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12

December


"A vision that you cannot see is not a vision!" Monday December 12, 2016

I don't know about you, but I forget stuff.

That's why I'm so committed to teaching memory skills. Firstly, I know they work (when applied habitually), and, secondly, I'm in constant need of developing them.

Working memory is like physical health - your brain needs to be constantly exercised and s-t-r-e--t---c----h----------e----------------d!

A core part of my approach to memory skills is the concept of "out of sight, out of mind!" The point is that in order to keep having insights, we need to remind our minds of the importance of what we want to focus upon:

"In sight, in mind!"

In fact, the word 'Remind' is an interesting one, isn't it?

This is potently pertinent when it comes to designing, building and then living in your vision. As soon as you lose sight of it, you've lost the vision. Your subconscious needs continuous reminders of what you value. So, keep it in sight, in mind on a daily basis.

And by this, I mean physically in sight, in mind.

Never has it been easier for you to carry the vision with you.

The ancient practices of Judaism understood the importance of this daily moment-by-moment engagement in the vision of one's purpose and values. Specifically, one practice that is continued today is the wearing of phylacteries. These are often little leather boxes, worn about the body, containing Scriptures written on vellum.

Well now you and I have our iPhone or Samsung Galaxy (those are the only two options, surely?!) And a thousand apps to remind us of what we believe is important. I've just started using "Habit Bull" for nudges, and Evernote for keeping and expanding my vision notes.

Let's look at Proverbs chapter 29 verse 18... the first bit:

"Where there is no vision, the people perish"

Could it be true that you and I could actually 'perish' if we have no vision?

The idea is one of lacking direction, lacking guidelines, lacking impetus.

Doesn't sound like much fun. I'd rather have a compelling vision that gets me leaping out of bed in the morning with passion and purpose, wouldn't you?

Humans need a vision - otherwise they'll settle for any old life... and that's rarely a recipe for happiness, is it?

So build your vision!
Paint your vision!
Capture your vision!
Publish your vision!
And above all things,
Look at your vision on a daily basis.

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Lex Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 6:52am

...and I have to say, that you may or may not be in a great position to 'hear' this today. Last week, we buried one of my last Aunties (My Mum's older sister), we remembered the loss of my friend, Azmi, on his birthday, we said goodbye to Greg Lake (of Emerson Lake and Palmer and King Crimson - a huge influence on me) and heard the news of the death of Richard Israel - one of the most influential Mind Mappers in that community. Yes, it was not a good week. I am still 'numb' from it all and, reading my own blog today, have to say, "I'm not in the mood." But, but, but... I still need a vision of hope. 2016 was a horrible, horrible year and yet my grandson was born. Nothing is totally horrible and nothing is wholly wonderful. I've had to revise my expectations and thus my hopes, dreams and visions respectively and retrospectively. What I do know, however, is that I must have a vision - and one that I can remind myself of daily. Sorry I wasn't around to comment on last week's blog... now you understand! Lx

LP Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 8:08am

So sorry to hear of your loss and the week you had Lex. I hope this week lifts you in all sorts of ways. Love LP xx

Lex Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 8:17am

Thanks, LP xx

Ruthless Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 1:17pm

Lex Fascinating blog! If only I had the confidence to write such blogs as I read here daily. I comment often however it's in response to what folk have written My thoughts on the subject and moans and groans although,I hope,I'm not always negative (probably am ????) Whoops,not good,that makes me a drainer rather than a radiator.I sidestep negative folk....and yet I am being one... My vision is to be more mindfulness of my thoughts,feelings and behaviours then maybe I'll get a response from my ramblings!! I'm really quite fun usually Have been up all night with joint pain....???? Sorry! Vision.....to be more positive and mindful. Need to get to my class next week. Just very tired.....????????????????

LP Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 8:20am

Hi me again! :))
What a great blog! My vision is simple, a decluttered home. I think that my mind will feel less cluttered as a result. Achieving it seems possible but I need more time! The good thing is that I'm continuosly taking small steps forward. Thank you for another insirational blog Lex hugs to you and all. LPxx

Michael Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 10:30am

Depression has robbed me. I can no longer hold a vision. I'm no longer in the depths of depression and function reasonably well day to day. But at the core it all feels intensely pointless. In earlier decades I can attest to the power of holding a vision I have achieved much academically, professionally, materially and have travelled the world. But now I sit here thinking I've done all that but so what? Non of all that has gone before helps to lift me out of this chronically depressed state. And if I achieve x, y or z at best it will only give me a slight tempory lift. The "flatness" is such that I'm even unmoved by the line "where there is no vision, the people will perish".

