Some of the most successful people in the world are often called “visionaries.” They have the uncanny ability to “see” the future and literally create wealth, businesses, products, and services out of thin air. Great leaders and entrepreneurs will have a vivid mental picture of what they want to accomplish. This mental picture is often deeply ingrained in their mind helping them to forge a path towards success. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computers, is still known today as one of the world’s greatest visionaries and innovators. He accomplished more with his dream of bringing easy-to-use technology to the masses than all other tech companies that existed previously combined. Author Roy T. Bennett was quoted as saying, “Leaders are limited by their vision rather than by their abilities.” There’s so much truth within this statement and having a vision for your future is as vital to your success as is hard work and persistence.
Visions and goals are very similar however the difference is that a goal is often a specific “thing” that you want to achieve. One the other hand, a vision is more like a dream of something that you want to achieve or something may not exist in the world yet. Furthermore, a dream or vision can become the defining characteristic of what you want to achieve in life on the basis of your personal values, character and morals.
Having a vision can mean having a statement or document that becomes the guide for all decisions and choices that are made in the context of your life, your family, or your business. All major decisions, in whatever category they are in, must be checked against the vision. This is to ensure that your actions will take you closer to where you want to go rather than pulling you away from it. Another way to look at it is that a vision should be something that enables you to develop an uncompromising strategy to get there. People who have a vision for their future are significantly more likely to succeed than those who have no clear vision at all. Having a vision can, especially one for yourself, can add significance and meaning to your life.
Author and Pastor Andy Stanley wrote a great book on the subject of discovering and maintaining your personal vision. If you get a chance I highly recommend checking it out. It’s available here on Amazon (affiliate link).
Developing a Vision
One of the first things you can do to develop a vision is to simply start day dreaming about what you desire for a particular area of your life. If it’s success in business then ask yourself what you want your career or company to be like in the future. Who do you want to help? What problem do you want to solve? What do you want to be known for? What do you want to accomplish? It is a good idea to write down your thoughts and the answers to these (and similar) questions. During this stage of vision development, focus on the results that you want to achieve. Specifically, focus on where you want to be in the future and why. Don’t spend too much thinking about how you will get there at this point. At the onset, this should at least give you a broad image of what the desired outcome of your upcoming journey should be. You may not know the full pathway to achieve your vision nor will you know all of the steps needed to get there. A vision is supposed to be the at the top of the mountain so to speak.
Once you’ve completed this step, and determined what it is that you really want, it’s time to start refining the vision to make it achievable. You will now start developing a plan to bring the vision out of the dream world placing it into the real world. This is where you will start to lay out a schedule and milestones that will take you from where you are today to where you want to go in the future. Start thinking about all of the steps that will be needed to succeed. Once you’ve broken the pathway leading towards your vision down into smaller milestones or steps, achieving your vision will be much easier. At this point your vision should be very similar to a goal.
Developing a vision is actually a pretty easy thing to do. Allowing yourself to dream a little bit will initiate a driving force enabling you to get what you want and desire out of life. Following up your dream with a concrete plan will lay the groundwork for a pathway to victory. Most people have dreams however few have the drive to the plan into action.
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