What is the philosophy of Vision Circles?

The philosophy of Vision Circles states that the personal, professional and social actions of human beings are motivated by the satisfaction of their basic needs and by the realization of their ideals.

The guiding principle of Vision Circles states that critical common sense reflecting on our everyday experiences reveals to us that the meaning of our lives consists of more than the satisfaction of our physical and psychological needs.  In fact to function physically and psychologically at our maximum, we need to exercise our higher powers of intuition, rational self-reflection, creative thinking, and creative choice to discover a meaningful and motivating vision for our lives. Gordon Allport, the noted psychologist of personality, forcefully asserted that a philosophy of life is necessary for a healthy personality.

The aim of Vision Circles is to strengthen the activities of what William James, the noted psychologist and philosopher of American Pragmatism, calls our “higher part”.  He goes on to say that we identify our real being with the germinal higher part when we become conscious that the higher part within us participates in a MORE of the same quality.  That MORE can be Nature or God that seizes us through some ordinary experience such as, contemplating a sunset or through a tragic moment of loss.  It is in the awareness of our higher part that we know that we are not alone and not powerless.

Vision Circles will show you a method to develop a clear vision of your intuited ideals that relate to all the dimensions of your life (personal, career, financial, family, career, religious) and to discover the practical ways to realize them.  The OSCAR method of Vision Circles begins by having you carefully observe your immediate concerns in one or more dimensions of your life and continues in the succeeding steps to exercise your powers of creative thinking, so that you can change ‘what-is’ into ‘what-can-be’

The purposes of Vision Circles are:

  • To learn strategies to identify and clarify your own ideals;
  • To show you how to change ideals into action;
  • To facilitate dialogue within yourself and with others to share concerns, ideals and practical concepts;
  • To show you how to construct a personal creed by using internal and external dialogue.

The following guide is based on the common sense belief that ideals motivate us to become the best that we can be as a person, a parent, a spouse, a friend, a professional, and in any other aspect of our lives.


What will you get out of using the OSCAR method of Vision Circles?

  1. You will develop the mental habit of seeing immediate problems in the light of your ideals.
  2. You will strengthen the mental habit of monitoring your types of thinking, your emotions and behaviors in the light of your ideals.
  3. You will practice the mental habits of creative thinking.
  4. You will build up a storehouse of practical ideas to solve problems quickly and effectively.
  5. You will be clarifying and enriching your life plan and your organization’s strategic plan with new psychological and philosophical practical insights about self-growth and organizational growth.


Who Will Benefit from Vision Circles?

The program presents a strategy for solving human problems, that is, discovering how to improve some aspect of our lives, finding out how to overcome contradictions and inconsistencies that accompany our emotional distress, and closing the gap between the way things are and our vision of the way that they could be. The program is for those interested in developing creative thinking to improve their personal and professional lives.

After learning the basic ideas and the steps of the program you can use Vision Circles to resolve a specific concern such as, parenting, overcoming stress, improving communication, building organizational morale, etc. Using the program with a group focused on the same concern (eg. parents on parenting, teachers on teaching, leaders on leading, ministers on ministering, counselors on counseling, managers on managing, etc.) is a productive and efficient way to discover how to connect ideals to effective, practical ideas.

The goals of the guide are:

  1. To show you how to identify your ideals in the different aspects of your life;
  2. To show you how to construct practical ways to realize your ideals.


What are the major ideas that form the foundation for the Vision Circles Program?

  1. Humans think irrationally, rationally and more-than-rationally.
  2. The human mind is intuitively in touch with ideals and searches for order based on those ideals.
  3. Humans can construct a personal creed or philosophy of life, that is, a vision of life based on their ideals.
  4. A personal creed is necessary to live at the higher levels of life and to experience the full joy of living.
  5. Humans think simultaneously with a tender-minded, idealistic attitude and a tough-minded, practical attitude.
  6. Human life is not solving a math problem that has a right answer. Human life is a personal project of realizing our spiritual ideals within the limitations and possibilities of our human situation.
  7. Humans can reconstruct their thinking to create better practical ideas that effectively translate their vision of life into productive actions.
  8. Humans do not fulfill their secular/religious/spiritual ideals by mechanically applying learned techniques and methods.
  9. Genuine human actions require thoughtfulness that gives birth to understanding. Humans need to know what they are doing, why they are doing it and how to do it.
  10. The transformation of 'what-is' into 'what-could-be' requires that each person develop personal insights regarding the meaning of his or her ideals.