Visioning is the process of creating a picture in your mind of what you want for your life in the future. This includes all aspects of your life – health, finances, relationship, career and more. The most successful people in the world are people who create and fulfil their own vision for their lives. They are the ones who have defined the meaning of their lives and are living on purpose.
I’d like to share with you some ideas on how you can create a more fulfilling life – a life by design rather than a life by default. As I’ve already discussed in Part 1, the 4 elements to creating a life by design are:
- Creating a vision for your life.
- Identifying the strategies that will help lead towards that vision.
- Being flexible in adjusting your course when life throws you curveballs.
- Developing routine actions that will carry you towards that vision.
The first step towards a fulfilling life is to create your vision.
There are 6 dimensions of a vision that will help lead you closer towards fulfilment. Your vision should be:
- Imaginable: It must paint a picture in your mind. Aristotle said that: “The soul never thinks without a mental picture.” To create your vision, create a mental picture.
- Desirable: It must be something that YOU WANT for YOUR life – and not always what someone else wants. You must feel satisfaction as you move towards your vision.
- Feasible: Your vision must be attainable and realistic for you. It would be hard to set the goal of becoming the “Next Michael Jordan” in the next 6 months, if you are 5’2’’, non-athletic, heavy smoker, overweight and 55 years old!
- Focused: It must be clear enough that you will know when you are on course and when you are not.
- Flexible: And at the same time, it must be general enough to allow alternative responses in light of changing conditions. Life is curly and tends to throw curveballs!
- Communicated clearly: You must be able to communicate your vision. When you do so, you invite people to join with you, or to at least be more understanding when you go in a different direction.
There are many exercises designed to help you begin shaping your vision. Here are a couple:
Exercise 1. “Start with the real end in mind!”
- Envision the day when your family and friends will come and pay their last respects to you!
- Choose a family member, a friend, a colleague, or someone from your community organization to eulogize you.
- What would YOU like for them to say about your life?
- Write down those thoughts. (Remember what you would like for them to say may be a little different from what they might say –if they were being totally honest).
- Focus on what you hope they would say.
Now, if you would rather think in terms of “life” and not “death” try this exercise:
Exercise 2. “Write a newspaper article about you”
- Pretend that it is 10–15 years from now – or any other important junction you wish to think of.
- You are being honoured for a great achievement – you name the achievement.
- You are sitting with a reporter who wants to write an article about you for a news release.
- The article will include what the honour is, other accomplishments in your life, who helped you along the journey, and some of the most important lessons you learned along the way.
- Additionally, the reporter wants a quote from you about how you would like to be remembered.
- Now, you sit and WRITE THE ARTICLE.
Be aware, though, that writing your vision is not a quick exercise of pen to paper. It is a process that can take hours, even days, or weeks. The most critical requirement is introspection. And this requires some quiet time for reflection – a gift that many people simply do not give themselves.
I would strongly recommend that you consider taking the time to undertake this task, because in the process you will discover what is of greatest importance to you. As the baseball legend, Yogi Berra, said: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else!”
Feel free to contact me here to discuss how I can help you to create a more fulfilling life – a life by design rather than a life by default.