Can a person's vision be a tangible, concrete final task you perform at the very end of the strategies, goals, choices and actions in your life’s plan? I typically define vision in a way that always keeps it abstract, and a few steps out of reach. The part that has always intrigued me the most is constantly moving toward the vision. My focus has always been on the work of achieving the vision. Not on what happens when you actually achieve it. In fact, I would recommend that as you get closer to your vision, you raise it up a level. That you aspire to higher and higher levels of achievement, that you never cross the finish line.
Because of this I don’t think I’ve ever visualized what it looks like, I mean physically manifests itself, when a person achieves their life’s vision. I know we see things on TV that we assume are people achieving their vision. Living to 100, hitting the buzzer on American Ninja Warrior, becoming president, whatever. But there’s something lacking about it; that for whatever reason never resonated with me that I was seeing the essence of achieving a life-long vision. Great achievements, certainly, but not that personal, ultimate achievement. Vision is that greatest dream, that aspiration, that transcendent perfection that we strive for endlessly. It never even occurred to me that a) you "finish" it and, b) it would have a “look”.
That changed last night though, in the minutes, and then seconds, leading up to the end of game five of the 2018 Stanley Cup finals. I and the rest of the world, or at least hockey fans of the world, got to see what someone achieving their vision looks like.
It was awe-inspiring. I don’t know that much about hockey, I’m a Washington Capitals fan because my daughter is.
And I’ll admit I only watch the games at the end of the season. And my role is typically to console my daughter when the Capitals lose in the playoffs. But I do know that Alex Ovechkin is a phenomenal player who has been chasing the Stanley Cup for his entire career. Life even. He’s in his mid 30s, which to me is quite young but in hockey years is probably getting up there. His gray hair makes him look even older (compared to his teammates). So, I assume that his chances at the cup were dwindling. Extra pressure.
Anyway, in the minutes leading up to the end of the game the camera kept going to Ovechkin’s face. He looked exactly the way I would expect someone to look if the entire work of their life had come down to two agonizing minutes of anticipation. Again, not a hockey expert here, but all the clock-stopping icing calls and faceoffs and empty net on the other end made for an exciting couple of minutes in my house. When the buzzer sounded, his whole body personified vision achievement. I can’t even think of the words to describe his face. Rapture? Delirium? Thesaurus.com gave me “beatitude”: Blessedness, bliss and ecstasy. Yep, fits. Is that what the sudden achievement of your life’s vision looks like?
I guess my vision is little different. It’s more nebulous, a general aim toward perfection and happiness and value, so there won’t exactly be a clock counting down the seconds to my grand vision achievement. And there certainly won’t be millions of people watching my face when it happens. But I hope that whenever I get to the point where I can say that my vision has been realized, that I can feel even a tiny sliver of the way that Alex Ovechkin felt last night.