In the words of Tony Robbins, ‘’Progress equals happiness’’. For a long time, however, I didn’t understand what the grandmaster of life coaching meant by that. Obviously, I knew on a rational level that in order for me to be happy, I had to find something that would not only keep me busy, but would also keep me interested. Nevertheless, it took me almost a decade to really understand the importance of having a long-term vision to work towards. In the next few paragraphs, I will try to explain how I created my vision step by step, so you can start creating a vision of your own.
Why you need a vision
Having a crystal clear vision of how your life should look like is not only gratifying, but essential when it comes to setting goals and sticking to your purpose. After all, what is life without a purpose? It may sound kind of cliché or even guru-ish at first, but once you manage to truly get a hold of the idea that whatever you do today is literally shaping your future for tomorrow, you might start acting differently. Think of it as a ship sailing in the ocean. Without a compass or any basic directions, it will just drift around forever. Most people today are also drifting around like that, simply waiting for the wind to miraculously blow in their favor, instead of choosing where they want to be and adjusting the sails towards it.
First things first: what do you want?
Though this question may seem very straightforward and vague, most people actually don’t have the slightest clue of what they really want in life or what their lives should look like. They either don’t believe a vision could actually help them attain their goals and live their dreams, or even worse, they’re so stuck in their comfort zones that they cannot even remotely comprehend that there is such a thing as ‘’shaping your own destiny’’. Unfortunately, here’s the thing: you cannot change what you don’t know. Fulfillment does not happen by chance, but by conscious design. If there is one thing I learnt, it is that high-performers or successful people are always very clear about where they want to go. It’s almost like they can predict the future. They always seem to know intuitively what to do next. And the reason is because they know precisely how to ask the right questions.
So, what is it that you want in life? To answer this question, you have to sit down and shut yourself off from all the distractions around you. You have to understand on a deeper level that the quality and outcome of your vision will be determined by the sum of all your choices (or the lack of it). In other words, your inaction will carry the exact same weight of consequence as your actions. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can get to the next step.
So, what’s next?
In order for you to identify what matters to you the most, you have to ask yourself some thought-provoking questions. Here are a few that were helpful to me when I was creating my vision:
- What does my perfect life look like in 2, 3, 5, or 10 years from now? Why?
- What would I be doing right now if money weren’t an issue? Why?
- What kind of people do I want to be surrounded by? Why?
- What do I want to leave behind as my greatest accomplishment? Why?
- How can I use my resources and competencies to change the world for the better? Why?
- How do I want to be remembered when I’m no longer around? Why?
Once you have answered these questions, you should have gained a certain sense of clarity. You’ll notice that it’s actually not that difficult to create a vision of your ideal life. Also, note that every question is followed by a why. That’s because your ‘why’ should be your primary drive of motivation. It’s the juice that will push you forward when you run out of willpower (which you will sooner or later, as do all humans). However, the point is to get started. Therefore, make sure that you don’t proceed with this article until you have finished this step!
Categorize and strategize
You just figured out what all you want to accomplish and what matters to you the most. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to set your priorities straight. However, before you start building on your newly implanted desires, you first need to categorize the most significant aspects of your daily life, so you can tackle the obstacles in each of them individually. My list for example looks as follows:
- Health: Fitness, Diet, Mindfulness, and Emotional balance
- Ability: Competencies and Character
- Relationships: Love and Connection
- Wealth: Finance, Experience, and Accomplishments
- Contentment: Overall well-being and Fulfillment
Take a brief moment to assess what you want for each of these categories. You can also adjust the list according to your own wants and needs. After all, you know yourself better than I do. As long as you make sure that you write down your desired experiences and accomplishments in as detailed a manner as possible, you’re good to go. Once you have done this, you need to determine which category should have the highest priority. Note that this is where most people fail! When it comes to personal development, we often try to change too many things at once instead of focusing on building one new habit at a time.
Now choose one of the subcategories you wrote down and set your objective for that subcategory, using the SMART-method. Next, reverse engineer by identifying as many steps as possible that are required to reach the objective, and start taking massive action!
Formulate your statement
Now that you have designed a blueprint for your dream life, you will have to formulate a vision statement describing what this dream life should exactly look like. The idea is to capture and formulate the things that matter the most, in combination with highly challenging yet rewarding goals in such a way that it excites every fiber in your body each time you read it out loud. Mine looks something like this:
‘’My ultimate vision is to be a leader in my industry, and to use my abilities to their maximum potential to change the lives of millions around the globe for the better. Through my hard work, dedication, persistence, love and courage, I am consistently building world-class businesses with outstanding, high-quality products and services all over the world. I am a multimillionaire. One who lives life on his own terms and in complete utter freedom. I continuously use my growing sphere of influence and my intrinsic genius to share my gifts with the world and to live a life that is centered around meaning and purpose. I am a master of gratitude, an ever-evolving force of good, serving people to the best of my ability. Through my awareness and perspective, I am consistently celebrating life in all its glory, a life of which its fundaments are built upon values of abundance, achievement and fulfillment. I am a philanthropist, humble in my success and confident in my capability to add value and contribute to a more prosperous world.’’
Reading my vision out loud, I get all excited and eager to get back to work and make things happen. I see it as my compass, my blueprint that connects me to my authentic self and my higher purpose in life. You should have the same feeling about your vision statement. If it doesn’t excite you or energize your inner spirit, you should probably have another look at it and rephrase where necessary.
Finally, make sure you create a system or schedule to actively and consistently work towards your dream life. Create a success list and adopt new habits on a regular basis – yet one step at a time – until they become part of your new lifestyle. Keep track of your progress and rewrite or adjust your vision if necessary. Remember, life is not about doing everything perfectly right, but about being perfectly fine with doing the right things.