Creating and Iterating on a Compelling Vision For Your Life

Getting crystal clear on who you want to Be, what you want to Do, and what you want to Have. To reach your dreams, you have to clarify them first ;)

In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision. — Dalai Lama.

All of the greats had a vision that kept them pushing when things got hard. Bill Gates had a vision of every household having a personal computer. Martin Luther King had a vision of racial unity and equality.

But this key driver of success gets overlooked by many people. Most people are more focused on how they’re going to reach success, to the point where they don’t really have a clear picture on what success looks like, which is more important.

Paraphrasing something that I’ve heard from many successful people:

Once you clarify your vision of success, the how falls in to place.

Moral of this first section: Spend more time cultivating what your vision consists of and it drives effective and positive action.

I’ve read about A LOT of ways to visualize my future, but I’ll focus on the methods that have stuck with me.

  1. Set a timeline that allows you to dream bigger than your current circumstances. I make my “ultimate vision” 5–10 years in the future.
  2. Going along with the above, Don’t limit yourself to where you’re currently at. I currently live with my parents. My vision is to have multiple places to live around the world. Dream so big that it’s scary.
  3. Don’t think about how you’ll reach your vision while creating it. This limits the scale of your vision and reduces your ability to feel it. The how will come over time. Trust yourself. Trust the universe. Forget the how for now.
  4. When you’re creating your vision, use a medium that is most impactful for you. Since I have an active imagination, I like writing my vision in words as it allows my mind to manifest all of the possibilities that are sparked by the words. I also have a mind movie (a slideshow of pictures that match your vision set to your favorite/most empowering song). You could also use Pinterest to form a mood-board of what your future looks like. Choose the starting point that feels most accessible to you!
  5. When you picture your vision, imagine the feelings you would experience. What would it feel like to manifest your wildest dreams? Capture that feeling. Remember it. Make a habit out of visualizing a better future and relishing the feelings. Those feelings are what change how you act — feeling them consistently pushes your actions to align with who you are, what you have, and what you do in your vision. Our body and actions respond to our thoughts, so make sure your thoughts compel you with clarity and positive emotion.

This is how you should feel when visualizing:

If you’re like me, you might need some structure to create a compelling vision with a semblance of clarity. The three simple categories I use are:

Have: What will I have in 5–10 years? You can have tangible or intangible things. Here’s what I have written currently for this section:

Do: What will I be doing in 5–10 years? What activities will fulfill your purpose and bring you joy?

Be: Who will you be in 5–10 years? What characteristics will you have?

For examples of what you could put under each column, you can check out my vision:

If you want to dive deeper on creating your vision, I highly recommend the books High Performance Habits and 12 Week Year. They helped me a lot with creating an actionable vision.

Just like your body or emotional health, you need to care for your vision in order to create it. I do this simply by revisiting it at the end of each week.

I watch my mind movie (you can watch it here), review each item in the Have, Do, Be columns, and feel the energy that I’ll generate when accomplishing each thing.

Sometimes, It’s necessary to tweak the wording, or add an item. Something might not resonate with you so you’ll remove it. That’s part of the process! Just as you keep evolving as a person, so will your vision.

If you’re very serious about crafting and sticking to your vision, you could do nightly reflections with the following steps:

  1. Review your vision, feel it as if it exists now, and tweak what’s necessary.
  2. Answer: Did my actions today bring me closer to my vision? Why or why not?
  3. Answer: What can I do tomorrow to bring myself closer to my vision?

Create your Vision!

Hopefully I’ve given you the tools to clarify your vision. Remember, having a clear picture of your future is just the start. Actually creating that future requires daily, strategic effort.

What’s your vision? What do you want to have, do and be? Let me know in the comments :)

Have any tools that have helped you visualize? Put those in the comments as well — always looking to improve my methods.

Social Impact + Marketing + Design. If you need marketing or design for your social impact venture, hit my line at adam@emote.design.

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