You influence the future

"You have brains in your head. / You have feet in your shoes. / You can steer yourself / any direction you choose. / You're on your own. / And you know what you know. / And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go ..."
      - Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss)29

       The future is not predetermined. You influence the future, consciously and unconsciously, with your imagination and vision. Vision engages your free will to make choices that will be more in alignment with results that you want. The future is possibility waiting to happen - and your vision gives you an active role in determining what your future will be.

       It is always within your power to influence the future, even though the resources do not seem to exist to make it a reality. Each day you have the option to create a preferred future and to be a visionary. It is difficult to predict the future - it is more practical to create the future. 30

       What happens in the real world is first created in the form of thought. For example, the thought, I think I'll go to the store, precedes the trip to the store. I would like to exercise precedes working out. I am hungry precedes eating. Your life doesn't just happen. Your life is shaped daily by the choices that you make - or don't make.

       A visionary believes, "If I can envision it, it will become reality!" Visionaries paint a picture in their minds of what the future can be like, and then remain aware and open to the opportunities that arise moment to moment and that can bring the vision to fruition.

       Change is a given in my life and yours, a reality that we must face whether we want to or not. Because your future lies in the realm of possibility, you have the opportunity to create the future of your dreams. A clearly identified vision will create a template for the positive change you imagine, and open your eyes to opportunities that may advance your desired future.

Vision and karma

"When this is, that comes to be;
With the arising of this, that arises.
When this is not, that does not come to be;
With the cessation of this that ceases."

      - The Buddha26

       Karma is a popular word in our modern culture. The word karma is a Sanskrit word meaning "action." Karma is used to explain the entire cycle of cause and effect. The result of one's actions is his or her karma. Having "good karma" is a benefit of being an Everyday Visionary.

       In Western societies, karma is often used to fatalistically describe an unchangeable force that we are helpless to fight. However, karma is not about our lives being determined by a transcendental entity. A more accurate interpretation of karma is that we are the active creators of our destiny.

       Karma is the cycle of actions or causes that lead to outcomes. Your vision is the beginning of the karmic cycle. When you envision what outcome you desire before you take action, you have greater influence on your karma.

       The Buddha said that in every moment we have the opportunity to influence what happens next. The Dalai Lama explains karma as "the intentional acts of sentient beings. Such acts can be physical, verbal, or mental ... Intentions result in acts, which result in effects ... all of which may give rise to further intentions and actions. The entire process is seen as an endless self-perpetuating dynamic."27 The endless self-perpetuating dynamic that the Dalai Lama is referring to is karma. Karma is a process where thoughts and actions build on each other, causing momentum toward an outcome.

       Karma describes the potential that your thoughts and actions have in each moment to influence your life.

       For example, if you choose to ignore the gas gauge on your car (cause) when it indicates that you are almost out of gas, you are responsible if your car runs out of gas at an inconvenient time (outcome). You may want to blame the car or say you have "bad karma" because you ran out of gas, but you had direct influence on the outcome you got. Each moment is an intersection of your past thoughts and actions with what is happening in the moment. Your vision is a past thought that influences the current moment.

       Vision is an important component of having "good karma." What you envision will influence what happens in your life. Vision is the use of your free will to make choices that influence future events. There will be no lack of opportunities and obstacles in the next moments of your life. Vision provides guidance in responding to these events, so that your karma builds in the direction of your desired future.


26. M. Flickstein, Swallowing the River Ganges, A Practice Guide to The Path of Purification. (Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2002).
29. Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, 1904-1991), Oh, the places you will go! (New York: Random House Inc., 1990).
30. Senge, The Fifth Discipline.

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