How is your sight and vision?

There's a difference between your sight and vision. Myron Friesen asks readers to consider creating a vision for what's not yet in view.

Sunset Farming Scene
There's a difference from what you see today and what lies beyond the horizon. The author asks people to create a vision for financial success.
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What is the difference between sight and vision? Sometimes those two words are used interchangeably, but recently I heard an interesting comparison of those two words.

Sight sees what is. Vision is seeing what could be.

Sight is what you see every day around you and it is reality. Sometimes what you see is glorious and sometimes it is a mess. Some people’s eyesight is crystal clear and sometimes people cannot see anything.

Some people never need glasses or contacts while others can’t even safely walk around the house without them.

With estate planning sometimes I work with people who see so clearly. They absolutely identify the strengths and weaknesses of their farm and family members. They call a spade a spade and I know they can see reality.


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Myron Friesen

Other people describe their situation, and it seems clear and obvious to me as I listen that some of their children are horrible decision makers. Those children are not capable of handling any amount of financial assets let alone operating a farm now or in the future. Their personality clashes with everyone in sight but for some reason these problems are not clear and obvious to the parents. Sometimes I think they need a really thick pair of glass or really strong contacts to help them see reality clearly.

So that is sight, what about vision? If vision is seeing what could be, do you have good vision? Can you visualize the difference between great opportunity and a potential train wreck? I recall working with a lady that had sadly lost her husband, and they had done no previous estate planning. Unfortunately, her husband did not have the vision to look ahead and visualize the importance of estate planning while he was living, He seemed to have good sight with day-to-day farming but not good vision to plan for what the farm could become. Unfortunately, he died suddenly and left his wife to now make the decisions.

Ironically, she too could see the way it was but had no vision for how it could be. I asked her for some direction and when she described to me what she was thinking about doing, it was literally a train wreck that would occur at the first road crossing. I was perplexed at the lack of vision.

I love thinking about a vision for the future. I enjoy turning something negative into something that is positive. I am challenged thinking about turning a good farm into a great farm. I think sometimes the problem with having a vision is that it is hard to enjoy the moment when you always visualize one more thing.

So, which is more important? Sight or Vision. It seems obvious that sight is pretty important because you have to be realistic about where you’re at and what is around you. However, vision is really important because without it you just stay where you’re at. I think a good farm needs both sight and vision.

Both sight and vision can be improved by talking to and listening to people who can help you. Of course, you don’t have to improve your sight and vision for your farm, but your farm will need to compete against those who do. There always seems to be an opportunity for those with good sight and vision.

Join me at 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, at the Ag Week Farm Show in Rochester, Minnesota. I will be speaking on the “Farm Succession – The Impact of Higher Land Values.”

Myron Friesen is the co-owner of Farm Financial Strategies Inc. in Osage, Iowa. He can be contacted at 866-524-3636 or

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