The Power of Vision – or How I Nearly Killed my Husband 10/13

The Power of Vision – or How I Nearly Killed my Husband 10/13
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

patioOctober 2013

Last summer, our first at our new address, we naively undertook the task of landscaping our front yard. We could have just laid sod, but no. My husband obliged me and we spent the entire summer shoveling clay, dirt and gravel, laying paving stones, piling rocks, planting flowers and spreading mulch. It turned out great. So we’re experts now, right?

It’s time for the back yard. This winter provided a much-needed rest and time to fantasize about the large stone patio we were going to build, while Ken’s aggravated tennis elbow healed up. (I guess we didn’t learn anything.)

But I have a vision. The details keep changing, but the intent to create a thing of beauty never waivers. This landscape will be filled with blossoms on backdrops of verdant green. It will be our Shangri-la to enjoy the outdoors – dining on our maintenance-free stone patio – the focal point. And of course I will spend many hours in bliss, tending to the flowers and abundant produce. Yes, I love gardening!

Back to reality, winter finally turns into summer. Our challenges start from the very beginning. Our excavator doesn’t show. When we find one, he doesn’t excavate quite enough. We have to remove more clay, a lot more clay, when it isn’t raining. Our poly tarp leaks. We wait for hot, dry weather to restore the site. Ken strains his back; three weeks convalescence required. The borrowed truck isn’t available. And so on. And so on.

There’s more bad news. Ken has a new injury that requires a little surgery. And summer is over. The first, and only, estimate we can get our hands on to complete the work, which is mostly done, comes in over $8000 with no promise it can be done any time soon.

It seems like there is no use, . . .well, except for that vision.

Have you ever set out to lose weight, get in shape, quit smoking, or get more sleep and you keep running into snags? Something always happens. You get sick, or injured, or someone else does. Stress in some form rears its ugly head and the goal falls to the wayside. Instead of action, inertia sets in while feelings of inadequacy and regret take over.

The mistake we all make is that we think once we’ve set a goal or have clarified a vision that the path to get there will be direct. That rarely happens. So what do we often do? Quit. Sometimes for a year or two, or more.

Here’s how to avoid the inertia trap.

• Create a compelling vision. Get in that dream state and identify what it is you really want. Dig deep.

• Why do you want that?

• Why is that important?

• What difference will it make?

• How will it feel to be successful? Remember this feeling, this picture, and how it feels to be in it.

Success is the art of solving problems. What if we expected problems, or setbacks, when working towards our goals, and rolled with them, versus giving up?


• What could go wrong?

• What might happen?

• What excuses will you have?

Expect the unexpected. By identifying the roadblocks before they occur you can be ready for them, versus getting, well, . . . blocked by them. You’ll be oriented to success and solving the problems as they occur, adapting as required.

Now back to my husband. While it appears I’m trying to kill him with my audacious, back-breaking vision, let me make a case for my innocence. Currently, I’m actually trying to save him, because he keeps insisting he can finish this thing. He’s like a dog with a bone.

Hmmm. Perhaps the only thing more powerful than a compelling vision is a shared, compelling vision. Stay tuned for summer 2014!


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