A popular proverb of Japanese origin says, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare”. This proverb captures both extremes of the situation. A vision is nothing more than a daydream if there are no Missionaries running with the vision. On the other hand, if you refrain from setting a vision, and simply get to work, your work will not amount to anything tangible in the long run. It is a nightmare. You must go about your day-to-day business within the context of the overall vision. Finding this balance is critical and wonderful when you get it right.
A vision is nothing more than a vivid picture of a preferred future. The idea is that of all the possibilities, everything that could happen or will happen, you have a preference. A vision is a theory about what tomorrow could look like. It is nothing more than this. When you think about great visionaries, always remember that they matched their theoretical framework with the work ethic demanded by the vision. Someone must be ready to embrace the vision, and work hard as a missionary. Without this day-to-day consciousness, it is all a dream.
Henry Ford did not just dream about building and marketing a simple, strong, reliable, affordable car for the masses. He made it his life mission and delivered on the vision. Bill Gates famously set a vision of having a computer on every desk and in every home. This ideology shaped the company they built around it for many decades. Similar companies without such a bold, but clear vision devolved into a nightmare over time. If you are enlightened enough to develop a vision, then be ready to invest the hours required for your vision to take hold in society. Dream like a visionary, work like a missionary.