Vision, Morale and Productivity

 John Ruh  Vision

The manner in which vision, morale, and productivity interrelate can sound complicated and confusing. Yet these three ideas have a continuous impact on each other whether we realize it or not. Understanding that relationship can help you see how your vision affects your morale and productivity.

How I designed my theory of maximum productivity:
At age 19, I became very curious as to how some people accomplish so much, and started reading everything I could about individuals I now refer to as “visionaries.” Subsequently, my work as a serial entrepreneur brought me into contact with many people who were extraordinary achievers. As I analyzed the methods of these people and asked them how they attained so many goals, I discovered that each of them had developed an ability to create a vision as the starting point for their eventual success. It is this ability, to act from a vision that I found was the single most significant difference–more so than aptitude or background or intelligence–between ordinary and extraordinary achievers.

I became convinced that the gap between achievement levels could be bridged if the average person clarified his or her vision and acted from it. But how? The visionaries I had observed did this intuitively. Yet, after years of studying I feel that anyone can act from their vision. Some people need to intellectually understand the process first, others must seethe vision, and still others must “feel it” before they can act upon it. However, I believe that everyone has the ability to develop a vision.

How do ordinary achievers operate?
I concluded that, unlike extraordinary achievers, who let their vision guide them, most people rely on one of these less effective motivators: the past, their present circumstances or their feelings at any given moment. Let’s examine the limitations of operating from these perspectives.

  • Operating from the past. This works adequately if yesterday’s results were good. If they were disappointing, however, looking to the past risks projecting expectations for failure in the future. This behavior, which psychologists call “self-fulfilling prophecy,” drives people to make the very choices that will ensure their failure. Think of running your life like driving a car. Watching the rear view mirror can tell you only what lies behind you, not direct you toward where you want to go.
  • Operating from present circumstances. Most people get bogged down in coping with their current, everyday circumstances. Exceptional achievers usually don’t. They seem to separate from the circumstances, take one hundred percent responsibility (ownership), and create ways to get around them. To return to the car analogy, when circumstances are driving your life, you are like a backseat driver–with no control. This vantage point naturally leads to discouragement, low morale and productivity, and frustration. Since high achievers rarely come from this position, they obviously feel more empowered.
  • Operating from feelings. Do you know people whose extreme highs and lows in productivity correlate with emotional highs and lows? When they feel great, they get a lot done. But when they’re down, their work breaks down as well. This inconsistent performance may even describe your own pattern. All human being feel dispirited at times. Yet, high achievers overcome the same feelings and still operate from the vision to which they are committed.

I believe every person has a vision. Maybe you call it a dream, or a goal, or an expectation, but whatever you call it, I believe you have one. When your vision is in the “realm of possibility,” your morale and productivity are usually fine. As you become aware of your vision, accept responsibility for it, create the right set of beliefs (context), and make a commitment to act from it, you can expedite the process of achieving it.

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