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Harness Your Shared Vision

Updated: Mar 6

Chris Langer answers the question of what it takes to harness your shared vision.

Couple in hammock at sunset
Having a shared vision is important
Your dreams can be bigger together

A shared vision can be a big source of inspiration

If you have been together for any length of time, no doubt you have discussed the future, and what it might look like. Typically, this evolves over time with a few big conversations, or perhaps lots of smaller conversations. This envisaged future somehow embodies the essence of your ‘togetherness’ to fulfil the relationship’s potential. This is your shared vision.

Early on, your shared vision was probably infused with strong romantic feelings. The vision may have conjured up images of:

· travel or romantic retreats

· intentions to start a family (or perhaps combine families)

· career ambitions or business ideas

· activities and hobbies to do together

· the kind of lifestyle you both wanted

It is likely that this vision felt uplifting, providing a source of inspiration and motivation. Much of your vision may have translated into direct experience as you lived some of it out. Of course, over time it may have changed somewhat, along with your life circumstances. Take a moment to jot a few notes in response to the prompts below:

· Do you remember what your shared vision was in the first year or so of your relationship?

· Did it include any of the things listed above?

· Has it changed over time?

· Do you both agree on what your future looks like now?

Does your shared vision need updating?

I often ask couples what their shared vision was in the early days when they were dating. When there are relationship challenges, it is amazing how the memory of this vision has the power to change frowns into smiles. A sense of joy seems to return almost instantaneously, even if it does not always last long where there are underlying issues.

If your relationship feels stuck, check in with each other here:

· Have you had to give up any part of the vision?

· Does your shared vision need updating?

· Can you inspire each other again to reinvigorate the vision?

This dialogue requires some dedicated attention from both of you. It will develop naturally over time. If the dialogue dries up, there is always a risk that the shared vision will become clouded or even lost. To avoid slowly drifting apart, keep your shared vision and goals in mind. They are a powerful, energising force for good in your relationship.

Dream bigger, together

Simply put, your dreams can be bigger together. They were no doubt a great source of excitement when you first got together. And there is no good reason why they cannot continue to be inspire you throughout the course of your relationship. They tend to occupy a central place in a couple’s emotional life. The loss of those dreams when a couple part company is one of the most distressing things to accept. With that in mind, we must strive to keep our dreams alive whilst together.

Those dreams stand a far greater chance of being fulfilled if you can effectively harness the power of being together, or what we might call the ‘relationship synergy’. Remember here that your relationship is potentially much more than the sum of its parts. You can achieve things together that would be much more difficult, or even impossible, to do alone.

Creating new opportunities

Together, you can create opportunities for personal growth and massively enlarge your horizons. You will both bring unique strengths and capabilities that have the power to enhance your lives together, translating your dreams into goals, and your goals into reality. If this feels a little too optimistic right now, ask yourselves if perhaps you are aiming too low, or stuck in a routine, or in your comfort zones. These key questions may help clarify things:

· What big dreams do you have individually and as a couple?

· What do you see yourselves doing if these come true?

· What skills and capabilities do you each bring to make them possible?

· Are there any obstacles that seem to be getting in the way?

If there are indeed obstacles getting in the way, such as communication difficulties, or unhealthy patterns of relating, your shared vision will probably feel less achievable. But once worked through, these obstacles need not stand in the way of your progress. In this way, you can truly honour each other’s life dreams and goals.

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