Gary Barnett had a great analogy in his book "High Hopes" regarding vision. He compared vision to that of a jigsaw puzzle. He was trying to turn around a bad program and he utilized the idea of the puzzle to help him along. As he said in his book,
"When you buy a jigsaw puzzle, the only way you know what that puzzle is supposed to look like is by looking at the picture on the top of the box, the vision of what the puzzle should ultimately be. But when you open the box, the first thing you see is chaos. What a jigsaw puzzle represents, though, is a system for turning chaos into order. That's what we set out to do, just like we used to do on our card table at home when I was growing up."
I think this is a tremendous analogy that everyone can use. From a coaching perspective, I have utilized a similar idea in the past with the picture I had in my mind being what the pieces in the box were supposed to resemble. Each year I plan my vision for for what I would like to see our program accomplish both on and off the court. I put that plan on paper and then work with all of the pieces to make it fit. The human pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are much more difficult to put together because, unlike the cardboard pieces, there are emotions and psychological issues to contend with. However, by sticking to the vision and working to make the pieces fit, good things are possible.
I think the analogy can be used in a lot of other areas as well. Whether it be changing a bad habit or building a better relationship, once you have a vision and have identified the pieces needed for success, then you can eliminate the chaos and work to build what you wish.