Your vision is the blueprint of your life design that allows you to live your purpose. It outlines the life you are creating, it is the specifics of what your life will look like. Your vision is a vivid picture of the life that you want to create. It is a measuring stick to see how close you are to making your vision a reality.
Your vision is in the future, it is an endpoint. How you get there is a journey.
The purpose of your vision is to give you something to strive for, a reason to learn, to create, and to build value.
Your vision is not fixed. All aspects of life design are interconnected. As you understand other aspects of your life better your vision blueprint will change to account for those changes.
There are eight keys to creating an effective vision for your life.
- Use Your Imagination
- Ask Good Questions
- Include All Life Areas
- Grow Your Vision
- Create Multiple Visions
- Be Inspired By Your Vision
- Journal your Vision
- Create a Vision Statement
Key #1: Use Your Imagination
Defining your vision is a creative process, a process of imagination.
Utilize your imagination to reflect on:
- How does your vision fit with your purpose?
- How does your vision fit with who you are?
- How does your vision fit with your life roles?
- How does your vision satisfy all the life areas?
Creating a vision is not hard, but for most of us, it takes a while. It is easy to say what we don’t want, and easy to say we want to lay on the beach, but to create a compelling life to work towards is a matter of time, creativity, and focus.
There are some people such as hockey players where the vision is laid out for them. For most of us that is not the case. In this day when everything changes so fast it is becoming even harder. The more you journal the parts of your vision you know and understand, the greater the chance you can put those pieces together to create your ideal life.
Your vision is what you create by taking your purpose and designing a life around that purpose. There will be many ways you can fulfill your purpose based on who you are and what your current environment is. Be creative, dream big, and imagine an exceptional, unique life that will motivate you and allow you to create massive value based on your purpose.
Define the life you want to create, not a vague idea like “I want to live the laptop lifestyle” but a detailed description of the life you want to live?
You are designing a whole life as your vision. You need to make sure it all fits together. If you are designing a house, you keep a book of everything you want in the house, of things that work, of things that didn’t work. Same for your vision. Think from all the different perspectives.
Designing your vision is an iterative process. As you learn through experience and introspection, you can refine and expand on your vision.
Your vision will help you discover what your purpose is and vice versa.
Key #2: Ask Good Questions
Questions are a foundational practice for life design. Questions help us look at the vision we are creating from all angles. Questions create awareness, and awareness is a key element for creating good life decisions.
The following are questions to help you start to craft your vision.
- What experiences do I want to have?
- What possessions do I want?
- What do I want to do on a daily basis from the moment you get up until you go back to sleep?
- What value do I want to create in the world?
- What is an ideal normal day?
- What do you want your life to be like in 5, 10, 20, 50 years?
- What relationships do you want in your life?
- What types of people do you want to be a part of your life?
- What do you want your legacy to be?
- What impact do you want to have on the world?
- What experiences do you want to have?
- What accomplishments do you want in life?
Key #3: Include All Life Areas
Your life design needs to take into account all the life areas. All the life areas are interconnected and if one is ignored it will affect all the other ones. A complete vision works in all the life areas.
The JournaledLife framework defines the life areas as :
- Personal Growth
- Fun and Recreation
- Life-Long Learning
Sometimes people create a vision that is just part of their life such as their dream job. Once they achieve their dream job they are not happy or fulfilled because the other life areas are lacking.
Any life area has the potential to either enhance your life or to detract from your life. A vision that incorporates all life areas allows you to get the most out of the life you are creating.
Your vision is related to who you are as a person. Who you are now, and who you need to be to live your vision. Create your vision and then become the future self who lives the vision.
Key #4: Grow Your Vision
Visions can change at any point. Where your purpose is a deep unchanging part of you, your vision is what you are creating to fulfill that purpose. There are many ways that your life purpose can be fulfilled.
Your vision may also change as you grow and experience the different stages in life. Once you become a parent you may want to fulfill your purpose through your kids.
Many athletes whose purpose was to excel, became life coaches to help others excel. Same purpose different visions.