Lex Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 10:47am

Hi Michael, I can relate to everything you say (whilst still standing by my blog!) I'm sure you've read much on 'Happiness' and how it's relationships and experiences that give the more enduring lift... I, too, would like to travel, but it seems that this did not work for you. What I do know is how 'spooky' it is when I have had pictures of what I desire, up on the walls, in sight, in mind. That did work for me, and I stopped doing it! Perhaps I needed to write today's blog mainly for myself???

Tutti Frutti Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 12:14pm

Michael I am sorry you are having to go through the awful flatness. Try to remember that you are getting better and it will go in time. Hang on in there. Love TF x

Michael Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 11:39am

Hi Lex,
I could manifest easily almost at will most of my life. Age 19 I was fishing on a lake for pike. I sat and did a meditation and then at the end idly imagined catching a large pike, saw it all happening in my mind's eye. Whilst in the midst of imagining this my friend turned up and said, look Mike you've got a bite. I opened my eyes, lifted my rod and then I was doing for real what I had just been visualising, 5 minutes later I had a large pike on the bank. For twenty years my wife and I had tried to move house. Then one day I was driving through beautiful English countryside, looking at gorgeous Cotswold stone cottages. Again I idly thought, "I wonder who gets to live in these?" A week later I had a dream that was semi lucid. I was in a beautiful thatched cottage, in a gorgeous village. The cottage was stone and next to a river looking down a beautiful valley. As I slowly became more and more conscious in the dream a wave of disappointment arose "oh no this is a dream (I'd had so many similar dreams and they generally heralded a change of consciousness). A month later, I was in fact living "for real" literally in the cottage of my dreams exactly how I had seen it. I lived there for three years in this "idyl". However non of that stopped me becoming seriously depressed, I could no longer work and then no longer afford to live there. I do not feel any desire to repeat that, its more a matter of done that and got the T shirt. I guess what I am saying is that life is strange and inexplicable, often stranger than fiction. I suspect there is the possibility that one could carry on endlessly manifesting goals, desires dreams but if one has not realised one's core reality, sense of Self, goals and manifesting start to pale into insignificance and dwindle. And this is not all about avaricious self fulfilment. That cottage was a base that I could use to refresh my batteries and was closer to my work, which was helping with victims of rape and child sexual abuse.

E Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 8:24pm

Hi Michael I can relate to a lot of what you say. But what do you mean by "realising one's core reality" ? What it means to me is this but I wonder if it means the same to you. Through my life, like you, I have had various goals and ambitions some I have realised others I have not. I have travelled the world, moved house, started a second career and married. I have also had several depressive episodes which have often coincided with the end of one or other goal or ambition. Coincidence? Perhaps. My understanding of depression is this, depression can be a harsh and judgemental task master who will reveal truths to you that you would sometimes rather remain hidden. Perhaps this is not how it works for everyone but this is how it works for me and maybe for you? The received wisdom about depression is that it lies, which often it does, I am aware of the cognitive distortions that accompany a depressive episode. However mixed up in the lies and half truths is often a kernel of truth which because of our condition we ignore at our peril. Is this why depression is usually a recurrent condition, because we are prone to ignore the lessons it wants to teach us especially when well? Depression may be a distorting mirror but the image it holds up to us is still a reflection of you. Many here have talked about medication being a lifesaver and until recently I would have agreed with them and counted myself as one of the lucky ones for whom the pills work. The problem as I am now beginning to realise is that antidepressants, if they work at all, may do so in part by masking the underlying causes of depression. In effect hiding one’s core reality from view. Only if you use the time when well to address the underlying causes will we have the skills to use when we are not. Trouble is when we are well there often does not appear to be a problem to be addressed and the grotesque and distorted images that were held up to us when sick are dismissed as that, sick and distorted images. I like the analogy, used by others here I think, of the poorly prepared ship putting into port during a storm to repair the damage that has been done (rest a recuperation). While in port the crew take the time to learn how to sail properly (therapy) before setting sail again. In this analogy medication is sometimes likened to pouring oil on the sea to keep it flat (oil on troubled waters?) but perhaps a kinder analogy would be to liken antidepressants to the repairs taken out while in port. My point is this. If we don’t learn the lessons we need to when well, we may have to learn them when we are not. I am 4 months into the worst depressive episode I can remember and like you can no longer hold any sort of vision. Like you I function reasonably well on a day to day basis but at my core it all feels intensely pointless. Depression has passed through me like a tornado uprooting the very fabric of my being and perhaps this is what needed to happen. If the foundations of our personality are not in straight then what ever is built on top is likely to fall at the first sign of trouble. Trouble is repairing that sort of damage is difficult with worn down and broken tools. Antidepressants are a “get out of jail free” card but there are only so many in the pack so it behoves us to use them wisely when we need them. Trouble is after 10 years of being on medication I fear I have just used my last card. But hay ho its off to the Doctor on Friday so we will see what he can pull out of his bag. I don’t know if this is what you meant by realising our core reality and I don’t know if I have the right to compare myself to you after just 4 months of this but what you wrote spoke to me so there you are. Sorry I have posted this rather long response twice now. I meant to put it here the first time as a direct response to Michael's post but feel free to respond to either.

