If I were to write down all my visions, it would make a book. Since I was a child, I have always had visions. As a nursery pupil, I had visions of being, or maybe I wanted to be in the same class as my older siblings, I cannot even tell why. As a primary pupil, I had visions of being a student in one of the top secondary schools in the town, which made me study hard to pass my Common Entrance Examination with flying colors and lots more of such visions a child is expected to have. Though I actualized those visions, but being much younger, apparently I had no barrier on my way when those visions came to play as I had expected, if I had known nothing, I knew I was happy. From then till this time, it has been from one vision to another. But the more I grew, the more I realized that some of these visions are not easy to materialize.
Preliminaries – Visions and Hallucinations
My definition of a vision is simple. A vision is a thought or concept formed about the future. It entails the use of one’s imagination and intelligence. Hallucination however, is different. It is a false imagination or impression of things that actually do not exist. One good similarity between vision and hallucination is that they are both imagined and these imaginations are of the mind. This then brings us to the thin line of difference between vision and hallucination; “The Effect.” The effect of either of the two on a person brings about the difference. Vision propels one to act because it is what one must act upon if it is truly a vision. Hallucination drains spirit, it makes one inactive and undecided on what to do. I would love to say that a vision is not far from hallucination, though depending on how the affected individual (visionary) treats each.
The Vision and the Visionary
“Show me a great man and I will show you a man of vision.” This is a popular saying, at least in Nigeria. “A man without vision is finished,” so goes another saying. Vision to me again is a strong ladder that lifts a man to the topmost top. Anyone who is of a sound mind, in one way or another always has a vision, but there is just a single major disparity between everyone’s vision and this disparity is “execution” without which, all visions are hallucinations, if I understand properly what Henry Ford meant.
Put differently, this means that the execution of a vision is not in isolation but dependent on the visionary – the visionary being the person(s) who have the vision and pioneer the execution. Execution which is the process of carrying out a task or putting plans into action is the backbone of a vision, it makes the vision turn into what it ought to be. This is because visions are what one must achieve or intends to achieve and walks towards achieving. Anything besides that is hallucination. Hallucination most of the time has less or no meaning; they are not worth any achiever’s effort. But the question may yet arise, “how can visions turn to be just hallucinations?”
Obviously, whether or not visions turn to be hallucinations, is left for the visionary. And lack of execution which make visions die out and make it not much different from hallucination may be as a result of one, two or all of the following: nonchalance, cowardice and financial constrains (all on the visionary’s part). I will explain each briefly.
Nonchalance – Giving the ‘I don’t care’ attitude. The state at which the visionary is moved by nothing and careless about everything, even the vision itself. The visionary could speak of all the big dreams and mighty visions for a long time but puts no effort to ensure execution or think of how to go about it let alone achieving it.
Cowardice – I categorize the visionaries here into two: the first are those who lack the courage to take a step and the second are those who lack the courage to try again. The visionaries who lack the courage to take a step are those risk ‘haters’. I think this is the better word to qualify that. To this category, everything seems to be risky. They are simply being held bound by the treacherous hand of fear. Fear of investing; perhaps it may yield nothing, fear of inventing; there is no way it is going to work or come to stay, fear of participating; the outcome may be demeaning and lots of such fear to take risk. I possibly would call that ‘cowardice of the first order’. On the other hand, the category of the visionaries who lack the courage to try again will dare not try again actually, and this is basically because previous attempts have failed or nothing good came from it. So it is of no use wasting time and effort on it.
Financial Constraints – In the world of today, only few things can be achieved with less demand for funds. As a result of this, many visions have turn into naught and forgotten about because huge amount of funds that may not be easy to come by are required for execution.
Of all the reasons mentioned above, I find the first two, nonchalance and cowardice, to be strictly on point as to why the visionary is hallucinating rather than envisaging. When hindered by finance, the visionary can still strive to make the vision come true provided that nonchalance and cowardice are not options.
Some of my visions I have made plain and have plans for executing them. But as I stated much earlier, ‘the more I grew, the more I realized that some of these visions are not just easy to materialize, execution is much of the problem. But since execution is concerned with putting plans into action, and none of these plans have been put into action yet; should I call those visions hallucinations? Of course not. I will rather hold them as my visions. I could not possibly give up on them. Am I in any way a coward? No. Am I nonchalant? No. Why? Because I am still focused. I want my visions to be executed. They keep ringing bells in my mind telling me not to give up on them. But why the laxity? Maybe because I am waiting for the appropriate time which has nothing to do with procrastination, or perhaps the adequate finance or some sort of approval from authority.
There are millions and thousands of people like myself, who have visions and plans alone but are doing nothing at the present to portray execution. They are neither being nonchalant nor cowards, they may have their reasons like I have mine and I think it is not fair to call those dearly visions ‘hallucinations’. They may be such people that dwell wherein they can only hope, and nothing else. Nothing is at their disposition, they have been weighed by an environment covered with nothingness in which only common visions can be easily executed. In this state, to me, hallucination would only be what it actually is and would occur when it ought to; ‘maybe due to fever or drugging beyond dosage.’ That’s being fair.
“Vision without execution is just hallucination” (Henry Ford). I love this quote, it sinks deeply in me. But the more I love it, the more I say to myself, ‘though some of my visions do not meet the quality of execution, they are not hallucinations either.’ Well said! But should I keep folding my arms and watch my visions gradually turn into hallucinations because I have some sweet words to console myself or should I start acting? The latter I guess. If I am really not nonchalant and really not a coward, I see no reason why I should not do something not minding how little. Even at that, I can exchange my nonchalance for prudence and my cowardice for courage. All I need is self-motivation which is the best of all motivation one can get and a little non-self if one gets lucky. But still, it is better to do something and fail – even at that ‘try again’, than to do nothing at all and still fail.
This is a priority, I mean, vision. Virtually everything done requires vision; great or small. Whether the vision is at the planning stage or execution stage, does not reduce its importance. Despite this, I will want to stress that plans not yet in execution still have the potentials of making a vision come true provided that the mind is set at executing it. And perhaps, we’ve seen much, we’ve said much, we’ve lamented much; whichever, but a little action gives the vision a better chance. It saves the vision!