If you’re one of my friends, it’s just a matter of time before I grill you on your big dreams and life plans. (For the record, quick surrender is the best policy.)
Yet, despite their close proximity to a professional strategist, almost none of my friends can answer the question “what’s your vision?”.
Instead, they give me vague descriptions of the side effects of achieving it and a jumbled list of tasks and goals. (For help clarifying the difference, watch this).
Here’s an example.
Last night, a musician friend summed up his vision as “fans, money, & great projects I’m a part of”. As admirable as those desires are, they’re not a vision.
They’re consequences of achieving his vision, or – from another angle – indicators of how well he’s aligned with it:
• Increasing your fan base is a strategy to achieve a larger aim – e.g. inspire others through music.
• Earning more money is a tactic to achieve a goal like buy better equipment, book time in a better studio, or travel on tour – all of which fall under broader strategies like create and share. (Earning money could also be it’s own goal to achieve a strategy like ensuring you have time to create.)
• Similarly collaborating on great projects is another way to achieve a broader aim like connect through music or inspire through innovation.
Sure, my friend can chase these achievements until he crosses them off his list, but – as stated – he’s already achieved his vision. I’m a fan, I’ve given him money to see him play, plus he’s collaborating on a great project currently.
Which brings me to the point – if you can cross them off your list – they’re not a vision. Because a vision isn’t achieved.
Your vision is the golden egg that keeps you striving and moving onwards even when your approach, methods, or career path change.
It’s your overall ideal world.
It’s what the world looks like in your most secret dreams – the values it depends on, how people behave, what people know about themselves, and how they treat each other.
The normal rules of life don’t apply. For example, in my vision, everyone feels like they’re worthy and enough so there is no violence – since no one feels insecure, there’s no need to control or dominate another.
Clearly I will never succeed in creating a non-violent world in which everyone feels like they’re enough, but that desire underpins my every move – my degrees, my government career in international crisis response, and my current incarnation helping people discover their own inner peace.
I guarantee you have an ideal vision you strive to create every day too. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, it underlies your interactions, assumptions, disappointments, and beliefs.
Discovering that vision is one of the most powerful and transformative exercises you can do, because – once you can describe and consciously feel your vision – you can align your life to move closer to achieving it.
From your vision, you discover your purpose and how you most want to feel, which give you a barometer to measure when you’re on the right track.
Because living your purpose feels good.
So take a few minutes right now and think about your big vision. Not what your dream house looks like or where you’ll vacation with your millions, but how your ideal world feels.
Use these questions to spark your imagination:
• What do people know to be true about themselves and the world in your vision?
• How does that knowing affect their actions, interactions, and relationships?
• What no longer exists or is a concern in your ideal world?
You’ll know you’re on the right track when it feels like the place you could truly rest and expand into your best self.
Be free. Be brave. Be YOU.
p.s. If you’re curious, you can check out my friend’s album and upcoming new release here: http://www.hughiestonefish.com