Have a vision not clouded by fear.
-- Cherokee Proverb
Many of us go through our lives without a clear picture of what we want. Like the sand on the beach, we sometimes wait for the next tide to pull us in a direction without really knowing where we are going.
Whether your vision is clear or vague, you have a picture or expectation for your future. You may have a picture framed by fear of the future and limiting beliefs, or you may see a world full of opportunities. But even people who have a very clear picture need to broaden their landscape. Like taking your camera lens from zoom in to zoom out, we need to take time to look at the bigger picture. If you know what you want to do, what you like about the things you are doing, and where to look for opportunities, you will stay resilient and ready for the future.
A clear vision of your expectations opens up opportunities for living in the moment, challenging limiting beliefs, and changing course to adapt to new opportunities and adventures. Honoring your vision and valuing your dreams gives rise to your imagination and creativity. Your "vision" directs your purpose for working.
Explore Your Vision
Brainstorm your strengths and values using your favorite assessment or use these strengths and values lists. Add words to your list as you think of them.
Pick out a few words (approximately 6-10) that mean the most to you and write them on index cards. Move the index cards around until they seem to make sense.
Add words as you need to so you can put the words together in a sentence that says something that is important to you.
This will give you a starting place for your "Vision Statement." If you have difficulty with this exercise work with a coach, counselor or trusted friend.
You will grow and change over time. Reflect back on your vision and update it as you learn more about who you are and what you want. Your "Vision Statement" will keep you on track so you will be spending your time and money on things that are important to you.
You will learn something about how clear your picture is, how well you know your strengths and values, and whether or not you have optimistic expectations.
You will want to have your personal vision statement in your portfolio. It can be a simple or well thought out vision statement. You already have a picture somewhere in your mind for what you want. Your Vision Statement clarifies that picture so it will have the power to inspire and motivate you. Not having a Vision Statement is like going on a long trip without a map.
When you find yourself in transition or crisis, your vision will help inspire and motivate you. Several years ago I wrote a vision statement. Recently I decided to go back and update it. I was surprised to find that it hadn’t changed. I found that I was actually living my vision
Take a few minutes to make a short preliminary Vision Statement based on your strengths and values. As distinguished author Peter Senge says in The Fifth Discipline, “We often spend so much time coping with problems along our path that we forget why we are on that path in the first place. The result is that we only have a dim, or even inaccurate, view of what’s really important to us.”
By taking a few minutes to look at your Vision Statement as you travel your journey of life, you will be able to determine if you are stuck in a rut, or if you are using the gifts God has given you.
In the book What Color is Your Parachute, author and career expert Richard Bolles says, “The clearer your vision of what you seek, the closer you are to finding it.” As you begin to understand more clearly what you really want, you will find happiness by pursuing your dreams rather than following the paths others have set for you.
I just ran across a blog post, "Vision Statement Revisited", that I wrote in 2010 where I shared my Personal Vision Statement and the background behind writing it. It is now the fall of 2013, and although the Vision Statement is very simple, it still inspires me to continue doing work that fits my values. On a very hot September day, when I didn't feel like writing, I enjoyed remembering the cold winter day, reflecting on my past, and seeing how it led me to meet my goal of writing my first book, "Fire Up Your Profile for LifeWork Success". Here is an excerpt from that blog post.
It’s a cold overcast damp January morning. As I took a walk
along the creek, I had time to reflect on my "Vision Statement." I created a
Vision Statement" about five years ago, and at least once a year I go back and
re-evaluate it to make sure it still fits with my current values and goals.
My Personal Vision Statement
To find a place
That inspires my spiritual growth;
Where I can develop my ideas;
Speak the truth;
And feel valued.
I was thinking that my "Vision" for honest self-expression
might need to evolve and grow by now. As I thought about it, I couldn’t imagine
what else to add. Then I realized this year I set a goal to put my
self-expression and creativity into a well-formed book. It felt like a huge
challenge. I realized that writing a book was the culmination of my vision for
self-expression. I’m finding out how much work it really is! Looking back at my
“Vision Statement” still gives me the motivation to put more time and energy
into the work that I plan to do this year.
Certified Life Coach
Coaching for Career, Writing & Creative Problem-Solving
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