Jamie and I were having a nice chat on vision the other day while we were driving, and I'm going to toss down some of those thoughts so I can remember them.
At Wood Badge, the first time I remember really being taught about vision, one of the first lessons taught is called, "Values, Vision, and Mission." In that and throughout the rest of the week, participants are taught that you need to have a vision to know where you are going. In that capacity the main way they are looking at it is having a vision for where the group of scouts you work with can be in the next 18 months, but it was easy to see how it related at least personally for my family and church responsibilities. Having a vision, seeing what you'd like to have happen, allows you to put goals in place to getting there.
About a month ago I bought some CDs on Teaching Self-Government (you can also find her blog from there, which also has a lot of great information). In the first one, Nicoleen talks about creating a family vision. Not something vague, we'll all live happily every afterish. She suggests a vision of a specific family gathering 20 years down the road - who will be there, what time of year or even the day it will be (hers is a Christmas party), the things you'll eat and do, and even what you'll talk about. After husband and wife create the vision, Nicholeen says to take it to the family and share it with your children. Let them know every detail you see and help them to "see" it too, so they can be a part of making that vision happen.
She talks more about making it happen, but since I'm just talking about vision right now that's as far as I'll go. But I love how she emphasized being specific and sharing the vision.
Jamie went to a meeting recently where the leader there said that he doesn't always follow things told to him because his vision is different than theirs. Sorry I'm not being more specific on that, but it's all about protecting the innocent. :) This tossed around in my head until the drive while Jamie and I were talking about vision. This leader gets a lot of dissenting opinions. Why? Because his followers don't know what his vision is! If they knew his vision, since obviously he has one, then maybe it would be easier for people to follow his vision.
That same lesson has been reiterated to me through some of the capacities I've filled through church and scouting. The more information we give parents, the more help we get back from them. If the parents know what they need to do to help their children accomplish the achievements, we get tons of support. If I notice we have some less than supportive parents, the first thing I check is to make sure they know what we need them to be doing. More times that I care to admit, I was the first one to drop the ball, not them.
I have great goals for my family. I know each member of our family has strengths and talents that need to be developed, and I know each of us has a great mission to fulfill in this life. Having a family vision and helping everyone to work towards it is a big step in getting there. Now for ours...