What does it take to have a vision that will last long beyond the lifetime of the person who initially birthed it? This was the question in my mind as I went on my walk yesterday afternoon – yes, these are the things that percolate in my brain when I am in my own thoughts. This train of thought came from thinking about how grateful I am for my new employment gig that I began in mid-September with Spring Forest Qigong, an organization that was founded back in the mid 1990’s by International Qigong Master, Chunyi Lin.
Master Lin’s vision is “A healer in every home and a world without pain and suffering.” Our mission is to provide people throughout the world with the knowledge and tools to experience and share the beautiful and powerful fact that each and every one of us is born a healer with the natural ability to help ourselves to heal and to help others to heal, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
A pretty robust vision and mission, wouldn’t you say?
Over 25 years ago, I was hired by a small organization that was founded by another visionary leader. He had a vision to “Transform the workers compensation industry through an economic model that works for the employee, the employer, and the insurer“. Our mission was to help injured workers get back to work and health as quickly as possible, to help them heal more rapidly through staying mentally engaged, feeling productive, and physically moving their bodies to help in the recovery process. We believed that we were saving lives, because we knew the detrimental effects from someone being taken off work for long periods of time (chronic pain and depression to name a few).
Again, a big vision and mission arising from one man.
Then, a few weeks ago, I had the awesome opportunity to visit Southern France on a yoga retreat and pilgrimage to walk the path of Mary Magdalene. I learned so much about the group of people who were some of the closest to Jesus during his adult lifetime, a small group of people who lived and breathed the vision of Jesus… the vision for a world of of love, forgiveness, and compassion.
As I think about these three visionaries (Master Lin, the founder of my previous employer, and Jesus), it became clear to me that a long-standing vision has a few basic components:
- The vision is simply stated, clear, and easy to understand.
- A sustainable vision is one which is born from a heart-centered space.
- A strong vision is driven by helping others and not self-centered.
- The visionary teaches others, so that the vision can continue to live well beyond the life of one individual.
So let’s think about the three “organizations” above and where they are today…
Jesus’ vision is alive almost 2000 years after his death. His vision was simple and easy to understand – basically to love one another. His message spoke to the hearts of his followers. He spent time guiding and teaching those who would be his voice, long after his death. Mary Magdalene and her brother Lazarus, spent decades sharing Jesus’ vision in Marseilles and surrounding areas in France. Jesus was the founder of Christianity but it was his apostles, especially his beloved Mary Magdalene and her family, who really took up the mission to fulfill Jesus’ vision.
For the company where I spent twenty-five years living and sharing the vision in the workers compensation world, the vision remained alive for over two decades because there was a core group of people who continued to believe in being of service and “saving lives”. However, as the organization was acquired, the visionary leadership transitioned out and the old vision became blurred and less sharp. During my last years with the organization, the original vision of transforming the workers compensation system was barely talked about, and when a vision stops being talked about, it will slowly die…
I am confident that Master Lin’s vision will continue on indefinitely, because it is one that is born from a space of love and service. Master Lin is teaching the teachers… creating more Masters throughout the world, so that his vision is no longer “his” vision, but the vision of many.
If you are a visionary entrepreneur/small business owner who wants to create a long-standing vision, please contact me about my new group coaching program that will begin in February 2018:
Effectively Building a Heart-Centered Business: A Group Coaching Program for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners.
For more information on this class and other heart-based services I provide, please go to my website at: www.patsheveland.com.