Michael Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 10:54pm

E What you have written I could easily have written myself. Spooky how we are so individual on the one hand but then so many things are almost identical. I am quite tired now so cannot apply brain power to the core stuff. Hopefully another day. Wish you well.

Tutti Frutti Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 12:11pm

Lex Just a question really as I see where Michael is coming from about it becoming very difficult to hold on to any sort of vision when depression has sapped all your energy and interest in everything. Do you find keeping stuff in sight to remind you of your vision helpful once you are already depressed or is it more something that helps you when you are well and wanting to stay that way? Thanks love TF x

Lex Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 12:41pm

Hi Tutti Frutti... I'm finding my way as we go here. My experience is that literally being able to see physical images of my preferred life helps me regardless of how I feel. When I'm up, of course, I can marshal wonderfully positive smiles, words, and energy to back-up my desired state - I can put obvious enthusiasm and energy into the vision. Michael is much more proficient at this manifesting approach than my current experience. So, what I'm going to hold on to is looking at physical images of what I'd like even when I'm feeling flat. Does that help? L'x

Tutti Frutti Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 12:54pm

Thanks. It's nice to have ideas like this of things that actually get through even when feeling flat. They sound like something to put in place during the good times. TF x

Vickie Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 12:27pm

Hi Lex,
Thanks so much for another inspirational blog. I surround myself with things that remind me of my life vision so that it does not get lost in the "noise" of everyday living.
I've experienced more pain & sorrow in the past year than at any time in my life BUT I've also felt the deepest joy & gratitude, so your comment " nothing is totally horrible & nothing is wholly wonderful" resonates with me.
I am so sorry for your loss. Sending out virtual hugs and peaceful vibrations.
Vickie

Lex Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 12:41pm

Thanks Vickie - it means a lot that I know you 'get me' x

E Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 1:47pm

Hi Michael I can relate to a lot of what you say. But what do you mean by "realising one's core reality" ? What it means to me is this but I wonder if it means the same to you.


Through my life, like you, I have had various goals and ambitions some I have realised others I have not. I have travelled the world, moved house, started a second career and married. I have also had several depressive episodes which have often coincided with the end of one or other goal or ambition. Coincidence? Perhaps. My understanding of depression is this, depression can be a harsh and judgemental task master who will reveal truths to you that you would sometimes rather remain hidden. Perhaps this is not how it works for everyone but this is how it works for me and maybe for you?


The received wisdom about depression is that it lies, which often it does, I am aware of the cognitive distortions that accompany a depressive episode. However mixed up in the lies and half truths is often a kernel of truth which because of our condition we ignore at our peril. Is this why depression is usually a recurrent condition, because we are prone to ignore the lessons it wants to teach us especially when well? Depression may be a distorting mirror but the image it holds up to us is still a reflection of you.


Many here have talked about medication being a lifesaver and until recently I would have agreed with them and counted myself as one of the lucky ones for whom the pills work. The problem as I am now beginning to realise is that antidepressants, if they work at all, may do so in part by masking the underlying causes of depression. In effect hiding one’s core reality from view. Only if you use the time when well to address the underlying causes will we have the skills to use when we are not. Trouble is when we are well there often does not appear to be a problem to be addressed and the grotesque and distorted images that were held up to us when sick are dismissed as that, sick and distorted images.


I like the analogy, used by others here I think, of the poorly prepared ship putting into port during a storm to repair the damage that has been done (rest a recuperation). While in port the crew take the time to learn how to sail properly (therapy) before setting sail again. In this analogy medication is sometimes likened to pouring oil on the sea to keep it flat (oil on troubled waters?) but perhaps a kinder analogy would be to liken antidepressants to the repairs taken out while in port.


My point is this. If we don’t learn the lessons we need to when well, we may have to learn them when we are not. I am 4 months into the worst depressive episode I can remember and like you can no longer hold any sort of vision. Like you I function reasonably well on a day to day basis but at my core it all feels intensely pointless. Depression has passed through me like a tornado uprooting the very fabric of my being and perhaps this is what needed to happen. If the foundations of our personality are not in straight then what ever is built on top is likely to fall at the first sign of trouble. Trouble is repairing that sort of damage is difficult with worn down and broken tools.


