Visionmaking is the discipline of creating meaning through a journey of purposeful acts. Meaning is a deep recognition of quality and value that awakens the human spirit. Creating it is one of the most important responsibilities of Visionmaking. Without meaning, there is no compelling reason to live or act. With no compelling reason to live or act, the status quo maintains its grip on the imagination and feeds undisturbed on the life force of humanity.
The status quo is "a state of stasis where there is neither motion nor development, and where there is no hope of change." Imagine that: no hope of change! For many people this describes one or more aspects of daily life. The result is a growing feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, the perfect conditions for the status quo to take root.
The status quo of our age has carried us into a crisis of meaning that undermines us personally, and threatens the well-being of our families, organizations and communities. It also contributes to the derogation of the environment in which we live. As such, the need for Visionmaking has never been greater.
Visionmaking is what enables us to live a purposeful life, a life of heart and meaning. To accomplish this, we must stand against the status quo in our own lives and break out of the cage of routine and complacency. Every Visionmaker knows a potent secret about the status quo to help in this regard, a secret that allows each of us to pursue a journey of meaning, no matter what resistance or obstacles present themselves. That secret is this: anything can be changed, ourselves included. Even though the inner and outer status quo may seem permanent and supreme, it can be overcome with commitment and perseverance.
Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote: "Whatever I do, I give up my whole self to it." That is The Visionmaker's commitment in meeting the tyranny of the status quo–to put every ounce of personal power into overcoming its oppressive gravity field. The result is freedom from constraint and an ability to cut a personal path towards Destiny. However, we must be constantly on our guard to ensure five conditions of the status quo do not overcome and undermine our journey of meaning:
1. Complacency– the smug, self-satisfaction and lack of continuous improvement or change that leads directly to the status quo and the comfort zone.
2. Laziness – a lack of effort, activity, poor work ethic and passionless performance that is rooted in half-heartedness.
3. Risk Avoidance – closed-heartedness that contributes to the fear or unwillingness to try new things, push beyond what is currently known or understood or the unwillingness to fail.
4. Conflict Avoidance – weak-heartedness that manifests as a fear of controversy or disagreement, conformity over authenticity, or unwillingness to set limits and boundaries in the uncivil conduct of others.
5. Attachment to Success – the condition that befalls us when victory, accolades and accomplishments become far more important than learning, growth and exploration.
A Visionmaker is constantly on guard against the creep of the status quo in his or her life. With vigilance and full-heartedness, stasis is weeded from the path of heart and meaning.
© Patrick O’Neill 2008. All rights reserved.