Around the start of many New Years, I am often asked to write articles or columns predicting the year ahead. What a useless exercise that is! I have no idea what lies ahead of us. Researchers, such as William Sherden in his outstanding book, The Fortune Sellers: The Big Business of Buying and Selling Predictions, prove that forecasters, economists, futurists, planners, and other such soothsayers are less accurate than flipping a coin. Of the sixteen different types of forecasts he analyzed over a twenty year period, only one-day-ahead weather forecasts and the aging of the population were accurate beyond pure chance.

But there is one prediction method that’s eerily accurate. It’s often called imagery, visioning, or self-fulfilling prophecy. We foresee our preferred future and then make it so. Psychology, science, medicine, sports, and other fields are just beginning to tap into this incredible life force.

This is the where my major life change from a high school drop-out, Mennonite farm boy began. Vision, values, and purpose make up what I have been calling Focus and Context for over 15 years of speaking, workshops, consulting, and writing. Focus and Context have been at the core of my last three books and the hub of our “Leadership Wheel” for Growing the Distance:Timeless Principles for Personal, Career, and Family Success and The Leader’s Digest:Timeless Principles for Team and Organization Success.

Focus and Context are the very heart of leadership.

Here are some of my favorite articles on visioning or imagery. Most are excerpted from Pathways to Performance: A Guide to Transforming Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization.

How Visioning Changed My Life
Visioning is where my personal effectiveness quest began, in 1974. Even now, as I recall that turning point in my life, a shiver runs up my spine.

How Visioning Helped My Passion and Persistence
Create strong passion with a clear and compelling vision, and hang in there during the inevitable downs and defeats until dreams are realized.

Personal Visioning Pathways and Pitfalls
Discover the personal visioning approaches that can help you avoid the pitfalls and pave your organization’s pathway to success.

Visioning Harnesses the Power of Our Pictures
The “power of positive pictures” is a skill, habit, and technique often called visioning, imagery, and visualization. It has a power for change, improvement, and energy creation that we’re only beginning to understand.

What We Get is What We See
Personal effectiveness efforts should include changing your personal pictures and self talk. Changing input changes output.

Yield of Dreams
Extensive research in the last few decades on peak performance, leadership, personal effectiveness, adaptability to change, world-class athletes, and even the healing process, clearly shows the central role vision plays in success.