Which of your legs is longer, the right or the left?
You may be tempted to say they are both the same but the truth is we all have one leg that is a little longer than the other. It might be a microscopic difference but it is there nonetheless.
Because of this, if you were placed in the middle of a completely barren desert with no mountains or physical landmarks in sight, your attempts to walk in a straight line would be futile. Eventually, if you walked long enough, you would come across some footprints in the sand, your own footprints. Without a goal or something to walk towards, your shorter leg would eventually cause you to walk in an enormous circle and come right back to where you started.
It would make no difference how fast you ran or how hard you worked. With no fixed point to move towards, all of your efforts would get you right back where you started.
Without a goal to shoot for, you are just running in circles or meandering your way in a general direction. This is the reason why we need to come up with a “vision statement” for our life and then set goals to help us move towards that vision.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement is your declaration of what you want out of life. It is your opportunity to answer the question, “When I get to the end of my life, I will be the most disappointed if I never accomplished ___________.” Your vision statement is a written list of all those things you dream about when you look into the future. It covers as many aspects of your life as possible in as much detail as possible.
Why do I need a vision statement?
A vision statement is the equivalent of placing a big mountain on the horizon of your journey through the desert. It gives you a point to fix on and move towards. When your legs start to make you wander, your eyes will fix on the mountain and keep your moving in a straight line. You will self-correct your path without having to even think about it. When you don’t have a vision statement you are more likely to work hard for most of your life and, in the end, find that you’ve just been walking in circles.
How do I develop a vision statement?
You can develop your own vision statement in just a few easy steps:
- What you need: Paper, pen, and about 30 minutes
- Be as open and honest with yourself as possible. Only write the things that you really want for your life, not what society defines as “success”.
- Don’t limit yourself. Ignore the inner voice that says “that’s too much.”, “I don’t deserve that”, or “I could never accomplish that.”
- Write in as much detail as possible. Avoid generalities like “I am healthy” or “I am rich”. Write about your profession, hobbies, where you live, where you vacation, etc.
- Include at least 5 areas of your life: health, income, relationships, family, spirituality, career, personal growth, education, travel, charity, lifestyle, etc.
- Write it in the present tense: “I make $_____________ per year.” “I travel to a new country every year.” “I weigh _______lbs.” “I spend 4 hours a week working with a charity.”
The people who get ahead and make a difference in life are those who have a plan they are passionate about. They have a vision they feel passionate about and they work every day towards reaching that vision. They have placed the mountain on the horizon to make sure every step they take is a step forward. They can avoid the side paths and diversions on their journey because they can see the straight line toward their goal.
You already have big dreams and goals floating around in your head; now is the time to declare to the world that you will achieve them. Your written vision statement will accelerate your results and increase your daily sense of accomplishment. Working through this for the first time a few years ago was a major turning point in my life and happiness. I know it will be the same for you.
May you move towards your mountain.