decide what and who are granted entrance. It’s not a place of escape; rather, it’s a place in which you can interpret people, circumstances, and events in a constructive way that contributes to your serenity and is beneficial to the world around you.
Keeping an inner sanctum allows you to be choosy about the people you let in and what you pay attention to. Additionally, it allows you to let the rest of the world go by—not in ignorance or denial but with the knowledge that those particular people, circumstances, and events are both unworthy of your attention and inconsistent with your vision.
By maintaining a sense of serenity, you can much more easily focus on what you want in life and how you want to live. In short, you will be able to live your vision.