Last time we asked you to write a statement of purpose that you will use to help define your vision. Your vision is what you aspire to create in your life. Having a vision helps you to wisely allocate your time and energy because your vision manifests your purpose in the world day-to-day.
A vision, as the word implies, is something that is out in the future – just a little. Therefore, your vision statement should be based on a potential reality that is 3-5 years out. The wording potential reality is significant because we want your vision to be based on actions that you can take on your own behalf. For example, a vision statement such as “I want to win the lottery” is a fantasy because there are not actionable steps that you can take to make it happen except to buy a ticket. After you purchase the ticket, lottery winning is pure luck. A vision, on the other hand, is a plausible and possible future because it is rooted in the power of your choices and actions.
To articulate your vision, we would like you to spend some time considering the following question in light of your purpose statement:
“What are my hopes and dreams for what my life will look like in 3-5 years as a result of my actions?”
As you write all of the answers that come to you, let yourself think outside the box, but keep it real. Perhaps you want to finish your college degree, get a Master’s Degree, take up yoga, lose that last 15 pounds (for the final time), start running, retire, find a new job, be positioned to earn more money next year, get promoted, or a thousand other things. The goal is to stretch yourself but not make the vision so grand that you can’t relate to it.
Once you have your list of answers to the question, look through them and see if you can identify three to five themes. Using those themes create a Vision that consists of three to five compelling statements and succinctly identifies how your life will look in 3 – 5 years. Generally, vision statements are written with the conviction that they are fully in place (see below).
For instance, a client of ours was a self-described workaholic when she came to meet with us and she was very unhappy with that scenario. After working through the purpose and vision exercise, she came up with the following Vision for herself:
Purpose: “To support those I love to succeed and thrive.”
Vision: “In 3 – 5 years, I am-
Working in a role that allows me to live life as a multi-dimensional being
Connected to my husband, kids and friends in a deep and meaningful way
Healthy, strong, and physically fit
Living life with a spiritual practice at the center
Financially comfortable with a hunk of money in my retirement account.”
Take a few minutes today to explore the life you want to create. If you find yourself stuck, talk with a good friend, a family member, a coach or join a mastermind group that will support you in articulating and working toward your vision.