Why create a vision if living the life you truly want seems futile? Or are vision and mission statements only needed for big companies or for my performance appraisal? You know what I mean, the evaluation needed for your next promotion or pay raise. You couldn’t be more wrong.
When I initially enlisted in the armed forces, mission and vision statements for my work-center, unit and organization were a point of focus. It helped keep each group focused and on point. As I became a leader I continued to talk about the relevance of having a vision statement, but never truly internalized how a personal vision statement would be relevant. There may have been some talks about vision and mission statements but the emphasis was on goal setting. Even though I had established goals such as buying a new car, getting a house, going on a big vacation or meeting someone famous, driving down the highway in my new digs was not that fulfilling. What about my vision board you might ask? Well a vision board can be created to depict your personal vision, but in general vision boards are just a collection experiences or things you’d like to have. So there is still that missing element; what do I want all this for? How do I create something that is the full embodiment of who I am so that when I look down from the pearly gates I will see the full sense of my accomplishments? Are the Oprah’s, JFK’s, and Mother Theresa’s of the world the only ones worthy of a legacy to be proud of? I’m not saying there should be an entire encyclopedia about your life, but a notable chapter I think is worth it. It is my belief that most of us strive for the feeling of greatness or success and not just to have material things as a result of meeting goals. Setting and chasing goals can be akin to chasing your tail, never quite satisfying that inner burn. But this is where your personal vision takes center stage.
If you have not taken the time to create a personal vision statement, the odds are you are living the vision of one or more people you have had in or around your life. Your parents, your spouse, your employers, the Church or maybe your friends. Without a personal vision statement you will – a). continue to live the vision of others, b). prevent you from living to your full potential, c). create a life full of regrets and d). cheat the world of your potential since your hopes and dreams will be buried with you.
Now it is important to note that your goals are not your personal vision. Goals are individual experiences or accomplishments, where as your personal vision is the big picture of how you will feel when you attain it. Don’t worry about the process just think about the feeling. The process or what will then be a series of missions will be easy to fill in once you identify where you’re heading and the feeling you want you get there.
The best way to ensure that your personal vision is truly yours is to be sure to take the time to gather your thoughts. Meditate, pray, sit in silence, chant; do anything to still your mind as best as you can, then focus within. Keep the pen and paper handy to jot down your thoughts or use a recording device. Don’t limit yourself.
Once accomplished keep in mind that your vision is not a final destination so every six months or so review and revise as necessary.
Excerpt from Scott Jeffery CEOsage
7 Elements to Explore for Your Life Vision
Once you’re in the right frame of mind, proceed to discover what’s important in your life. Here is a list of elements to consider when you’re ready to create your personal vision statement:
Core Values: What are the five to ten things you stand by and value the most?
Interests: What are five to ten things you enjoy doing the most? What elevates you? What can’t you live without?
Areas of Focus: What are the major categories of your life that always need your attention? (A list of sample categories is in the wheel of life.)
Strengths: What are you naturally good at? (Take a free assessment to discover your strengths here.)
Dreams: If this was your last day on earth, what would you regret not doing, seeing, or creating?
Skills: What are three areas you strongly want to cultivate skills in that will in some way enrich your life experience?
Profession: What are the things you must do to feel fulfilled in your work?
There are many guides that can assist you with creating your personal vision statement. If necessary get the help needed to create a powerful one so you can begin “Defining Your Greatness”