(This is Part 1 of a two-part series in defining your life’s vision)
A life vision is a roadmap that helps define who you want to be, what you want to do, and generally how you plan to get there.
It is an overall description of your IDEAL LIFE that is defined by your values and supported by high-level goals. For more on defining your values, read our article Defining a Meaningful Life.
There are many reasons that people avoid creating a vision for their life. It may be emotionally difficult to confront areas in your life that you are not satisfied with, it requires a lot of deep thought and work, and it may seem impossible that any changes can be made anyway.
Emotionally difficult? Maybe.
Hard work? Yup.
If you feel like you are stuck without hope, joy, or any real aspirations in your life you likely have no vision. What are your goals to strive for and give your life purpose? Are you just passing time on this world, or do you have something to work towards?
The basis for this week’s blog entry is inspired by an article written in 2015 by Corbett Barr for Medium.com titled ‘How to Create a Vision for Your Life’. The most highlighted quote reads:
“Being able to change your life and having a vision for it are the yin and yang of living a great life”. – Corbett Barr – ‘How to Create a Vision for Your Life’ 2015
And that’s what we want to talk about today – learning how to live a GREAT life.
The two sides of this coin are as follows…
Does your life change because you have a vision for it?
Does having the ability to change your life allow you to then make a vision for it?
The answer is that both are simultaneously true – they are interdependent and supportive of one another. The breakthrough mindset that will allow you to travel down this path of life fulfillment is to believe that change is possible to begin with. I will take it one step further and tell you that change is not only possible, but highly likely.
Asking the Important Questions First is Key to Success
Before we can begin defining our vision, we must first define terms and ask ourselves a few questions.
Get a pen and paper handy (I told you there would be some work involved)!
Vision – This is a ‘big picture’ perspective that will help to define our life. It will answer questions such as ‘who do you want to be’ and ‘what do you want to be known for’? Your vision will become the over-arching framework that helps to define and evaluate the goals you set for yourself.
Goals – These are the accomplishments, experiences, and individual actions that you strive toward. They should be measurable and well defined.
Now comes the fun part – and I hope you remembered that pen and paper…
Write down and answer the following questions to the best of your ability:
- What kind of life do you want to live at each stage of your life? (i.e. When you’re 20, 30, 40, 50 etc.) You may not know the answer to this right away, and that’s alright. In fact even if you think you know the answer right now, it could change as your life circumstances and values change. More on that later though. Just do the best you can – it’s not an easy question.
- What kind of people do you want to be surrounded by? Be honest with yourself. You don’t have to be ‘correct’ in your thinking, remember this is YOUR life – there is no right or wrong answer here. The only way you can get this wrong is by not being honest with yourself.
- What are the greatest things you think you can accomplish if you had the time and resources to do them? You can be as ‘realistic’ or extravagant as you want. The idea is to explore your wants and desires out of life. If you are having trouble with this question, then start small – remember you can always change your answer to these questions down the line.
- What would you like to contribute to your community, family, or profession that would make you feel the most accomplished or proud? Again, you may not have the answer to this right away – that’s alright! Do your best, and be honest with yourself.
Ok, that was a lot of work – time for a break!
We’ll pick up again next week with a four step process to create your life vision once you have some answers to these questions – so sit down in a comfortable place with your favorite beverage and start jotting down your ideas…