Vision is something that seems very “fairytale” hopeful. It seems like a great entrepreneurial buzz word that insinuates future success and lots of planning.
Although vision does entail planning for the future - it is less hypothetical and mystical than it may seem. Vision is something that differentiates leaders. It differentiates entrepreneurs. It also differentiates human beings and how they choose to BE HUMAN.
There are many different definitions of vision (even within Merriam-Webster) but my personal favorite and most applicable to this exercise is: the act or power of imagination. I love this. Imagination, not in the sense of something your 3rd grade Language Arts teacher emphasized, but in the sense of using your brain to GO THERE. Think the big thoughts. Dream the massive dreams. Picture what the future could look like.
Why is visioning important you ask? I think it’s pretty simple.
If you cannot imagine how you want your life to look like, how will you ever get there? Similar to drawing a picture. If you need to draw a picture of a boat, how do you draw it if you never think about how it will look? How do boats typically look? The colors, the shape, etc. etc. etc.
So you agree vision is important. Now the even better question, how do you practice visioning? Let’s dive in.
I want to give you 5 simple steps to creating a vision for your life / your business / your family / WHATEVER.
Pick your topic: first you need to decide what this vision is for. As stated above, it could be a vision for many different things. Be clear about what this vision is intended to be for.
Pick a time frame: make the future time frame far enough out that big things have time to happen between now and then but not too far that you have zero concept of certain realities. There’s no rule here but something along the lines of 5, 10, or 15 years.
List your YAYs: spitfire list out all the things that have made you proud. Maybe it’s a project you just completed, a family event you just experienced, a big paper you published, etc. This exercise is simply to get the positive juices flowing. This shouldn’t be a stressful exercise - in all it should take TEN MINUTES (!!!)
Draft it up:
Very important to write “DRAFT” on the top of the page. This gives our brain the subconscious freedom to write our thoughts out in messy form.
The quicker you write the better your vision will be. Don’t drag out the process. Experts recommend once you start writing don’t stop for 15-30 minutes.
Go with your GUT - not what you should say / do. For example, if you want to “work less,” write it down.
Write as if it’s already happened, not IF it’s going to happen.
If your vision doesn’t scare you and excite you at the same time, you haven’t pushed yourself.
Get personal: it should blend in your personal and professional goals / visions. For example, if you want to spend more time with your family include those specifics.
Review & Redraft: be careful not to make too many changes and always save your various versions.
Solicit Input: seek input from trusted advisors who know your heart and can understand your vision but also can provide validated input.
An important reminder to make about this vision statement / vision exercise: Your vision is your WHAT, not your HOW. It can be easy to look at your list and say “but how is this going to happen?” These are valid questions, just don’t ask them yet.
Once your vision is created, share with those on your team that will ultimately work alongside you to create the how. Post the vision where it’s visible in order to not lose sight.
Go Forth & Vision On!