Some of us wander through life, not questioning its purpose or thinking about the future. Even if you have an idea of what you want, the when, how and why still might lack clarity. This is why having a clear vision is essential.
Do you want to live a focused life filled with accomplishments that tell the world who you are?
This article will tell you exactly what you need to identify your vision and take the first step towards achieving it
Again, ask yourself this question: Would you trust a pilot that does not have a clear vision of how to land a plane? How about a ship captain that doesn’t know his destination?
No way! So what do you think about someone becoming successful but without a vision of success? What are his or her chances?
A vision centers you and puts you on the path for you to unleash your maximum potential. A vision gives you a standard to reach for, and a reason to have progress.
Other people may try to tell you what success looks like, but you need to define it for yourself.
If I asked you to picture your perfect future, some of you might be thinking of a nice house, a nice car, a nice source of income and a nice family. Others of you might have no idea.
A small number of you will know exactly what you want down to the finest detail because you believe you can get there and deserve it. Chances are that dream might be less about what you will have and more about how your life can be fulfilling. In fact, material wealth usually follows if you can make a big difference.
The perfect future you see in your mind is your vision. A vision is different from a purpose in that the purpose is the reason for doing something, whereas your vision is a glimpse of a possible future.
To have a clear and compelling vision, write down how you want your ideal life to be. What do you want so badly that you will be pulled by the dream to get there? What will you be doing that excites you so much you will focus on it? Why?
Do this for each big area of your life. Here are some hypothetical areas and examples:
- Financial: Nest egg of $1 million dollars with an annual income of $150,000 pretax made from helping people become better
- Health: Exercising 3-4 times a week either at the gym, dance or team sports for 1-2 hours each time to maintain peak productivity
- Contribution: Bringing at least 10 kids through college in rural China
- Lifestyle: Taking singing lessons once a week, and driving there in a blue Porsche Panamera 4S
Feel free to include more areas such as family, growth, or travel. Use as much detail as possible. Know all the add-ons you would on your car and the kind of furniture you want in your apartment down to the make and color. Write it all out.
Did you do it? If you didn’t, write down your ideal future for at least 2 areas of your life before moving on.
Now that you’ve written things down, get this:
We don’t get to where we want to be because we do too many things
You heard me. Too many, not too little. Being busy is different from being productive. According to entrepreneur Dan Lok, being productive is first about the accumulation of skills and experiences by saying yes more often. After finding out what you want to pursue, productivity is about the elimination of irrelevant activities by saying no more often.
More often than not, we try to juggle several priorities. We end up underperforming because we are trying to move in multiple directions. In school and university, we have to study more than one class.
When you graduate, you finally get to focus on what really matters. Except you get plunged into work environments where there are multiple deadlines and more and more requirements.
It almost seems out of place to focus on one goal at a time, but that is exactly how the most productive people do it. They only take the actions that move them towards their vision.
Now that you’ve written the vision for at least 2 areas of your life out, and I trust that you have, it is time to ask yourself these two questions:
- What do I need to start doing today, and then every day to make that vision into reality?
- What do I need to stop doing today, and then every day to make that vision into reality?
For me, if I wanted to focus on my financial vision, I can do two things:
- Establish a daily habit of learning about becoming a better writer, investor, and teacher so I can better serve.
- Stop mindlessly browsing YouTube or social media because it really does not get me closer to where I want to be at all.
By being mindful of your behavior, you are literally cutting the fat that prevents you from fulfilling your dreams.
As you write the action points down, you will notice a list building.
How will you ever address all the areas of your life if you’ve got lists? Just having such a long to-do list is overwhelming.
The solution is to tackle one area of our life at a time. So ask yourself this:
Which area of your life, if improved, would make it easier to achieve the vision you have in all the other areas of your life?
According to The Pareto Principle, we should spend 80% of our efforts on the one goal that will make the rest of our goals easier to achieve.
Start with this area and move forward 1% every day. There are 24 hours in a day, take 15 minutes (1% of 24 hours) from what you should stop doing and devote it towards what you should start doing. Repeat daily.
You might be wondering, how long will it take for me to get to where I want devoting just 15 minutes a day? You are right; it might take a long time for your dreams to come true. But it’s better than not starting.
Succeeding will take you infinite shorter than if you did not start. The momentum you build from starting, committing and progressing will carry you through.
To sum up:
- A vision is a picture of a possible future for what you will have, what you will be doing, and who you will know
- To craft a vision, write out specifically what you want in your future
- Ask which area of your life should you focus on first, and then focus 80% energy in that area
- Stop doing anything that moves you away from that future every day
- Start doing things that move you towards that future every day
Take Action: Write out exactly what you want in the future in one area of your life. Identify one thing you need to stop doing to get there and one thing you need to start doing to get there.
What is your vision for your life? Tell me below by commenting. You can also subscribe to my newsletter below.