Personal vision and values. The two most important attributes required in today’s world, be it in the world of business, politics, or just sheer existence.

A personal vision is an inherently powerful thing.

Vision is not about the past. Vision is also not about the present. Vision is almost invariably a distant image. Vision is the future backwards.

It is the result of a mental process that telescopes a person into an image that simply does not exist in current reality. From then on, that image becomes a guiding factor. It helps to build upon energetic action.

Many professionals, in the desire to build upon their material assets in life, tend to lose their way along the path. And without really, consciously realising it, give up on their visioning capacity, which then, like any other muscle, becomes a recessive gene.

Some lose out on this out of sheer lethargy, some allow personal wealth acquisition to submerge it. Yet, there are others who abandon it as they face obstacles and blame the environment for it.

It is imperative upon all of us to understand one vital truth: It is the job of the environment to present obstacles. That is the way Nature is built.

Nature designs things in such a way that dreams must die in the same proportion that wild salmon fish breed. It is interesting to note that, statistically, out of the 2,500 eggs a wild coho salmon fish lays, 2,125 die.

Only 375 eggs actually hatch. Out of the 375 eggs that hatch, only about 30 survive. From this 30 that survive, 25 are either eaten up or die due to environmental reasons. Eventually, only two out of the initial 2,500 survive to become fully grown adults, to return to their source and then spawn.

This analogy is mentioned here to convey that the same or similar ratio applies to anyone who builds a personal vision larger than life.

Just because you and I are hatched salmon from among the 375 out of the 2,500, it does not mean that we are guaranteed safe passage in the ocean of life. Professionals who have a profound personal vision are able to not only uplift their own lives, but also of those around.

As a collection of professionals, let us bring the power of our own vision to our work, and act upon it. Let us not be fazed by the size of our adversary, or by the duration of uncertainty in the marketplace.

And it is a known fact that corporates, or governments, or countries which have a larger mass of people with powerful individual visions, end up creating better unified visions for their respective group entities.

Which then brings us to the second V — values.

Of what use is any vision without the right set of values. Values provide us with a constancy of purpose. How can there be any profession, or vision, without a set of professional values.

For a medical profession, non-refusal to treat a person in need is an inviolable covenant. For a lawyer, client confidentiality is non-negotiable.

Why then should the corporate world, which is the backbone of world economy, not wish to live and abide by a set of agreed, ethical values?

And yet, it is very important to state that practice of values does not necessarily lead to great glory, high praise or quicker material wealth. It is, however, absolutely certain to keep the individual purer in form in his or her own eyes.

Sometimes a personal price has to be paid in the practice of professional values. The corporate world and society on the whole may not always put a premium on the practice of values, and hence most of us may be tempted to not incorporate it into our own lives. So, the ultimate choice rests with each of us.

But in the final analysis, we all need to ask ourselves how we wish ourselves to be known, and how we wish future generations to know us. As a professional with values, and who also acquired material success, or merely professionally qualified and with even better material wealth.

The difference will, over time, decide the collective vision of a company, a group, an organisation, a nation.

Niranjan Gidwani is CEO, Eros Group.