Where are you going in this life? What is your destination? What is your vision for your life? A vision is a mental image of what the future will or could be like. You see, our life is a series of choices. Your vision acts as your internal GPS. It is your guide; a final destination to keep in mind. Your vision should be exciting and it should be your biggest inspiration in life. Because without a clear vision in your life, you will be pulled in many different directions.
We see it all the time, instead of focusing in a single direction some of us wonder aimlessly in our lives wherever the tide of life takes us. We don’t see ourselves in the driver’s seat of our life. We have a feeling of helpless and a lack of power over our life so we get into this pattern of reacting to life and let life happen to us. There is no sense of our own identity, so we go into victim mode blaming everything and everyone around us for the state of our lives.
Our ability to envision our future is the defining feature of our humanity. It is the most significant difference between us and other species. To envision things that don’t exist in the world right now but could exist if we make them real. This unique ability of humanity allows us to choose a future for ourselves among many possibilities. And we better choose well, because if we don’t choose what we want our future to be like we can end up somewhere we don’t want to be.
Without a vision to guide us we live according to pleasure and pain just like the rest of the animals on the planet. We live only for the now and that is where human suffering lives; that is where addiction lives. Vision allows us to transcend the pleasure/pain cycle. Now that is not to say that there will not be ups and downs, pain and disappointment. Your Life Vision is our north star and it allows us to defer pleasure and suffer a little pain in order to achieve our vision.
And if that is not convincing enough to develop a life vision; according to a study in Psychology Science showed that people with life visions live longer, no matter what age they were when they created it. The old way of developing your vision would be to imagine yourself 5, 10, 15 yrs ahead, but let’s face it, the world is turbulent and changing so fast that we can no longer create a vision in such a linear way. Instead, let’s do it this way, pen and paper and answer three questions:
1. Who do I want to become? We all have strengths we want to keep, assets we want to develop, and weaknesses we want to get rid of:
2. What do you want to experience in life (and how to enjoy it)
Health & Fitness - Exercise, Diet, Mindfulness, Stress Management etc.
Intellectual Life – Skills, Knowledge, Ability, Character
Emotional Life – What makes you happy/unhappy?
Character and You sense of Morality – Behaviours, Thoughts, Motivations, Tendencies, Temperament
Spiritual Life – What does spirituality mean to you and develop a practice around it.
Financial Life – What is your attitude towards wealth? How can you improve your money story?
Social Life and Friendships – How can you improve your social life and create healthy relationships. How can you bring fun into your life?
Love Relationship – What do you think makes a great love relationship and how can you cultivate one?
Family Life/Parenting – What are your beliefs on parenting? What does a happy family life look like?
Career – How are you going to contribute?
For each of your categories, write down what you want or need from each. Think about the things you want to accomplish or experience, and work backwards to understand how the other categories should support your life’s vision.
3. What kind of a legacy do you want to leave? What will you create? How will I be remembered? There are so many things you can do and contribute to help make the world a better place to live. Pick one and make it the strong emotional part of your life vision.
The most important fact to be aware of when setting your life vision is that your life vision is not a linear path. It is the hope for what your life could be; a life that you can share with people you deeply care about, want to spend time with and who support you and empower you. A strong life vision helps you clarify what you want out of life and helps you focus yourself. If you write down your life vision correctly, it should serve as a roadmap, helping you make your dreams and passions a reality. A life vision is your compass that helps you live life to the fullest.