Vision is your north star, a guiding light that will constantly keep you moving in the right direction as you embark upon your journey of transformation. A source of motivation that will give you the power to keep going even when the world seems to be against you. Vision will give you absolute clarity of where it is you want to be and how you want your life to look. Let’s examine this thing called vision in more depth.
Why do I need vision?
Without vision, you are drifting with no destination in mind and this means you cannot channel your energies towards a specific outcome. Although many of the techniques discussed in this series will offer tremendous benefits in and of themselves, it is when they are combined with the power of vision that the true potential for transformation is unleashed.
Your vision is your master plan – once you know what the big thing you are working towards is, you’ll be able to identify the smaller milestones that will help you to get there and create a system to measure your progress towards achieving your dream. When you have the vision to drive you, each of the techniques you choose to adopt to support your transformation become purposeful, and that combination of purpose and vision becomes an unstoppable force.
How do I build my vision?
One of the questions I am most often asked as a coach is how to build or ‘discover’ one’s vision. Whilst some people are gifted with the ability to have an absolutely clear, fully formed vision of what they wish to achieve, others struggle to find this focus – indeed this often their reason for seeking coaching to begin with.
To help formulate your vision, explore your life. Look at the things you love and the things you hate. Include people, places, activities, feelings and more. No holds barred. Reflect on the things you do that give you the greatest satisfaction and your practical skills. Think work, personal life, family… Consider what you believe is missing from your life, or what you may wish to eliminate. Personally, I’m a big believer in writing all of this down. Putting pen to paper will help you to review what you have discovered and identify which are of the greatest importance to you. You can then begin to construct an idea of what the ideal life would look like and use this to develop your vision.
Is it OK for my vision to change?
Absolutely. Have you ever been hiking and reached what you believe to be the peak, only to discover that there is a whole lot more to climb beyond it? If you are like me, you’ll instantly redefine your end goal. Life is like that too. Sometimes it is only after we set out on our journey that the true destination reveals itself. As we continue to develop and improve, some things may become more important and likewise, some may become insignificant or irrelevant. Many people will find that although their overall vision never changes, certain parts of it may adapt and evolve to create something more refined – and it is when your vision reaches this level of clarity that true transformation can take place.
Ultimately, it is consistency that matters most. You must keep moving in the same overall direction. As long as any variation of your vision is aligned with a long term goal that is consistent and in keeping with your core values, then no efforts you have made towards achieving it will be wasted should the final destination shift.
Using your vision as a tool
Your vision can become a powerful thing when combined with some of the techniques already covered. If you have explored daily affirmations, then these can be combined with your vision to make them even stronger. Your vision will help to steer your learning and will give you a foundation upon which to define the tasks on your to-do list, as well as helping to set your daily intention.
One way to truly make your vision become a reality is to practise visualisation. Set aside some quiet time every day where you can focus on visualising your desired life. Make it as realistic as possible, imagine you are already there. Live it, breathe it, feel it. The more you are able to do this, the more likely your vision is to become your reality. You may find that you can use mediational tools to help with this.
Something else that is of great personal importance to me is setting out a personal mission statement, something that I learned from the fantastic ‘7 Habits of Highly Successful People’ by the late Stephen Covey. Once you have set out your vision, you can convert this into a personal mission. This in turn forms a set of guiding principles which can govern your daily behaviours and help you in decision making, all with the end goal in mind and a true sense of purpose behind everything you choose to do.
A final word of warning – avoid using the word dream when talking about your vision. Although they may be seen as synonymous, there is a fundamental and critical difference – the perception of attainability. A dream is, by its very nature, often treated as something that can never become a reality, a fantasy. A vision, on the other hand, no matter how grand, is absolutely in the domain of possibility. Eliminate ‘dream’ and ‘fantasy’ from your vocabulary. Go all in on your vision. ■