When I ask people about their Vision quite often they say they have 20/20 vision. Well, that's not really the type of vision that I am asking about. When I talk about vision I talk about the ability to look not only at your current life, but about the ideals that you hold regarding your future. What you envision their future to be like.
The reality is, that most people don't have any vision for what their future will be. Now there is a real condition that is called Aphantasia in which people are unable to visualize mental images, but that is not what is affecting most people. What is affecting most people is the fact that they have allowed themselves to become blinded to anything other than their current circumstances, and for many, that can be an overwhelming situation.
We allow ourselves, through the daily monotony of everyday life, to forget about what our hopes and dreams used to be. We push those thoughts away, as if they are just the frivolous musings of children, because now we have responsibilities and stuff. People rely on us to be responsible and not have our head in the clouds. The dreams we used to hold so close, are now considered unrealistic and sometimes selfish. Women, I find especially, are taught that their wants, and desires are to be placed on the shelf because we are the caretakers of the family. If you could envision what your shelf would look like, how many dreams and visions have you put up there?
Another main reason that people have let go of the Vision of their future is because they have allowed fear to control their minds. We have allowed ourselves to become trapped in the "What will people think" cycle. We are afraid that if we share what our dreams really truly are that we will be laughed at, mocked or condemned. This can be especially true of those closest to us, and quite often they are the ones who are laughing, mocking and condemning us the most.
It's time to be honest with ourselves here. Do you have a Vision for your future? If you do, here is the real question, Do you have it written down, and is it posted somewhere that you can see it EVERYDAY? If your answer to any of those questions is NO, then this is where we have to start.
When people think of Vision Statements, if they think of them at all, they think that they are things that companies or business people write down to direct their path. They don't understand that there is value for everyone in developing a Vision Statement. Your Vision Statement is just your own personal declaration on the direction that you would like your life to take in the future, and get rid of the thought that it has to some Grand Proclamation. It can be as simple as stating that your goal is to be the most loving and support parent and partner to your loved ones.
So how, you are now asking me, do you design a Vision Statement? Here are a few steps that you can take. I suggest starting out by getting a pen and paper and finding some quiet time alone, where you can focus on yourself.
- start by writing out what your Core Values are. What is really important to you? Is it family time, career, contribution or service, having a career you love, being a stay at home mom, building a legacy? What are the things that you would consider the non-negotiables in your life. Things that you aren't willing to give up or do without.
- ask yourself what it was that you wanted to be when you grew up. This is usually a great question to ask yourself because it holds the seedlings of your Visions. They were usually in their purest forms then because they weren't stained by our adult fears and judgements.
- ask yourself the question "if money and time were not an issue, what would I want to do with my life?" Look at your answer and see if it is in alignment with your Core Values. Chances are very good that it is.
- Now look at what you have written down. What is it you're excited about, what is it that you would spend your time and energy on, and what is the goal that you would want to fulfill? Then you can combine these to be your Vision Statement.
Let me give you my own personal example. My core values are helping people, giving a voice to those who don't have one, helping those who suffer both human and animal, being independent, and being kind and loving to myself and others. When I grew up I wanted to be a journalist so I could share other people's stories. If money and time were not an issue, I would be working as a life coach, speaking to high school-aged students about living with mental illness and I would be supporting animal rescues.
Even though that seems like a lot of things, but where I can find the connection is where my Vision Statement lies. "I want to help those who don't have a voice by offering them a safe haven." It can be that simple, just a single sentence, or it can be as long as you decide. It is your Vision, you get to give it the life you want.
I would love to get to hear what you have decided to claim as your Vision Statement so take a moment and message me on charlenemadden-speaker.com or send me a message on Facebook @Charlene Madden - Speaker & Author and share what you have decided to embrace as your Vision Statement.