Casting Vision for a Desired Future

Martin Luther King - "I Have a Dream!" 
Ultimate Blog Challenge: Day 17

I remember the first time I heard Martin Luther King, Jr's "I Have a Dream" speach. I was a sophomore in High School in 1971 and I was in my mother's Social Studies Class. (Yes, I had my mother for a teacher in High School. That's another story for another time. Lol!!!) It sent chills all down my spine and it changed my outlook on many things. 

I spent most of my life in campus ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Much of our work involved developing student leaders and one of the skills we taught was "vision casting." I would often use this speech as an example of what vision looks like. One way to define vision is as "sight." In the case of leadership development, parenting, etc., this means we see a hoped for future. People who do this really well are able to paint a picture of the desired future. MLK Jr. paints a picture of a desired future where children of all colors will be able to play together. All people will be judged on the content of their character and not the color of their skin. That's a beautiful picture. 

Listen to an Excerpt of the Speech
I'm a Christian who takes the Bible seriously. The name of our Blog probably gave that away for you. This is a very Biblical vision and you see this theme throughout Scripture.  John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (NIV) The world is full of people of all shapes and sizes, colors and creeds. God took on human form in the person of the historical Jesus Christ that all people might turn away from selfish indulgence and be made clean and new. 

Sorry for preaching, but I was on a roll! Let's get back to the idea of casting vision. Let me apply it to how we parent our children. We spend a lot of our time and energy trying to fix problems and correct behavior. It's easy to get stuck in that rut and become very negative and frustrated as a parent. Children today have more problems than at any time in history for many reasons. (That's also a subject for another article!) That means that parents are often bombarded with challenging behavior caused by weak character, ADHD, OCD, Autism Spectrum issues, diet, and on and on. So what's a parent to do?

We need to get off the treadmill and embrace another strategy. Parents need to learn to focus on "training the heart" of their children and developing character. Take one problem with one of your kids. What character quality would help them deal with that problem? Focus on developing that character quality and start by "casting vision" for that character quality. Consider what that "desired future" looks like for your child. What kind of adult do you hope for them to become? Sit down with your child and paint a picture for them. Here's an illustration from the book CHANGE. Here's what visioning might look like in practical terms:

Bill was fourteen years old. He was disrespectful to his parents, often cutting them off and making sarcastic remarks. Dad and Mom had made several attempts to correct and confront him. They removed video privileges, increased his chores, and grounded him. But the most progress happened when they used a heart-based approach. Here’s what they did. 

Mom and Dad had a meeting with their son. They said, “Bill, we want to have a close relationship with you. We enjoy being with you. But sometimes you treat us unkindly. That compromises our relationship and adds tension. Sometimes you’re right when you disagree with us, but by being mean, you cross the line. That line is very important and you’ll need to be aware of it in other relationships. If you can work on this with us you’ll be more successful, not only in our home now, but also at school, and then in the future when you have a job or your own family.”  

Dad and Mom laid out a plan. It would require practice sessions of interaction around getting common things done at home. They also used the tools of firmness and visioning with their son. A fascinating thing happened that first week. They saw their son start to change. They had connected on a heart level and the combination of tools were having an impact on his reactions. In fact, on Wednesday, after a rather challenging incident he came and sat next to Mom and said, “I crossed the line there didn’t I?”  Wow! Mom was shocked. Bill’s behavior is changing because his heart is changing. Both Mom and Dad are pleased with the progress. They’re adding other new strategies and they’re thrilled with the results. It wasn’t just one meeting with their son or a particular consequence that did the trick. It was a combination of several tools at the same time based on a strategy of change that focused on the heart. 

Suggested Action: Focus on one child and identify one problem. Consider what character quality might help the child deal with that challenge. Have a meeting with the child and cast vision for that character quality.

We're offering a FREE eBook right now to any parent that wants to explore this idea further. The book is called CHANGE: Helping Any Child of Any Age with Any Problem. 


Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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