Our lives, sometimes can get way too busy, way too scheduled, way too routined, and even though I must admit that being this way could be quite productive for a while, there is something about it that bothers me…big time. Even the thought of it makes me freak out a bit. As you probably guessed it right, I like to keep things balanced…in fact, I need it in order to stay sane. What I need is to have a bit of spontaneity in my day; a bit of imagination…I need to enter my own world once in a while and to make it more magical by envisioning awesome places, beautiful situations, certain lifestyle, and my goals. Even though it might sound purely insane, I realized that since I was a child, I have been building a very beautiful inside world of mine and I provoked my imagination to work on a regular basis…and before you start asking me about it…no, I have never had an imaginary friend, I have always distinguished quite well the outer reality from my inner one. However, till this day I love devoting time to that exercise. As a kid, I have not realized what I have done, but now I have a way better explanation…I was not living in my own world, I was feeding my dreams through my vision.
Vision besides its primary meaning of sight, has few other dictionary explanations which I favour:
5 (countable) An ideal or a goal toward which one aspires.
1 (transitive) To imagine something as if it were to be true.
Intriguing…but what makes vision so important so that small and multi-national companies also use it under the form of a vision statement? It is simple, the vision statement is all about what is possible, it reveals company’s current end goal and its potential to achieve it. You might ask why they even bother sharing it with the society…it makes them accountable not only in the face of the world but also when they look in the mirror.
There is another reason why vision is of such importance and my interpretation of it is that the vision is the sight of your soul. When you have it, you create a purpose for yourself. This brings meaning beyond the daily routine and attaches certain specificity under the form of goals in life. However, for real results this on itself is often not enough. I will share some practical advices and steps you can take so that you can make the best use of your own vision.
If you are not like me and you do not have this awesome place to go to when you want to escape the daily mayhem, then you should start practicing. One of the best ways is to create your very own vision board. I know that many people look at it with scepticism, but it works, believe it or not, and even though I wish I can spice things up and say it is a magical process…in fact it is not. In order to create a vision board you need to decide what are the big goals in your life, where do you want to be, how do you want to feel and finally to make a decision if you are going to tirelessly chase it until it happens or not. Every time you see your vision board afterwards, it is going to remind you that you have bigger things to do, a wave of positivism and hopefulness will splash you, but if you do not want to leave it as a dreamy wishy-washy thing then you need a plan. The plan should be tied to the vision board with more precise steps for making those dreams reality. Make a general plan first, for example, if you want to become a doctor then surely enough you need to go to school. Write it down…which school. Then underneath try to narrow your plan as much as possible; tie specific deadlines and exams dates, scores you need in order to be accepted at this school etc. When vision boards meet their plans, they leave you with a specific guideline of what needs to be done…and we all know that this is the best situation you can find yourself in…when everything depends on you.
Create your tools the way they work for you, there are no rules whatsoever. You can draw on your vision board or glue magazine images, you can write on it, or attach personal photos. It doesn’t matter as long as it makes your imagination work and gives you an overall positive feeling. It is not necessary to place the vision board where everybody can see it, but if your imagination is not as active, then it might be a good idea to place it as a reminder of your vision. Even though I have no problem envisioning my future, I also have a vision board and what works for me is making a vision board for a certain amount of time. In my case, it is only 3 years in advance. Having an expiry date for my vision board, from a psychological perspective, pushes my limits to achieve as much as I can during those years and at the same time it is a great measurement tool of my future success. The other reason why I do not go beyond that point is that I don’t like to plan way too much and 3 years is a realistic time window for me. Beyond the positive sides of having a vision board, that I have already elaborated on, there is something else. It forces you to have clarity of your dream life; it makes you think about it which triggers the possibilities those dreams to find you because you sent the signals out to the Universe of what you want exactly. First step…done; now you have a vision board. Let’s move on further to the plan.
As a business graduate I was very familiar how companies are creating their strategies and that often they have 1, 5 & 10 years plan that they tied to their vision. One of the most favourite and brightest instructors I had, Deland Jessop, once made us do a very interesting exercise and it was to make our own 1, 5 & 10 years personal plan. My admiration for this instructor was triggered initially exactly by this exercise and the reason is because back at college I always sought for the practical application of knowledge towards real life and this was straight to the point. One of the things that he said is that having it in a written form and adding to it as you go, makes you realize at one point how much you have accomplished which is way more fascinating when it is documented. This is another approach which you can have when you create your plan. It does not work for me because of my unwillingness to plan so much in advance, but I decided to share it because it might work for you and this was one of most important lectures I ever had. However, the plan and the action is often the missing ingredient for many people so do not underestimate this step no matter how you will organize it for yourself.
The end goal of having a vision board and a plan is to achieve your dreams, to keep yourself accountable and to push yourself going forward not only dreaming. The repetitive process of reminding yourself where you want to end up is what feeds your dreams. By experiencing all those positive emotions every time you think of your future widest achievements to be; by experiencing it as if you already own it…is when you give your soul a sight.
Keep it stylish inside out.
Interesting Fact: The meaning of the word is taken from a dictionary app which I highly recommend. It can be found in the Play Store under the name of English Dictionary – Offline by Livio. There is an iPhone version of the app.