We’ve all heard, seen, or experienced goal setting in our lives. These goal-setting techniques are good. The only problem is, they are too short-sighted. It’s like defining your milestones without identifying your real destination. This is why you need a personal vision in life.
Personal vision is a designed future state that dictates your destination and direction in life. It’s a projection of how you want your life to be long-term. Done correctly, it makes you inspired in what’s possible for you and becomes a filter for your life decisions.
Your vision is must be represented by these things:
- Describe your Vision Story
- Draft a Vision Statement
- Design your Vision Board
The Bible said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”* I believe it’s true – people who let short-term payoffs and forget long-term consequences perish. Not in a way that they die, though it may be. But in a way that they’re resentful and frustrated about their life.
Having a personal vision is the first step to an inspired life. It will pull you out of bed, excite you about your future, and remind you that your work matters. The art you create, the business you build, the journey you go through will make a difference.
You Are Responsible For Your Life
No one else is. Yes, things happen that are out of plan. Problems arise out of nowhere. And life throws rocks in the form of crises. But how you adapt and respond is totally up to you.
- You can choose to wallow, most people do.
- You can choose to accept, some people do.
- Or you can choose to grow, a few people do.
No one, aside from you, is responsible for your life. Not your boss, or your parents, or your partner or spouse. It means, no one is coming to save you because we’re all caught up with our own lives and problems. After all, we’re responsible for our life, too.
And that’s good news! Because it means you can create a vision, define your goals, plan for them, and show up for work. It means you can grow and be a better person than you are right now. Think about it, if 20 years from now you’re in the exact same place you are now, will you be happy?
Of course not.
You and I are designed to grow. And the best way to grow is to be intentional about it. To look for ways to move your life forward. To be a growth-seeker.
Describe Your Vision Story
Often, people try to define a vision statement without first creating a vision story. This is why they get stuck, confused, or experience mental blocks. After all, how can you summarize or even define something that you don’t fully grasp or visualize?
A vision story is a vivid description of what you want to happen in the future – at least 20 years from now. Unlike most goal-setting activities that focus on where you want to go 5 years from now (at most), we’ll choose a longer timeframe.
We’ll still use the 1-year to 5-year goals to set milestones. But we’ll start off with a longer perspective. It’s because looking 20 years ahead (at least) allows you to see a bigger picture than looking 5 years ahead. Ultimately, we overestimate what we can accomplish in 1 to 5 years and underestimate what we can do in a decade… let alone two.
To help you define your vision story, there are two exercises that I want you to do. First, the eulogy test. Second, the magic mirror test. Let’s start!
The Eulogy Test
Imagine that you’re dead but you’re having an out-of-body experience. You are attending your own funeral and you see the faces of your friends and your family. All the people that you care about and care about you.
Now the people you care most about will give a eulogy to honor you. Answer these: “What do you want them to say about you? How did you positively impact their lives? What are they thankful to you for?”
Write your detailed answer on a piece of paper. Go for length and depth, not just general and vague “stuff”. Remember, you don’t have to show this to anyone. Take the time to do this now before you move forward.
The Magic Mirror Test
Indulge with me for a moment and picture a magic mirror that has gone viral on social media. This mirror can show you what your life will look like in 20 years. One day, you decided you want to try and see what your future looks like so you went to the place where the magic mirror was.
You saw that there’s a long line so you lined up and patiently waited for your turn. People are coming out excited, in tears, and in awe of what you saw. That made you more curious about what’s happening inside.
It’s now your turn and you walked inside the room. In there, you saw a huge, 2 meters high mirror and you can’t wait to stand in front of it. But before you can, you saw an inscription near the mirror that says: Your mind can shape the future you want to see.
What do you want your future to look like 20 years from today?
Again, take out a piece of paper and start writing down. Make a description of what your day looks like, where you are, who you’re with, and what you do. What have you accomplished? What impacts have you made in the lives of other people?
Your personal vision starts with you telling a story that makes you inspired. Once you have a detailed description of what your desired future looks like, do an acid test. Notice how you feel when you read the story. Are you excited? Hopeful? Inspired? If not, tweak it until you do.
Draft A Personal Vision Statement
A Personal Vision Statement is a one or two sentence summary of your vision story. It’s an easy-to-read statement that encapsulates the essence of your vision. Often, when I coach people to do this, I ask them to create a statement no longer than 140 characters including spaces. The simpler, the better.
When doing this, remember to use plain, simple language. The goal isn’t to be fancy. The goal is to create a statement that resonates with you. Something that inspires you and you know deep in your heart matters.
This statement is what we review everyday. It’s what we think about when we let our mind wander. Fill your head with this idea on a consistent basis. And most importantly, before deciding anything, ask the question, “Will this take me closer to my vision?”
Personal Vision Statement Examples
Here’s an example of my personal vision statement:
“Inspire One Million People To Reach Their Full Potential.”Jeric Timbang
It’s short, simple, and resonates with me. To others, they may come across that and shrug their shoulders off. But not to me. To me, it’s a source of inspiration. So, go ahead and write yours.
You can use this template or create your own: “I aim to…”
To help you jog your creativity, here are 10 examples:
|Personal Vision Example for College Students|| – Graduate with the highest honors and teach others how to do the same|
– Create student clubs, organizations, or programs that will matter for decades
|Personal Vision Example for Teachers|| – Inspire 1,000 students to graduate with the highest honors|
– Arouse my students’ desire to learn
|Personal Vision Example for Your Career|| – Be the greatest CEO of *insert company* or a big international group of companies|
– Be the most value-drive professional in *insert industry*
|Personal Vision Example for Leaders|| – Groom people that will shape future leaders|
– Be a leader that inspires people to be better than they are today
|Personal Vision Example for Entrepreneurs|| – Create multiple businesses that preserve the Earth|
– Make products that improves mental health
Design Your Personal Vision Board
A vision board is the visual representation of your dreams. It’s a collection of pictures that portrays your envisioned lifestyle in the future – your vision story. It’s been scientifically proven that visualization improves performance. When you make a vision board, it helps you visualize better and boosts your performance in achieving your dreams.
Here’s what you put in your vision board: pictures that show your travel goals, achievements in life, financial status, etc. Put pictures that represent what you want to have in all areas of your life. Look at magazines or do an internet search for images of what you want to achieve in life. Then make a collage out of them.
The main thing you have to remember is that your vision story, statement, and board must inspire you. They need to resonate with you, not because they’re fancy, but because they’re true. They matter to you. That’s what’s important.
Live an inspired life,