Write Your Vision StatementBy Catherine Pulsifer, © 2008
What is your vision of the future? If you could write your life story, what would it look like? What does success look like to you? What does your desired future look like?
See Where You Could Be
To have a vision for your life is to see where you could be, not where you are now. It is achieving the things you want to accomplish with your life. It documents what you want your life to look like. Where do I want to be?
Great leaders move people not by what they see today, but by what they see as the future.
Your vision may result in travelling down a different road than your friends. Everyone has different visions of their life. It may result in obtaining additional education or obtaining new skills. But one thing is for sure it will give you clarity and a focus.
Successful Corporations Have Them
Many corporations have clearly defined "vision" statements. These statements allow the employees, and shareholders, to see where the company wants to go, and what it wants to achieve.
Do you know what you want, and where you are going? A personal vision statement allows you to look forward to the future with positive expectations for yourself. It helps you stay focus and will help you make decisions for future activities. You could think of it as a guide to direct you.
Many companies go back to their vision statement when they are faced with decisions of where to spend their time and their money. If the activity does not move them forward toward their statement then they make the decision not to do it. But if the activity moves them in the direction they want to go then obviously the decision is made to do it. The same can apply to you on a personal level.
To quote from the book Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll writes, "Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat. 'I don't know,' Alice answered. 'Then,' said the Cat, 'It doesn't matter.'" This quote reminds us if we don't know where we are going or how we want our life to turn out then it really doesn't matter. Your vision statement will give you the direction so that you always know where you are going. It makes you think about what is important, what does matter!
Before You Start
Before you write your vision statement, think of it as a high level statement about what you want from life. It is a statement, one to two lines at the most. A rule of thumb is for the statement to be no more than 75 words or less.
When writing your statement make sure it is concise - you are not writing a book, you are writing a clear statement about where you want to be. It should be easy to remember and you can repeat it with no problem. It must be one that engages you and one that you have enthusiasm for, one that excites you about the future. It must be a reflection of you, your values, and your commitment to making it happen.
The easiest way to write your statement would be to answer the question where do I want to be in 5 - 10 years.
What type of person do I want to be, in other words what values are most important to me.
It is important to realize that life changes. And we change, circumstances change. It is always a good idea to review your mission statement at least once a year to ensure it still reflects your thoughts.
From your vision statement you can then set your goals. We have written many articles on setting goals. If you want more info on goals setting and the reasons to set them then you may want to read these articles: Love What You Do, or, Beavers: What They Can Teach Us, or, Do Not Limit Yourself. Many people set goals but forget about the vision statement.
Writing your own vision statement gives you a high level statement and will help keep you focused as you then think about setting your goals.
To use the wisdom of W. Clement Stone who once said, "The world is full of dreamers, there aren't enough who will move ahead and begin to take concrete steps to actualize their vision."
Joseph Campbell's Thought
You can also think about your vision statement as what you are dreaming or wishing for. Joseph Campbell's quote summarizes this thought well when he said, "A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. A goal is what specifically you intend to make happen. Dreams and goals should be just out of your present reach but not out of sight. Dreams and goals are coming attractions in your life."
Envision your future? Set your direction. Write your vision statement!
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"A vision gives you a general direction for life while a process goal is part of the dream that you are accomplishing by taking specific actions today." Thomas Abreu
"A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more." Rosabeth Moss Kanter
"But let me be clear, success in anything it will take focus and sustained work on your part. Only you can make it happen." Christopher Babson
"So to be paid more money in your work, you need to add more value to the world. And the best way to begin adding value to the world is to start becoming a more valuable person. Acquire skills no one else has. Read books no one else is reading." Robin Sharma
"The prerequisite for motivation and success in any endeavor is a BIG vision for your future. If you’re stuck in the past, you're really in trouble." B. N. Norton
Visualization can be a powerful tool when used correctly. By imagining how you'll react in future scenarios, you can teach yourself a better way to react." Richard D. Rawlings
Keeping your path straight, free from distractions or temptations, is the best vision anybody can take while planning their financial future." Steve Gold
"Having a clear mental image of our goals will point us in the right direction. Having a strong mindset will help us mold our attitudes, behaviors, expectations and actions." John Franz
"Your goals must be as specific as possible, with not only details about what you want to accomplish, but how and what you are willing to sacrifice in order to attain your goal." Donald Allen
"Goals not only help you develop initial motivation by making your dreams obtainable, but they also help you continue to be motivated and that creates momentum." John C. Maxwell
"Remember that goals are not aspirations - they are not wishes that you want to have. They are things that you have to do." Robert Gardner
"Reading books written by others who have accomplished what you hope to achieve not only provides guidance, but is an excellent way to maintain your enthusiasm toward your goal. If someone else has reached their dream, you can do it to!" Deanna Cosso; Romuald Andrade
"Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements." Napoleon Hill
"Each and every one of us are capable of achieving greatness, yet only a few of us actually tap into our talents, passions, and dreams, that would allow us to do great and mighty things, far above and beyond our wildest dreams." Curt Hinson
"The idea of following your dream or doing what makes you happy is often difficult to imagine. We often feel that our dreams are childish and our talents are only meant to be enjoyed for recreational purposes and for the most part our work should be just that, work." Tarik Turner
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