The Collaborative Marriage: In Our Wildest Dreams

How a playful stretch of the imagination can lead you to the life of your dreams.

This is the fifth article in a series about creating a 10 Year Plan. To start at the beginning, click here.

When my husband Hal and I started the 10 year plan that took us into our current 10 year plan (I know, I know), one of the most outlandish wishes we had was to have a huge farm on Sauvie Island, just outside Portland, Oregon. We wanted to be able to have our studio there, have land where we could go walking with our dog, grow food and flowers, and have a test kitchen/restaurant.

Today we live on a dreamy Upstate spread. There’s no restaurant, but there are gardens with food and flowers, a well-equipped kitchen, ponds and woods for a good long walk-about, our studios, trails for walking, porches for working or coffee or both. Like in our imaginations, the place is the impetus and the reward.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

We got here, we got what we wanted, by imagining the biggest, most absurd picture of our life we could at the time.

And this is what’s next: Vision.

The nice thing about your vision, if you’re honest with yourself, is that it really doesn’t change that often. Think about the things that loop in your imagination, the I’ve-always-wanted’s… you kinda always want what you always want. The only discipline I’m going to touch on in this post is that you check in on on it. And keep it as big as you can imagine.

When I get teased about having a 10 year plan (and I do) I think to myself, nobody could argue that having a fertile imagination and the ability to manifest it is a bad thing. And that’s all I’m talking about here. Honestly, having a honkin’ huge imagination is very practical.

What do you want? In your wildest dreams, what do you want?

If you’ve followed these posts from the beginning then by now you should have some ideas about what brings you pleasure, what you’re grateful for, what you’re not talking about (that you need to), and what pieces of your life matter most. Cull that information — what does it tell you about what you want? Big picture?

Once you are clear enough on that, you set about figuring what it will take to get it: Your objectives (some call them goals). The things that are in service of your big, fat, fucking awesome vision. And what stuff will you do to reach those goals? Those things you’ll do to get there, those are your tactics. Tactics in service of goals which are in service of this gorgeous vision of yours. That’s how it happens — in the practical sense.

Vision is the biggest thing you can imagine. Objectives (or goals) are the things that have to happen for that bigger thing to take place. Tactics are how you’re going to get it done.

Together, your vision, objectives, and tactics create the bones of your plan. The structure for the structure of your next decade.

A word to the wise, as you set about creating this structure for your 10 year plan hold this in mind: You can’t possibly do anything wrong. You get to give yourself the freedom to get to know these things as you imagine them. To me that’s the craziest part of what sounds to be so official and overwhelming. A 10 year plan — it’s really all imagination.

You’ll get more and more comfortable thinking bigger and bigger picture. It’s a maturation process, a scale of thinking process. As a person who has done this in my own life and in business, nothing but good comes from teaching yourself about vision, objectives, and tactics.

The bigger your imagination can stretch, the bigger your vision can get, and the more specific you can get in your tactics. At first it can all seem tumbled together. But make the imagination space for what you want, and then watch as extraordinary things fall into place to make it happen.

This series wraps next week with some notes on how to work with your plan over the next 10 years.

Originally published at

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