Become who you are: vision (#5)

by Daniel Murphy on February 12, 2007

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I might adapt the famous phrase to say, without a vision, the person perishes.

There’s a basic truth here: We are capable of and, in a sense, made to direct our capacities of body, mind, and spirit towards “ends,” things we perceive to be ultimately good.

Discovering this dimension of purpose and vision requires calm reflection, prayer, and methods for definition.

How do I discover and articulate this vision?

1. We certainly should pray for help to discover this truth about ourselves-—which is both general (we all share the same basic humanity and destiny) and specific (I have my own particular set of talents, circumstances, opportunities). Clarity about ourselves comes into focus gradually like a landscape glimpsed through a dissipating fog. Prayer is indispensable for seeing through the earthly fog.

2.. We can employ methods that will enable this purpose and vision of life to come into focus. One example, in a method for continuous personal growth and development called “Integrity of Life,” is to write out my own eulogy, an end-of-life reflection on what my life stood for. This “jumping to the end” gives at least a basic clarity about what I ultimately want my life to represent. From this eulogy, I can see the main themes and contours of a personal vision.

3. Because clarity about our purpose and vision of life comes into focus gradually, it’s vital to renew our statement of purpose and vision. I mark time on the first Friday of each month to revisit mine. A purpose and vision of life needs to be “living,” subject to development. Cardinal John Henry Newman observed that development is the law of life on earth–hence the frequent metaphors of journey and pilgrimage.

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