the many faces of vision

According to Wikipedia, “analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it.” Much of math and science is the same – breaking a large problem into smaller components as a solving technique. We can apply that same technique to gain a better understanding of a words, phrases, and concepts, as I exemplified with the earlier digestion of an Emerson quote.

In most dictionaries, in text and online, the word “vision” has several definitions. Most simply, vision is sight. In business, visions are lofty, longer-term goals of a company. For some, vision is perception, intuition, foresight, and perspective. For others, visions are dreams, ideals, hallucinations, and objectives.

For me, vision encompasses the thoughts, feelings, goals, and desires of an individual to reach an optimal state regarding their self, their groups, the world, and beyond. NOTE:”Groups” refers to a circle of friends, local community, company, class, charity, family, neighborhood, geographical region, political party, etc.

To dive deeper, let’s answer three questions about vision with word lists:

1. What makes vision impaired?
Violence, Stress, Selfishness, Ego, Prejudice, Doubt, Ignorance

2. What makes vision repaired?
Silence, Selflessness, Faith, Consciousness, Awareness, Reflection, Solitude

3. What makes vision shared?
Expression, Compassion, Understanding, Appreciation, Gratitude, Respect, Graciousness, Collaboration

By creating word groups for these types of questions, we can better understand the mechanisms by which our visions can be diminished, restored, and maintained. We can see what stops the train, what can get it back on the tracks, and how to get more people aboard.

And even though vision may be defined differently for each individual, I think we can all agree that the definition includes some sort of internalized thought applied to the external world. Bound by this attribute alone, we can gain collective insight as to how we can read the many faces of vision.


“Selfishness is vision impaired, consciousness is vision repaired, and graciousness is vision shared.”

“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.” – Joel Barker

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift

“Vision looks inward and becomes duty. Vision looks outward and becomes aspiration. Vision looks upward and becomes faith.” – Stephen Wise