By Clive Lindley-Jones | July 12, 2010 2:30 pm
I learnt a new word today. Thinking and talking with friends and patients recently about having a vision for their life I remembered the metonymy, oft quoted from President Bush senior: “Oh, the vision thing.”
As I tried to remember more, I turned to Wikipedia, where I was reminded that: It was purportedly the former President’s response to the suggestion that he turn his attention away from short-term campaign objectives and focus on the larger picture, to which he quipped, “Oh, the vision thing.” The oft-cited quote became a shorthand for the charge that Bush failed to frame his positions on individual issues in a compelling and unified manner.
They went on to say:The phrase has become a metonym for any politician’s failure to incorporate a greater vision in a campaign, and has often been applied in the media to other politicians or public figures.
Metonymy(pronounced /mɨˈtɒnɨmi/) is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept. For instance, “Washington”, as the capital of the United States, could be used as a metonym (an instance of metonymy) for its government.
And so, from remembering Bush’s unfortunate throwaway line ‘the vision thing’, I learnt that it was a metonym. It is amazing were you get to.
But back to the vision. Do you have one?
Without a vision, the people perish.
You will not get many Biblical quotes in these pages, but that is not a bad one. We all need to see where we are going and have some element of clarity in finding our way forward each day, month, year and through our life towards were we want to be going. There are numerous irritating, trite and often, sadly, true sayings, that tell us that… if we fail to plan, we plan to fail etc. We all know this and we all, to a greater or lesser extent, probably fall short of our best in this department.
Perhaps it is even an area of thought that you have not given much time to. But this month I want to draw your attention to the merits of spending some time sitting back and thinking about your life and both want it to be about and where you want it to be in a year, or ten years time. Then flip back and contemplate how your day to day life does or does not reflect that vision, however blurred and unfocused it may still be.
I have to own up here. While I am somewhat of a life planning nerd, it is far too much as a consumer of ideas, tools, gadgets etc. and I still have not fully mastered*, to my own satisfaction, the task of making my life a masterpiece, as Tony Robbins would say.
So this month, why not take some time to start to focus on what you want your life to truly be about. What is your mission statement. What is your life about in no more than a sentence, a Tweet’s space?