In the daily hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to let moments go by – days, weeks, months, and eventually years. You go through the motions without ever stopping and asking yourself, “what am I doing, and why am I doing it?” Having a vision for your life is critical to ensuring that you’re actually living and not just letting life happen to you. Within that life vision, you absolutely need to have a clear-cut purpose and plan for your business or other entrepreneurial endeavours and projects you wish you pursue.
Lack of vision is the first step towards failure. Intuitively, we all know this, because we’ve all met that one person that always seems to have their head in the clouds, labeling him or herself as a “visionary”, when really, they’re just hopeless (useless) dreamers with no plan of execution.
A person void of vision can’t be trusted.
You can’t do business with someone you don’t trust.
Visionaries aren’t just dreamers, they’re planners and doers.
Become a visionary.
Drown out the noise
I’m hard-pressed to find any large portions of time in my day where I’m completely alone. I’m either surrounded by strangers on the subway (usually pressed up against me), seated next to co-workers in an “open concept” office space, or, I’m with my husband in our small, Toronto apartment.
Creating a vision requires silence. You need to remove yourself from all the distractions around you and get alone with yourself. For me, this means going on long walks with my dog (okay, so I’m not completely alone). It could be the dead of winter, dark and freezing cold, but I look forward to walking my dog, because it gives me a chance to be alone with my thoughts – to pray, to contemplate life, and to visualize what I want to accomplish in and through my marriage, my family, my relationships, and my business. I leave my phone at home, removing any prospect of distractions. Whatever you do, make alone time a priority as often as possible.
Thinking actively about a vision and plan for your life is a lot different than passively letting your mind wander. We all have those moments, but I urge you, when you get alone, be active and intent in your thoughts. For example, think about a person in your life that you admire. Now ask yourself, why do you admire them? Is their a particular aspect of his or her life that you respect and aspire to emulate? What do you need to change in your life? Who do you need to reach out to? Who do you need to remove?
Questions like these aren’t. There’s a reason our mind resorts to random, disconnected thoughts from things we’ve subconsciously and even consciously consumed. Vision can’t be created passively. You have to be intentional. You have to be specific. And, you have to be honest.
Write it down
Prior to working as a marketing writer, I was a clinical research coordinator. My job entailed recruiting cancer patients into clinical studies investigating medical interventions. Needless to say, there was very little margin for error, and everything had to be written down. In fact, the mantra in clinical research is, “if it wasn’t written down, it didn’t happen”.
I take that same principle, and apply it in a slightly different way for creating a vision for your business, or any other aspect of your life – “If it isn’t written down, it won’t happen”. Writing things down, like a to-do list, a budget, a love letter, or anything, forces you to acknowledge it; it can no longer be ignored. Writing your vision on paper now makes it measurable; you can look back and see how far you’ve come in your journey, or how much further you have to go. It gives you a standard, or benchmark, to aim for and gauge your progress.
Contrary to what society or popular media might like to you believe, visionaries aren’t born, they are made. Being a visionary and having a life full of success (and failure) isn’t exclusive to a handful of the world’s most talented, rich, or powerful. You get to decide. You get to create. You get to make the most out of your potential, if, and only if, you start with a vision.
Here’s to hearing nothing but the sound the snow crunching beneath your feet…