The Two Most Important Attributes You Need To Have To Succeed In Our World Of Today We all need to ask ourselves how we wish ourselves to be known, and how we wish future generations to know us.
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In this article, which is being written in the most turbulent phase our world has experienced over the past 100 years, I'd like to shift your focus to the two most important attributes required in today's world, be it in the world of business, or politics, or armed forces, or healthcare, or just sheer existence by itself.
And those two attributes are: your vision, and your values.
A personal vision is an inherently powerful thing. The word "vision" has its roots or origin in the Latin word "videre," which actually means "to see." Vision is not about the past. Vision is also not about the present. Vision is almost invariably a distant image. Vision is the future thought out backwards. It is the result of a mental process that telescopes a person into an image that simply does not exist in current reality. From then on, that image becomes a guiding factor. It helps to build upon energetic action.
Many individuals, in the desire to build upon only their material assets in life, tend to lose their way along the path, and without really, consciously realizing it, give up on their visioning capacity, which then, like any other muscle, atrophies and becomes a recessive gene. Some lose out on this capacity out of sheer lethargy, some allow personal wealth acquisition to submerge it. Yet, there are others who abandon it as they face obstacles and blame the environment for it.
It is imperative upon all of us to understand one vital truth: it is the job of the environment to present obstacles. That is the way nature is built.
To borrow from a renowned writer, nature designs things in such a way that dreams must die in the same proportion that wild salmon fish breed. It is interesting to note that, statistically, out of the 2,500 eggs a wild coho salmon fish lays, 2,125 die. Only 375 eggs actually hatch. And out of these 375 eggs that hatch, only about 30 survive. From these 30 that survive, 25 are either eaten up or die due to environmental reasons. Eventually, only two out of the initial 2,500 survive to become fully grown adults, to return to their source with the burden of their dreams, and then spawn.
This analogy is mentioned here to convey that the same or similar ratio applies to anyone who builds a personal vision larger than life.
Just because you and I are a hatched salmon from among the 375 out of the 2500, it does not mean that we are guaranteed safe passage in the ocean of life.
Professionals who have a profound personal vision are able to not only uplift their own lives, but also of those around them. As a collection of individuals, let us bring the power of our own vision to our work, and act upon it. Let us not be fazed by the size of our adversary, or by the duration of uncertainty in the marketplace. And it is a known fact that corporates, or governments, or countries which have a larger mass of people with powerful individual visions, end up creating better unified visions for their respective group entities.
Then, this brings us to the second V: values. Because of what use is any vision without the right set of values?
Values provide us with a constancy of purpose. How can there be any profession, or vision, without a set of professional values? For a medical profession, non-refusal to treat a person in need is an inviolable covenant. For a lawyer, client confidentiality is nonnegotiable. For an army officer, the safety and honor of country and soldiers when at war is a core covenant of that profession.
Why then should the corporate world, which is the backbone of world economy and the only true engine of global growth, not wish to live and abide by a set of agreed, ethical values? If we look around, do we really get to see ethical values being practiced?
And yet, it is important to state that practice of values does not necessarily lead to great glory, high praise or quicker material wealth. It is, however, absolutely certain to keep the individual purer in form in his or her own eyes. Sometimes a personal price has to be paid in the practice of professional values. The corporate world and society on the whole may not always put a premium on the practice of values, and hence most of us may be tempted to not incorporate it into our own lives.
So, the ultimate choice rests with each of us. But in the final analysis, we all need to ask ourselves how we wish ourselves to be known, and how we wish future generations to know us – as a person with values who has also acquired material success, or merely a professionally qualified person, armed with degrees, who has only acquired material wealth by any means. The difference will, over time, decide the collective vision of a company, a group, an organization, a spiritual institution, a family, a friend's circle, a nation.
Take some time to reflect upon the power of 2Vs, and introspect on how positively the vision and values of the Ruler of Dubai have impacted the existence of the city of Dubai, or the UAE, which many of us consider as our home away from home. And also, what kind of a legacy each of us wishes to leave for our future generations.