Where Are You Going?
Friday, December 16, 2022 by Dr James H Dotson Jr

Is your life a collection of random experiences, or a purposeful journey?

I have found that living with purpose—guided by a vision—is one important aspect of personal wellbeing.

Let’s take a moment to explore this further.

What Is Vision?

In this context, the dictionary defines vision as: an ideal or a goal toward which one aspires

Your vision is an overarching goal for your life—a statement of what the ideal future looks like for you (i.e., your best self in terms of who you are, how you live, and what you do). 

Does having a vision mean there will be no problems or challenges or obstacles or setbacks or failures in your life? Certainly not!

But having a vision allows you to keep moving forward to what you want your life to look like at its best, even as you face the unexpected and the undesirable.

Your vision will provide focus, purpose, and direction for your life as you work towards realizing your ideal future. 

What Is Your Vision?

Here are some key questions to consider as you answer this question: What is my vision?

  • Why were you created? Why are you here? 
  • Who is God calling you to be? What is God calling you to do?
  • What gives your life meaning, purpose, and fulfillment? About what are you most passionate?
  • What are your dreams—who is the person you dream to be and what is the purpose you dream to fulfill?
  • Who do you need to be and how do you need to live to make a positive difference here on the earth?
  • What is the legacy you want to leave behind when your life comes to an end? 
  • How would you want a biographer to sum up your life?

How Do I Write My Vision?

Once you answer these questions, you should be able to write your vision. Your vision should include four elements:

  1. Vision Statement: A concise statement of your vision—who you want to be, how you want to live, and/or what you want to accomplish (i.e., your ideal future; your life at its best; your best self). 

  • Write in the first person and write as if you are already making your vision happen in your life (e.g., “I am …”). 
  • Some experts recommend keeping your vision to one sentence or to 50 words or less.
  • But what’s more important than how long or short is your vision is this. First, fully articulate the vision you want for yourself/for your life. Second, don’t try to mimic or copy another person’s vision; make it your own. And finally, make sure it’s something you are able to easily remember. There will likely be little value to writing something you can’t even remember. 
  1. Rationale: Your rationale is the reason or the reasons for your vision. 

  • It answers the question: Why is this my vision? 
  • There are many visions you could have for yourself.
  • Why is this one the one you’ve chosen for yourself?
  1. Definition of Success: Your definition of success lists the key indicators that you are successfully living your vision. 

  • It answers the question: How will I know when I have achieved or am achieving my vision? 
  • In other words, what will it look like when you are being the person you dream to be, living the life you dream to live, and fulfilling the purpose you dream to fulfill?
  1. Core Values: Core values are the fundamental principles you must live by in order to achieve/live your vision. 

  • A principle is a kind of rule, belief, or idea that guides you; a basic truth that helps you with your life—a belief which exercises a directing influence on your life; a standard, guideline, or governing law of your personal conduct; a settled precept consistently directing your actions; a truth that may be used as the basis for reasoning; or a rule by which to make decisions or choose among options (e.g., love, honesty, integrity, justice, etc.). 
  • In this case, the idea is not to just randomly choose from a whole host of nice sounding principles for living. Rather, the point is to selectively choose those principles that are essential to living out your vision.
  • In other words, in order to successfully achieve your vision, what are the principles you must live by, without which you will not succeed? 

What Are Your Next Steps?

Now, let me invite you to write your vision in one integrated paragraph.

  1. Begin by writing your vision statement. I find that writing a one sentence vision statement is best. That tends to require a much more clearly focused statement of purpose for you/your life. But, again, the length is up to you.
  2. Then, follow with the main reason or reasons you’ve chosen this as your vision for your life (rationale).
  3. Now, follow that with what you/your life will look like when/as you are living your vision (definition of success).
  4. Finally, close the paragraph with the key principles you must live by in order to successfully live your vision for your life (core values).

Once written, place this paragraph where you can easily see it and review it daily so that it becomes like a compass that guides your journey through life.

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