How to cultivate a visionary mindset

By Anjaan

Published: Thu 30 Sep 2021, 8:03 PM

As the Expo 2020 Dubai opens today, it’s a good moment to remind ourselves that we all have the power to build a better world and shape the future. The sheer magnitude of the event is breathtaking and we could use this moment to inspire ourselves. As you would agree, we see the biggest event in world unfolding in front of our eyes because of the visionary leaders of the UAE.

Visionaries are an interesting group of people, because they see what is possible before anybody else does. We all know the story of Henry Ford where he was asked about why he built the model T-Ford — the first production line car. He said, “If I had asked people what they needed, they would have said they wanted faster horses”.

Visionaries need to be able to see beyond where people are at present. They have honed their ability to see what’s coming down the path. Their decisions help with the future rather than the present. A visionary has the ability to really think ahead of everybody else. You may have a natural tendency towards this, but even you feel you are not inclined towards it, here are four areas that you can improve to polish your skills to think like them.

1) Abundance mindset

An abundance mindset is the opposite of lack mentality. It’s about knowing that “there is always more”. As an abundance thinker, you will never be limited to what you see in front of you. You will never limit yourself by resources, technology or skill sets. There is always plentiful thinking and you’d never say sentences like — “I don’t have enough”, “We can’t do it”.

It’s time to start training yourself to say, “There’s always more from where that came from.” If you haven’t got the skills, tools or resources to do what you want to do now, then you will find ways to learn it or find somebody who can help you achieve it. As an abundance thinker, you are always looking for the potential of what can be.

The answers lie in your ability to recognise that your thoughts and actions have energy. In order to embody “the abundant lifestyle”, you must focus your mind and forge steadily forward on your path. This is called tapasya in Yoga. You’ve got to train yourself to have this abundance mindset especially if you have a tendency towards process thinking. As a strategic thinker, you tend to look at finer details. Train yourself to be an abundance thinker even if what’s in front of you looks like it’s not enough.

2) Opportunity grabbing

The universe is constantly sending opportunities your way. To become a visionary, you have to first become a “possibility thinker” — the person who always says,” Yes, I feel we can do it”, and then finds ways to do it. Don’t be the person who leans towards looking at the glass as half-empty. If you tend towards the negative end of the possibility spectrum, then it will be difficult to be a visionary.

Instead become the person who asks, “Why not?” When finding solutions, don’t exclude an option just because it appears impossible. Instead, get in the habit of asking, “Why not?” This can help you notice radical answers to difficult questions. If you don’t look to the future with positivity, you will not be able to lead people towards what is possible.

3) Studying culture and trends

You need to be a keen observer of what’s going on around you. The way you do that is to be constantly curious and an avid follower of cultural knowledge. Don’t do this because you want to do the same as what culture is doing, but you want to learn the trends and understand what people are thinking.

You will find that most large companies have a separate division that is devoted to measuring or assessing the trendsetters that are not on the radar of anyone else. To be a visionary, you have to develop skills to understand culture.

If you really want to know what’s going on in society, then watch young people. If you watch the trends of what teenagers are doing, you can see patterns and perhaps even predict trends in society. This is called having the mindset of a “shishya” (seeker of knowledge or truth) in the Yogic system. Practise having your pulse on what’s going on by learning more about it, so that you can make decisions that are based on where people are heading, rather than where people have been up till now.

4) Growth mentality

Be a constant learner. A continual growth mentality says that you never stop growing. Focus on constantly growing your knowledge base, and understanding. Consume videos, e-books, audiobooks, talk to more people, and keep learning.

Have the deep desire to understand more, and if you encounter something you don’t understand, then make extra effort to learn about it. Make it your business to find out what’s going on so that you understand and can make decisions that factor in all the aspects of all trends.

The Japanese philosophy of ‘kaizen’ is useful in personal and professional life. Instead of trying to make radical changes overnight, it calls for simply starting with small, daily improvements. Make effort to be slightly better than you were yesterday, and do that every day.

Don’t be a person that gets to the end of your potential and then just stops growing. You’ve always got to be looking for opportunities to grow. Life is an opportunity for continual growth. Develop these skills so you can expand your capability to anticipate and impact the future. With perseverance, you will become better at creating future impact and become a visionary.

Connect with Anjaan across social media @MeditateWithAnjaan

More news from Lifestyle