Vision Without Execution is Hallucination

Thomas Edison was once quoted as saying that "vision without execution is hallucination."  How true.

Once you have a great plan for your great vision, the hard work begins.  It's time to execute.  If you've planned well, this stage is as simple as executing the plan.  It's doing it.  However, this is where it gets hard.

Maybe not at first - it's always easy to start doing something new, is it not?  How many times have you started to read a new book… but never finished it.  How many times have you recommitted to paying off your debt… but then got lax on following through with that plan?  It's always harder to continue to do something new than to start something new.  Especially when it's not that new anymore.

Let's be honest, visions get hard when you're in the middle of the executing.  And if they're not hard, they get boring.  Visioning was fun, it was exciting and shiny.  Planning took some time and mental energy, but executing is hard.

Following through is work and it takes discipline and self-control.

Executing well requires:

  • That you live with intention.
  • That you decide what is important and what is not and that you focus on what is most important.
  • Say 'no' to other, newer, funner opportunities that come along.
  • That all of your theoretical priorities get translated into actual priorities.


The definition of discipline is "behavior and order maintained by training and control."  It requires discipline to execute your vision.  You have to train yourself to follow-through and exercise self-control.  Discipline is essential to executing your vision - especially when it gets hard, or you get sick for a week, or someone doesn't show up for the key meeting, or it gets boring, or everyone else flames out, or you get another grand idea that is newer and shinier (again, it's always harder to continue to do something new than to start something new).

This is precisely where most visions die.  It takes discipline to stick with it and without discipline your vision will fail. 

In my next post I'll share the best way I know how to execute with discipline.