Most people don’t think about having a life vision. When we think of a vision statement, we think of organizations, start-ups, the business world… and in these contexts, a solid vision is critical. A vision outlines where you want be in the future. It is a guide for where you want to go. For many of us, our lives could really use a similar guide. Which means, our life could use a vision. If your life is a journey, your vision is the compass that helps you know what direction to go.
It’s not enough to just think about our vision. We need to make it explicit. We need to talk about it with the significant people in our lives. Write it down. Say it out loud. Making your vision explicit brings some ownership to it. Sharing it with another person brings some accountability to it. And talking about your vision helps you keep it fresh, relevant, and an active part of your life. Essentially, by doing these things you’ll minimize your chance of getting lost.
You can create one big picture vision, or you can think about different aspects of your life and create a professional vision, a family vision, a spiritual vision.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Ask yourself: what do I want out of my life that I do not yet have?
- Ask yourself: who do I want to become? What type of person do I want to grow into?
- Think about the things you hope to achieve in the future.
- Think about what’s important in your life. Ask yourself what matters most to you. What do you value?
- Think about what might bring more happiness into your life.
- Reflect on the type of relationships you hope to have with the people closest to you.
- Don’t be afraid to dream big.
- Think 1, 3, or 5 years down the road.
Thinking about our life’s vision is a big task. It can get overwhelming or feel frivolous, yet keep in mind this vision is simply a map, one with many roads, and you always reserve the right to change course, take a different route, or make a u-turn. It’s your life to live, so get out your map and start driving.
And remember, in words of Tolkien, “not all those who wander are lost.” Life is a journey that doesn’t follow a linear path. Sometimes, it’s in the wandering that we learn the most about ourselves. Yet keep in mind the wise words of the Chesire Cat, “if you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.”
Give your life a path. Know where you want to go. Then, enjoy the journey as you get there.