Antidepressants are a “get out of jail free” card but there are only so many in the pack so it behoves us to use them wisely when we need them. Trouble is after 10 years of being on medication I fear I have just used my last card. But hay ho its off to the Doctor on Friday so we will see what he can pull out of his bag. I don’t know if this is what you meant by realising our core reality and I don’t know if I have the right to compare myself to you after just 4 months of this but what you wrote spoke to me so there you are.

The Gardener Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 5:35pm

Having a 'vision' is almost possible - survival is the name of the game. We've had 10 days of over-the-topness (coined) super visits, successful entertaining - loads of stress, a scary fall - son just left for Abu Dhabi and Mr G is more foul than I've ever had yet. I could not stand the misery of our lovely house - because he wants all the lights off. Went round square - Christmas lights, friendly people - my vision is that I can remain strong enough to ride above the inhuman husband - it's not all Alzheimers - and hang on the those lovely humans out there who like me, who seek me out, who never fail to wish me well - kisses, hugs, youngsters moving my furniture - Keeping my humanity, absolutely exhausted, sat in armchair and drifted off - Mr G keeps waking me up - he's scared when I'm not there - even asleep opposite him he counts as not there. My only answer, 'vision' if you like, is that whatever I do will be done as well as possible - and that my guardian angel - who must hover, or I would have been in the river months ago - will stay near.

Lex Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 6:29pm

That's a good vision, Dear Gardener... and angels, though unseen, are good to believe in. I'm glad you've got friends who seek you out and wish you well.

The Gardener Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 6:18pm

Lex - only one bit of your blog I can cling to 'Perish if you have no vision'. Pretty unhappy evening, so I am 'taking stock'. Listened to Monday p.m on Radio 4 - a 'saga' (not being cynical) of a guy with cancer - he reports his treatment - experts analyse it - then the $1000 - cost, can you get it. Christmas coming up, getting a doctor at all, time of ambulance call out, etc.etc. My husband is 'cossetted' 24/24, no other word. Home nurses, respite, a GP who tells me never to hesitate to call him, home visit, the same day. If Mr G DOES fall, always threatening to due to my negligence, I have a right to call the Fire Brigade to pick him up, nurses say I must NOT do it myself. The house is warm, pretty, comfortable - flowers everywhere from party - left overs and 'treats' brought by departing son means fridge full of delicious food. Computer designated as radio has a super choice of 'on line' music. TV is upstairs next to our bedroom - Mr G never more than 4 metres from me. Still get non-stop berating - but, I've 'counted my blessings' and found them good. Reading the blog and all the posts - greatest blessing, I am not depressed. May you, like Lex and his grand-child, find a little spark of joy and hope somewhere. Me, foie gras calls, and I will NOT think of the geese.

Lex Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 6:32pm

'Moments' - that's what I focus on. 'Moments' of bliss in the oceans of.... And the shower - how I love those 5 minutes of release under the 'living' water... Visualising your flowers!

Mary Wednesday Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 7:49pm

Foie Gras.... mmmm.... not thinking of the geese here either!

Alan Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 7:04pm

I do not have a vision. As depression has robbed me of my ability to concentrate, and therefore remember, I know that there is nothing that I could work towards for more than a couple of days without having a reminder around all of the time and that is not practical. I forget to do even routine tasks. It is not unusual for me to realise at about midday that I have not had breakfast. All I can do is what is in front of me that needs doing, I cannot be relied upon to leave something in sight. So I have given up any ambition as it is just another thing that I will fail at. Currently, I am completing a set of exercises every day to help repair a significant shoulder injury. After a month I am making good progress but I don't think that I have managed a day so far without losing track of either the exercises that I have done or the number of sets/repertitions completed and every failure diminishes my confidence and self esteem still further. So I have given up on visions and just survive.

Alan Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 7:04pm

I do not have a vision. As depression has robbed me of my ability to concentrate, and therefore remember, I know that there is nothing that I could work towards for more than a couple of days without having a reminder around all of the time and that is not practical. I forget to do even routine tasks. It is not unusual for me to realise at about midday that I have not had breakfast. All I can do is what is in front of me that needs doing, I cannot be relied upon to leave something in sight. So I have given up any ambition as it is just another thing that I will fail at. Currently, I am completing a set of exercises every day to help repair a significant shoulder injury. After a month I am making good progress but I don't think that I have managed a day so far without losing track of either the exercises that I have done or the number of sets/repertitions completed and every failure diminishes my confidence and self esteem still further. So I have given up on visions and just survive.

Mary Wednesday Mon, Dec 12th 2016 @ 7:51pm

Hanging on a surviving is a huge achievement, Alan, and if you can visualise just that it's a start. After a month of blackness here things are finally beginning to get a little grey around the edges - perhaps dawn is coming. I hope and pray it comes for all of us who are suffering at this time.

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