Vision and Missionby Rus Slater
Personal vision statements
You probably don’t want to actually be seen to be reading this section; people tend to be rather sceptical about others who have ‘personal visions’. As a society we find these people suspicious and indeed it was only recently that we stopped burning them at the stake or locking them up in institutions.
However, we can all benefit from having some form of personal vision, whether it is to be rich and famous, to invent something to the benefit of mankind, to save the planet or just to enjoy our short time on it.
A personal vision statement guides your life. Your personal vision statement provides the direction necessary to help you to guide the course of your days and the choices you make each week, month and year. Your personal vision guides your decisions about what you will eat for lunch, where you live, which people you spend time with, whether you become a parent and how you choose to live your life.
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.
You may be sceptical about the paragraph above, but think – if it isn’t your personal vision that guides these things, what does? Sheer chance? Other people?
A personal vision statement doesn’t have to be earth shattering for the rest of the human race. It is just the distillation of what you have decided that you want out of your years of life.
Preparing your own vision statement
Take time out to think about the answers to the following questions. The vision statement that emerges should radically affect the quality of your life.
- What are the things you most enjoy doing? Be honest. These are the ten things without which your weeks, months and years would feel incomplete.
- What must you do every single day for you to feel fulfilled in your work?
- What are your most important values?
- Modern life has a number of important aspects, each of which deserves some attention when you are thinking about your personal vision statement. Write one important thought for each of them:
- Work or career
- Family and personal relationships
- Social relationships
- Financial security
- Spiritual well being
- Your health
- If you never had to work another day in your life to earn a living, how would you spend your time instead of working?
- When your life is reaching its natural end, what will you regret not doing, seeing, or achieving? With whom?
- If you were told tomorrow that you had a short time to live, what would you want to do before it was too late?
(The combination of these two answers may tell you what is important to and what is urgent.)
- What strengths have other people commented on about you and your accomplishments? What strengths do you see in yourself? How might you capitalise on these strengths to achieve the more of the things that you enjoy or are important to you?
- What weaknesses have other people commented on about you and what do you believe are your weaknesses? How can you minimise the effect these have on your life by either eradicating them or avoiding situations where they are problematical?
Writing it down
Once you have spent some thinking time pondering these issues, you are ready to start crafting your personal vision statement.
You generally accomplish your written goals, dreams, plans, and vision. Writing them down lends power and commitment to their accomplishment.
Write in first person and make statements about the future you hope to achieve. Write the statements as if you are already making them happen in your life. Some experts recommend 50 words or less, but it is probably better that you fully articulate the vision you want for your life and your future, than be limited by word count.
Keep in mind that your personal vision statement can also change over time, depending upon what is happening in your life. You will be amazed, however, at how many components remain consistent over time.