If you decide to change your vision to make it bigger, that is expected. When you first create your vision it may seem like a long way off. Once you start working towards your vision you realize it is closer than you thought. Continuously expanding your vision gives you the opportunity to always be striving for something.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” – Bill Gates
Your vision is the destination for your life journey.
Key # 5: Create multiple visions
In life, you have the freedom to design any number of lives that would satisfy your purpose. Each satisfies different life areas in different proportions. In the movie Doctor Strange, Doctor Strange completely changed his life vision for carrying out his life’s purpose. As a surgeon Doctor Strange’s purpose was to “save lives”. After a car accident that damaged his hands, he learns the mystics arts as another way to “save lives”.
Out of the different visions for your life that you have created, choose one to be your vision. Some are easier to achieve based on where you are in life, some are more compelling, each fulfills the different life areas differently. You need to decide which one will take you towards your purpose – fulfilling your purpose more.
The vision you chose is one way of fulfilling your purpose.
Key #6: Be Inspired By Your Vision
Even if your vision is vague, but it still gives you motivation, that vision has value and importance in your life. As you drive towards that vision, more details will become apparent. Your vision is the story of the life that you want to create. Create your story with as much detail and imagery as possible.
A life vision should be inspiring on its own. The joy, fulfillment, meaning you would get from living your vision is what drives you to create the vision. Your vision is what will inspire you to live your mission, to do the work required.
Take the time to reflect on your vision from the perspective of each life area. When looking at your vision through the lens of the life areas, make sure it is still inspiring. A vision that inspires you to strive in each life area is a strong vision.
Key # 7: Journal your Vision
When you need to describe the life you want to create in detail, it becomes much harder for most people. This is where journaling comes in. Journaling your thoughts and your experiences over time allows you to learn from them.
As you collect more and more details in your journal, the vision of your ideal life will start to become clear. The details can be small or large. As an example, you may want to have a meal in a particular restaurant in a particular country. That detail, if it is compelling enough, will help to define other details of your vision.
Journaling gives you the opportunity to create visualizations to make your vision more compelling. Visualizations are parts of your life vision that you can imagine, which makes your vision more real.
Add as much detail as possible, it will make your vision more compelling. When the destination is clear and has clarity, the path to that destination will start to become clear. Your subconscious mind will start to fill in the gaps.
You can visualize any part of your vision. Where you work, where you live, who you are with, what you do for fun, possessions you want to own. All these visualizations make your vision more real and feel more compelling. You can also collect images from magazines that relate to your vision and paste them on a board to create a vision board.
As you are on your journey of life, your journal should be the first thing you think of while living life, not Facebook, not Instagram. When your thoughts and experiences are in your journal they are there for you to find the value they contain.
Once your vision is journaled, you can add details, and refine existing details.
Your journal is a judgment-free zone, feel free to create the vision you want regardless of what others think, regardless of how outlandish.
You never know what glimpse of your vision will turn into, grab that thread and start pulling – record what you find and add to it.
With your journaling practice refine your purpose based on your vision and your vision based on your purpose. Your journal becomes your resource for this continuous iterative process.
Key #8: Create a Vision Statement
A vision statement is a short paragraph or the key points that encapsulate your vision. Your vision statement allows you to connect with your vision quickly.
Your vision statement should capture that detail in a way that you can read your vision and imagine living it. If your vision statement is too long you will not review it as often as you should. If your statement is too short it won’t have the detail to make it real.
Clarity in your vision is the most important part of creating a vision. Design a vision where you can visualize what the days living the vision would be like. Have as much detail as possible. Make your vision as if you are actually there living your vision. Your vision is the biography of your life written before you have lived that life.
Your vision is a personal story that motivates you to bring it into reality. It may take a while to achieve the clarity to write it in a way that is the most motivating. Initially, it may help to write a series of statements about who you will be and what your life will be like.
- I am a person who … (describe an aspect of who you will be)
- I experience … (describe an experience you will have either daily, weekly, yearly, etcetera)
- I have the opportunity to … (describe the opportunities you will have)
- I have … (describe possession you will have)
- I live … (describe where you will live)
Once you have enough of these statements you can organize them into groups that will then describe your vision.
Your most valuable gift is your life. Your vision is the blueprint of what you want to create with that life.