Pics of my first ever client’s wedding recently flooded my social feeds — her: on cloud nine, him: bearded and proud — triggering in me joyful flashbacks to conversations we had many years ago in which she first dared, haltingly, to put into words her vision for marriage to, yup, a bearded man.

What gives a vision teeth — its ability to focus our efforts to accomplish what matters most to us and calibrate appropriate responses to our circumstances du jour — is precisely what can make the very act of articulating one so uncomfortable:


Any vision we pursue, even the most tantalizing one, generates a tension between whatever we want and the current reality that our vision defiantly contradicts.

Think about it: Your imagination versus reality! Who do *you* think will win? (Your answer, btw, may say a thing or two about how things will play out.)

I sent the beaming bride a congratulatory text. “My bearded man,” she replied. “He’s different from my vision in many ways, but I’ve learned that’s more than okay.”

Way more than okay.

Consistently pursuing a vision can lead us places we may find hard to imagine. As every passing day prompts us to ask new questions, adopt new perspectives, and make new connections, life transforms us into more adept versions of ourselves. And this is precisely why it matters *how* we hold our vision.

Picture this: Conducting your marriage in your 40’s according to everything you knew about love in junior high? Or letting an unwavering loyalty to the ideas guiding your college applications as a 17-year-old dictate every last choice you make throughout the entirety of your career? Insanity!

When we hitch our life to a vision, it helps to hold it lightly. A vision with no room to change will bolt and drag us into concrete walls.

The more generously we allow our vision to grow — even as we ourselves grow — the more nimbly we can challenge reality and the more gracefully we can exercise our will.