Are You a Visionary or Action Hero?

life skills

Some people have vision.

I love those people so much! I seek them out. I want them as friends and clients. I’m drawn to them like a hopelessly hypnotized moth to flame.

They like me too. They think I’m one of them.

But I never had vision. Still don’t.  

What I have is balls!

It feels hypocritical to admit this because the first thing I do with clients is draw out their vision. In the wise words of Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.”

But here’s the thing about goals and vision.  

They exist as a place, a destination, to come from, and not as most of us assume as a place to go to.

But setting goals and expanding my vision, a fundamental and ongoing practice I cultivate in myself and my clients, does not make me a visionary.

I work with visionaries and they are different.

I’ll call people like me Action Heroes.  

Visionaries and Action Heroes share many traits in common, amongst them grittiness, commitment, and ambition. They strive for success and switch ponds as soon as they feel they are the biggest fish in their existing pond. They love playing a bigger game and pray for luck while dancing with risk.

Ultimately, they both take action which is what distinguishes big dreams from daydreams.

And there are some fascinating distinctions between the two.

Are you a Visionary or an Action Hero?

Visionary: Speaks loudly about all she is going to create to all who will listen. And if alone, she will plan and plot and visualize it on her own.

Action Hero: Quietly cultivates her inner and outer world, while waiting for an opportunity to jump on.  This makes her acutely aware of her surroundings and potential possibilities.   

Visionary: Is profoundly future-focused and makes a habit of allowing her vision to decide her actions in the present moment.  

Action Hero: Has a general, flexible, and fuzzy idea of what her future holds but knows a Hell Yes when she sees it.  

Visionary: Lets the goal dictate the process. A straight line is the visionary’s preferred route to her goals.

Action Hero: Lets the process unearth the goal. A meanderer at heart, the Action Hero doesn’t mind going off course to add adventure to her plan.  

Visionary: Has a default for strategy.

Action Hero: Has a default for intuition.

Neither way of being is better or worse than the other. We all benefit from setting goals and refining our vision.

But for some of us, our vision is only visible to us in hindsight. We look back at our lives as I’m doing on the eve of an upcoming birthday and realize that sometimes balls can move us forward just as powerfully as vision.

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