INSIGHT OUT by Adina Morris
When my husband and I got married, we decided to look at life as an adventure. We would look at each opportunity as a new and exciting adventure where the possibilities were endless! We did of course, have our big picture, or vision if you will, of what we wanted out of life, and we did our best to make decisions that would reflect our values and beliefs. But we always maintained the attitude of adventure as we moved along the sometimes bumpy road of life. Thus was born the Vision/Adventure Principle!
At the end of each year, we would stop and look around. We would analyze the details of our vision/adventure so far:
How are we doing?
Are we happy as individuals, as a couple and as a family?
Do we feel like we are contributing on a communal level?
Are we making a positive difference every day?
Could we be doing more or better elsewhere?
We would go back to our initial vision and goals:
Were we still heading in the right direction or were we stagnating or even veering off track? Have our goals changed?
Is there a new vision?
As long as we answered in the affirmative to the impact we were making in our current position, that our goals were still in tact, or there was recognition of necessary tweaks to be made, we would continue on the same path. If things were shifting we would take up our adventure gear and venture on further.
Alongside the adventure attitude, I am still a firm believer in having a vision and direction. Life can just happen to you without having a vision or preparation, but life may pass you by. You may be missing out on opportunities for fantastic personal and professional growth and development.
Now, you can’t plan everything! Although, sometimes I wish we could;) You might even say that 99% of things in our lives are out of our control, and you would be correct! So then you might ask, what is the point of planning? You might as well just wait for things to land in your lap and take up the adventure at that point!
You could just wait, however, when they do land in your lap, you may not recognize them as an opportunity, and you may unwittingly pass them up.
If you create a vision for yourself, you prepare yourself to be a vessel to receive opportunities and harness the adventurous spirit, you will lead a more meaningful and fulfilled life. You can’t create opportunities, however, you can constantly work on yourself to be aware, with eyes open, to find favor in all of the opportunities that come your way. Being cognizant of the things you can do to prepare yourself for opportunity, while having your vision in mind, can take your life to the next level of fulfillment and meaning. This is the Vision/Adventure Principle at its best.
I like to create a long term vision with goals and then plan how everything I do going forward will be in pursuit of my vision. This allows me to become a vessel capable of receiving opportunities and have a greater potential for reaching my goals and living my vision. This process brings intention to my every day and keeps me more motivated.
Sometimes, however, we may get in a stuck feeling, where our vision is stymied or even blurry. This can be very frustrating. At moments like these, and really in every moment, it is extremely important to remember that as much as we plan and have goals and a vision, we have to always remember that Hashem is truly in charge. When our vision may get blurry, and we are in a place of worry about the future, we have to remember the adventure part of our plan! Life is an adventure by virtue of the fact that we can’t plan everything and that 99% of it is not in our control. There are many unknowns. It does keep things interesting though;) However, it is more than that. By recognizing that Hashem is watching over us and taking care of us at every moment and new turn, we can look at life with a heart full of joy at our adventure. What new and exciting things does Hashem have instore for me today? Whatever comes my way, I know He carefully planned it out for me, just as carefully, and probably way more carefully than I created my plan.
Last year around this time, some of you may remember, that our usual family summer plans were cancelled not by our choice. Our summer bungalow rental was no longer available to us. We were all in a state of shock, as we had been going for 10 summers straight, and then we were all so sad. What would we do this summer? I had been reminded of the vision/adventure principle and I told our family that there is a greater plan at work here, we just haven’t been privy to all of the details yet. And in truth, that is exactly what happened. Through careful research of multiple opportunities, we decided on a two week family western adventure! We went to numerous national and state parks in the western part of the US. At the end of the trip, everyone was in agreement that this was one of the best family trips we ever took, only topped by our summer in Israel. What was so meaningful to me, was how we spent so much time together in different groupings throughout the trip and how we bonded more as a family, more than when we were in the bungalow. This was most poignant this summer, more than any other, as our oldest was flying the coop in the fall for his year in Israel and our next in line was starting Yeshiva in another state. We were splitting up. For the first time in our family history, we would not all be living under the same roof. And we didn’t know if we ever would again. This trip became so important, as the glue that binds our family before all of the big changes ahead. We would never have taken this trip. We always dreamed (dare say visioned;) of doing a road trip and national parks, but figured it would be when the kids were much older or even out of the house, and just me and my husband would go. Hashem changed the plans and brought forth the idea right when we would need it the most. We could have been miserable and maybe not even have found this great opportunity and had a blah summer. But I believe, because we looked at it as a gift from Hashem and an adventure before us, it was transformed into a trip of a lifetime.
I recently got a call informing us that our bungalow would be once again available to us this summer! My reaction this time? Oh, wow! Great! I think? Hmm… Last summer was so incredible! We were already planning our next adventure for this summer…. Last March I would have given anything to get this call. This year I think about how unbelievable it will be to have another amazing trip with our family exploring other parts of the country and Hashem’s fantastic world, all while reconnecting after being separated all year. I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be than Israel this summer. And since Israel is not in the cards, our next national parks adventure awaits us, and everyone is excited!
Our eyes were opened to new opportunities, even though we weren’t actively looking for one and we didn’t know how much we would need one. But because we are always open to our adventurous spirit and striving to be a vessel for opportunity, it allowed us to recognize it as a great opportunity indeed.
So create your vision, and then when adventure strikes, planned or not, look to Hashem for inspiration, joy and direction. And then get going!
When you use the Vision/Adventure Principle, your life will be uplifted and more meaningful every day:)