Vision to Action

Vision without action is a daydream.
Action without vision is a nightmare.

The Challenges of Turning Visions into Actions

Translating your vision into action is not easy. If you’re like many people, developing the visions of your current and future life will have been a fun and exhilarating experience, but now you’re left with a swirling mass of ideas and possibilities in your head. Some you can act on immediately but many will require careful planning to bring to fruition. There will be information to gather, people to talk to and refinements to make as your thoughts change.

To move to the next stage you need an approach which will allow you to structure and prioritise, recognise the connections between parts of your life, plan your actions, store information and allow you to develop your thoughts.

And this approach must be intuitive and simple to use.

My recommendation is to use a mind map – but in a particular way, which I will explain shortly. As you are probably aware a mind map is a visual way of representing information. It consists of a central topic from which branches radiate to topics.

Each subtopic may itself have branches and subtopics, which in turn may have branches and subtopics and so on. Almost any type of information can be organised using a mind map. For instance, this book began life as a mind map. Each chapter was represented by a topic and the branches radiating from the topic contained the content.

As you will see later in the course, your action map is not just a planning tool, it is something that you will refer to and use regularly, possibly even every day. It will help to keep you on track, reminding you of what’s important and how the pieces fit together in the jigsaw of your life. An action map is a dynamic document that you will update because in the words of Helmuth von Moltke:

“No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

Action mapping is an extremely flexible approach that lends itself to many different contexts. It can be used for your entire life or just a part of it. In our corporate programs we use it to map out corporate strategies, develop business plans and manage projects. It provides a link between strategy and every day actions, allowing one to focus on details and yet never lose sight of the bigger picture.

My recommended mind mapping application is Xmind. It is open-source and has a fully-featured free version which you can be download from: Xmind. 

[1] Japanese proverb