Have you ever tried finding your way through a dark, pitch-black room with no flashlight in hand? It’s kinda difficult isn’t it? Feeling your way through without a sense of direction. Traversing the length of the room without a defined path. You’ll probably bump into a table or two and stumble on an object you accidentally stepped on. You can even hurt yourself if you’re not too careful.
It’s hard to get by such simple task of walking across a room without a clear vision. But in this example, we’re talking about physical vision or our ability to see things. The same principle applies to having a vision for our lives. If our life purpose is our “WHY”, life vision is our “WHAT”. This is how we want to see our lives in the near future. It’s where we want to be.
Just how important is vision?
Let me ask you a question first.
Have you ever worked for a company or an organization that doesn’t have a vision? I sure hope you haven’t because if such a company ever existed, it is bound to fail. Every company has a vision and if you will notice, every vision statement details what the company wants to achieve and where they want to be. Take for example the vision statement below from Nike:
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world”
* If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
It’s very short, yet clear and specific. They aim to inspire and bring innovation. That’s how they envision the company to be. Other organizations have a more detailed, multiple paragraphed vision but regardless of the length, the one thing they all have in common is that they are all goal-centered.
Vision is very important in our lives. Like companies and organizations, we need to know where we want to be. We are the CEOs of ourselves and being business owners, we wouldn’t want our companies to fail wouldn’t we?
Vision gives us direction
In our example above, we mentioned how difficult it is to walk across a dark room because all we see is black. We do not know where to go because we don’t have a sense of direction and the same can be said about life. Vision gives our lives direction. It’s easier to reach a destination when you know which way to go.
If your vision is to be a millionaire within five years, everything you’ll be doing within the next five years will all be aimed at earning a million. You will invest your money wisely, be a smart spender, and work harder to make your business profitable.
As the great Zig Ziglar quoted: “If you aim at nothing, you will hit everything.”
Vision will determine your How
The traditional way of thinking is for a person to learn in school, graduate, work, have a family, and then retire eventually. We’ve all been trained to see life this way and there’s nothing wrong with this setup. It is kind of a generalization though. We can make a better version by incorporating our own vision. Consider the questions below:
Where would you like your career to be in five years?
How much savings would you like to have in hand upon retirement and how do you intend to use them?
What will you be doing upon retirement?
These are just a few examples I came up with and you can definitely add more. Being specific with your vision helps you determine the steps to reach it. You can keep yourself busy, working hard for as long as you like but this will all be for nothing if you don’t have a target but if you know what you’re aiming for, you know exactly how to get there. If you know the what and the why, the how will follow.
Vision will keep you from making mistakes
Going through the dark makes us prone to mistakes. As I mentioned, you will meet bumps and stumbles without a clear vision because you’re leaving everything to chance. Having a vision gives you a more accurate and calculated step toward your goals. Once again, if you know what you’re aiming for, you know how to get there. You know what to avoid and what possible obstacles will keep you from getting to where you want to be..
If your vision is to be debt-free in a year, you know that you should only be buying stuff using your own money (translation: avoid using credit cards). You also avoid buying things you don’t need. You do everything to pay off your debt even if it means sacrificing some of the pleasures life has to offer.
Every successful company started with a vision and by working toward this vision, they were all able to find success. Every successful man starts with a vision too.
Steve Jobs, perhaps the greatest visionary of our time wasn’t as skilled as any other engineer or programmer when he started out. What he had that set him apart was his vision of what a computer should be and it is through this vision that we are now enjoying our MacBooks, our IPods, and IPads.
Do you have a vision for your life? If you do, what is it?
I’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment below.
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