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What is the collective vision for our country?


A vision articulates a possibility.

Goodbye, adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen. So, we're off then. The British are revolting, exiting, Brexiting.

Heads can become dizzy in a stampede, especially when there are 70 million Brits in the crowd, but amongst the rush, I fear that something rather important is being overlooked. As we hurtle towards an impotent withdrawal, nobody is talking about where we are headed. At Pencil, we are concerning ourselves with the question, "What is our collective vision?"

To answer it, let us first define it. A vision articulates a possibility. In this case, a possibility that fulfils a desire that is fundamental to the British people and is a picture for all time. When speaking this vision, the speaker is transformed and the country becomes a universe of possibility. It's funny, since the referendum, or before it for that matter, I haven't heard our leaders talk of anything like this at all. Instead, I've heard an awful lot about trade deals, immigration quotas and divorce fees, but nothing about what is their vision for the UK once the country has to stand on its own two feet.

Maybe it's because of the term 'Brexit' that everyone has become so bogged down in the leaving that they have forgotten all about the arriving. But surely leadership is all about setting a vision that others can believe in, to provide a compass which not only gives people direction, but helps them to stay on course and provides motivation to carry on. How is it that I can know the vision of Walt Disney ("Make people happy") and Oxfam ("A just world without poverty"), yet I don't know the vision of the UK? Or is it just me? Do you know what is our collective vision?

At Pencil, we deliver a programme of transformation with three chapters. The first chapter is dedicated to helping people discover their purpose in life. At our retreat, using trusted techniques and critical thinking, our guests embark on a journey of self discovery that reveals what the Japanese know as their Ikigai, their reason for living. Over the course of a few days, they have the opportunity to stop, think and feel so that their true purpose, or vision, is revealed to them. May we be so bold as to suggest that the UK and its leaders should do the same? To awaken from the distraction that is Brexit and instead focus their attention upon creating an expression of possibility into which the UK can grow. If we ignore this opportunity, then post-Brexit, the UK is more likely to suffer an identity crisis and ask the questions, "Was it worth it?" and "Has it made any difference?".

Once we know our collective vision, what is possible between us is no longer defined by our differences. It no longer matters what race or religion you are, what your job title is or how much money you have. Together, when we know where we are headed, we stand at least a chance of growing into this possibility. To define our country's vision, we must first find out who we are and what values we stand for. I believe that the UK has lost its identity and no longer knows who it is or what it stands for. It would be easy to presume that diversity has led to this loss, but rather like we teach people who are seeking their purpose in life, if we are to successfully navigate ourselves to a future possibility, we must pay attention to the truth of now rather than use outdated maps of the past.

If you're interested in discovering your purpose in life, take a look around our website to learn more about the Pencil programme, using the menu at the top left hand corner of the page. If you'd like to attend our luxurious retreat, email Matt on

Slide Pencil Rewrite your story with Pencil. Built upon the three pillars of purpose, wellbeing and community, the Pencil programme is delivered over the course of four days at a luxurious location in the English countryside.

Pencil's unique content was developed over a two year period and lives at the point where mindfulness, neuroscience and psychology collide, to bring life into beautiful, sharp focus. Once you’re there, you'll have a sense of peace and equanimity. We call it a deep lightness.
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