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Seeing is believing...

  • Published
  • By Capt. Taylor Reynolds
  • 6th Security Forces Squadron operations officer
Many times in our lives we spend the day reacting to variables and trying to keep our heads above water. Time, money and manpower are all variables that we account and plan for in the execution of our professional lives. Increased taxes and continuous threats of sequestration are financial variables that can affect our personal lives as we are faced with a decrease in take-home pay. As a result, owning and executing a strategic vision within our professional and personal lives has never been more important.

Creating a vision requires both thought and action. While setting a goal is important, setting a goal without an actionable plan creates aimless wandering.

A popular Japanese proverb states, "Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare." This is never more apparent than at the beginning of each year in our personal lives.

Every year thousands of Americans start their year with a resolution to lose weight or live a healthier life. Visions of magazine bodies, lower cholesterol and happier living dance around as people set out for the gym at 5:00 a.m. on January 2. By mid-January the gyms are back to their normal capacity while those with resolutions try to catch up on the sleep they have missed out on over the past two weeks. Gone are the dreams of healthier living and here to stay are the same actions and processes that got people there in the first place. The failure of many in this regard is to lay out an actionable plan that provides a roadmap to where they want to end up. In essence, they had a dream, then promptly closed their eyes and took a wrong turn.

Success is only limited to the parameters you place on it. Walt Disney is known for saying, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

In 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid out his strategic vision to bomb Japanese islands in an attempt to boost public morale and place doubt in the minds of Japanese leaders following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The strategic vision was clear; however, the feasibility of executing actions to reach the end state proved to be a challenge. The limiting factors included aircraft range and the feasibility of having bombers take off from aircraft carriers in the Pacific.

U.S. Army Air Forces Lt. Col. James Doolittle went to work with a roadmap to success attempting to outfit the B-25 in order to take off from a carrier. After several modifications to the aircraft in an attempt to make it lighter, Doolittle's raiders successfully conducted a bombing raid of Japan on April 18, 1942. A strategic vision with an actionable plan succeeded in lifting American morale shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Michelangelo once said, "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."

In these trying times, I want to encourage everyone to stop worrying, have a vision and make a plan.