Knowing Why Creates the How

Our vision gives us direction and orients our actions on a tactical level. It connects us to the world beyond our lives and times. It gives a why. As Viktor Frankl indicates, if we know “why” we exist, we will be able to bear almost any “how.” In the midst of an ever changing situation our vision provides the basis to know why we do the things we do. It is the high-level thinking and feeling that supports our self control. In the midst of chaos there’s benefit in focusing on what transcends the situation. A vision creates the potential of transcendental experience even when the situation is grim. A vision allows us to create and live by our own ideals. Of course we can adopt the ideals and visions that are already present within a given system of control, group, organization or society. However, if the adopted vision does not support what we imagine our life to be, then we have to reconcile the differences. We may need to balance the differences between our vision and the environment we operate within as they may not be aligned. Whenever there is a difference it is vital to understand the gap so that we can generate an answer to the question, “what needs to be done?”

Answering that question serves to give us direction. It uses our imagination to align our current situation with what we fantasize for the future. The answer to the question can also provide immediate feedback to understand the differences between what we want out of the future and our immediate environment as well as allowing us to choose the direction that serves the vision we create for ourselves. As the Japanese proverb as quoted in Civilization’s Quotations: Life’s Ideal by Richard Alan Krieger indicates, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” So to avoid our lives feeling like a nightmare we have to create our vision and take action to achieve it. In doing so we live the life we value.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. -Richard Krieger

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