We often look at people who have achieved success and happiness, and we wonder how and why they got so lucky and how come we missed the boat?
Though you may not be aware of it, the truth is that every day and in every way you are in creation of your future. Manufacturing your success and happiness in your future happens in the present and is wholly dependent on the choices you make now and the actions you take. The wonderful news because the tools with which you manufacture your future are entirely in your control and under your command. You may not believe this, but this is the whole, hideous and uncomfortable truth. If you’re not into or up to accountability for your own success, fulfillment and happiness close this article and move on.
One of the most valuable tools under your command is the vision you have for your life. With all the business of your life and all the many different demands tearing you an a gazillion different directions, setting aside time to create your life vision may seam like an absurd, frivolous, fruitless and fantastical, colossal waste of your very precious time. This cannot be further from the truth! Crafting a compelling vision for the life you want is actually one of the most important investments you can ever make.
Not having a vision for your life is like travelling to some unknown destination without directions, a map or a plan. Just as a map will guide you on a journey to make informed choices and take the best actions to reach your destination, so too will your life vision help you achieve your unique formulation of success and fulfillment.
Life experts and personal success stories reveal a bias that having a life vision in mind greatly increases the likelihood that for you to achieve success, happiness and fulfillment. In its absence, you are more likely to pursue paradigms for success and fulfillment that are at odds with your innate being and that will inevitably and paradoxically yield little more than frustration, exhaustion and general malcontent.
Pursuing your life vision may well be a vital investment, but don’t expect it to be an easy, instant investment. In the midst of all the ‘don’t’s’, ‘can’t’s’, ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ that shape your world and corrupt your compass, cultivating your vision will take time and constant reflection. The very perspectives that create your world may have to be challenged and sacrificed for you to see a future you crave. And as your vision for your life emerges, you will have to apply logic, planning and perseverance in order to experience its manifestation in your life. It won’t be easy, but by heaven, it will be worth it!
Your best vision for your life will leave its clues for you in your dreams, hopes and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and however challenging, it will help to generate energy and enthusiasm and strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life. Having this vision for your life is multidimensional. As much as it is about what you want to have and achieve, it’s also about how you want to achieve it. It’s about who you want to be and how you want the world to experience you.
To create a vision, begin by identifying your core values, your passions, what you believe to be your purpose, and how you envision your life. Your vision can also change over time. The point is to have one so you know why you’re doing what you do, and you’re happier doing it.
Simple right? Don’t be deceived. Knowing what you want and who you want to be is often one of the most fundamental and most excruciatingly difficult and frightening answers to extract from yourself. Before you talk yourself from exploring your deepest most fanciful desires, remember that the prospects of achieving what you want is greatly increased by design rather than by chance.
If figuring out your life vision is something you want to do, here are some ideas to get you started.
A few thought provoking questions are a great way to start uncovering the possibilities you crave. Try not to think of one aspect of your life only. Blend professional, personal, the practical and fanciful. For a balanced and fulfilling life, give prominence to all the important areas, family, friends, career, financial, spirituality, contribution, personal growth, fun and enjoyment.
Some things to keep in mind are to:
- It is equally important to know what you want and why you want it;
- Think about what you do want; not what you don’t want;
- Give yourself permission to dream;
- Be creative. Consider and include ideas you have never thought possible;
- Focus on what you want; not what others expect of you
Some useful questions to start your exploration:
- What really matters in your life? Not what should What does matter.
- What would you like to have more of in your life?
- Money aside, what do you want and need from your career?
- What are your secret passions and dreams?
- What would bring more joy and happiness in your life?
- What do you want your relationships to be like?
- What qualities do you want to develop?
- What are your values? What issues do you care about? If violated, what brings about blinding anger and pain?
- What are your talents? What is special about you?
- What would you most like to accomplish?
- What legacy would you like to leave behind?
- What would your best life look like? Relish the details. What do you see, what do you hear? Who do you hear, where are you? What do you feel, how do you feel? What have you achieved? What kinds of people are in your life? Where do you live, how do you live? What is your state of mind? If you don’t have a smile on your face and a song in your heart, dig deeper. Its there, waiting and wanting you to find it.
Be a journalist for a moment. Document your thoughts and answers. Get some of your own questions on the list. Interview others and find out what they want from life. Enjoy this exercise and let the answers percolate. Come back to them from time to time before you make any decisions and set sail to your best version of yourself.
At this point, don’t succumb to the desire to plan for this result. This vision for your future, be it 5 years or 20 years must be crystalised and brought to life in your mind. Planning for it is the next phase and you will get there. For