Turning visions into reality: overcoming the inertia to act

By Silas Igbe. Silas, 19, is a medical student at Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria

Henry Ford, the founder of the popular Ford Motor Company, is indubitably one of the greatest industrialists in American history. His quote, “vision without execution is just hallucination”, which shows how much he did not only value a great vision, but the implementation of that vision as well, is the focus of this essay write-up. From Henry Ford’s quote, we can pinpoint three important words; vision, execution and hallucination.

First, what is a vision? A vision is an imagined condition which an individual (or a company as the case may be) holds in high esteem, with the ambition of bringing that condition to reality. It can also be seen as the goal of an individual (or company) which he seeks to achieve. Second, what is execution? Execution is the act of carrying out a particular activity. It is the sequential processes/efforts put in, in the achievement of a particular duty. It is the border between vision success and vision failure. Third, what is hallucination? Hallucination is an apparent perception or feeling of something which is not real as though it is real. In the context of this article, it can be seen as a feeling that someone is going to do something meanwhile there is no reality of him going near to doing such things. It is the result of an inability to overcome the inertia to act. This inability keeps one’s ideas in one’s head, eventually turning those ideas into a pile of junk. So, what is this inertia to act, and what can actually turn those visions into hallucinations?


The physicist will define inertia as the tendency for an object to remain in its state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force. In a more general sense, inertia can be defined as the tendency not to do a particular task. Thus, the inertia to act is the seeming resistance to act (or tendency not to act) even when you have to. In relation to this context, it includes all the factors that can hinder the actualization of one’s vision. Some of these factors will now be briefly explained below.

1. Fear Of Taking Risks

Businessdictionary.com defines risk as “a probability or threat of damage, injury, liability, loss or any other negative occurrence that is caused by external or internal vulnerabilities, and that may be avoided through preemptive action”. Risks are paramount occurrences in almost every action we take as individuals and the fear to take risks is the major reason why so many visions are left unfulfilled. Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat”. You want to build your own vehicle, but you are afraid it might not work, you want to establish a venture, but you are afraid it might wind up fast. How then, do you think it is going to work? It is like you being on the other side of a large river and wanting to cross to the other side. The boat is there for you to paddle your way through to the other side but you cannot just get on the boat because you are afraid you might drown. You will continue to be there until you overcome that fear and take that first vital step of getting on the boat. So, until you overcome that fear, your vision will be a useless pack of ideas.

2. Financial Constraints

This can deal a huge blow to the actualization of one’s vision. There is a popular saying that “money answers all things”. Henry Ford needed the finance before he could actualize the Ford Motor Company and the Wright brothers needed funds before they could invent the airplane which we see today. Thus, finance plays a major role in the success of one’s vision or goal. It is the driving force that gears one towards success. Without finance, success can be greatly constrained.

3. Disbelief

Disbelief is simply the inability to accept that something is capable of being done. One also exercises disbelief when one refuses to accept that something is true or real. Disbelief is the very first step towards a failed vision. It is what draws you back on every step you take forward. How can you become the great doctor you have always wanted to be if you do not believe you can pass your professional exams? How can you be that great barrister if you do not believe you can address a public? Most times, it is the confidence we have lost in ourselves and the doubt we have built within ourselves that is the limiting step to the actualization of our visions.

4. Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is the force or influence a person or group of people exert on another individual (usually of the same age or class as them) that cause that individual to change his personal view or behavior towards people or things. Peer pressure might either be positive or negative. It is negative peer pressure that is a deterrent to the actualization of visions. When you are surrounded by negative people, they make your vision a herculean task to achieve. Support is one very essential propellant to vision fulfillment, and, when it is lacking, the chances of success are greatly reduced.


Since we have known some factors that can hinder the actualization of visions, it is good we know how we can overcome these factors and turn our visions into reality. Therefore, how can we overcome the inertia to act? How can we turn that wonderful vision of ours into a reality?

1. Be a Risk Taker

Do you want to actualize your vision? If yes, then be a risk taker! The road to success is not smooth, and, if you want to make it, you have to move through the risky road. Most great men passed through a series of risk-taking adventures before they got to the summit. A typical example is Henry Ford. He took the risk of going to create another automobile company (now the Ford Motor Company) even after his first two companies had wound up due to failure to meet up with demands. He also took a risky decision to cut down prices of his automobile, reduce the working hours and increases the minimum wage for his workers. Thus, he risked taking losses. This decision turned out to be a strong reason for the success of the Ford Motor Company. The popular doctor, Dr. Ben Carson, is also an example of a risk taker. During the decisive moment of who would separate the conjoined twins, Dr. Carson decided to do the work. It was a risky decision: nobody wanted to do it and nobody had successfully carried out the operation before. Dr. Carson encouraged his team, and, together, they performed the first successful separation of conjoined twins. Today, Dr. Carson is regarded as one of the best doctors that have ever lived.

2. Develop Self Confidence

Self confidence is the belief which an individual has in himself that he can carry out a particular task. As Samuel Johnson puts it “self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings”. Self confidence is a major factor for the success of any undertaking. If not, tell me how Thomas Edison was able to discover the lighting bulb even after ten thousand failed attempts, tell me how Abraham Lincoln still became the President of America even after two failed attempts, or tell me how Henry Ford created the Ford Motor Company even after two failed attempts in the automobile industry. Self confidence gives that “never-give-up spirit” that can propel an individual towards achieving success.

In conclusion, there are other factors which can propel us towards executing our visions. Among these include: being optimistic, idealistic and focused. Most times, things might not work out as we had planned. But nevertheless, we should still remain optimistic. If a plan does not work out, try another plan, if the plan does not still work out, try out another plan. Be idealistic! Keep trying until you see your vision come to reality. Never let your self confidence run down, never let your fears get over you, be positive and stay focused on the goal. Always remember this “you can do it, if and only if, you believe you can do it” and never forget, as Henry Ford puts it “vision without execution is just hallucination”. Act now!

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