Action without vision is only passing time. Vision without action is merely day-dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.
– Nelson Mandela
You have probably heard “what gets measured gets improved”. The million dollar question is what those measures should be. As I see it, that is where the strength of a vision comes into play. A vision has the power of always leading you right towards you long term goals whatever your short-term key performance indicators or hurdles are.
See in the below inspiring video how Jim Carey made his vision a reality by writing a physical check for himself of 10 m$ that actually realized over a couple of years from being broke.
This post is about how to create a vision and why it is so powerful. It includes daily habits that can support you in making your vision a reality. I will go through some real examples, tools, and further reading to help you with creating and following your vision.
Taking the lead instead of reacting
If you don’t have a clear vision, you are not likely to see a major change to the better in the future vs where you are today. Most people start their day by reacting to other people’s emails and requests instead of following their own agenda towards their own vision and dreams. Most people also end their day watching other people become successful on TV, instead of creating their own success towards their own vision. Everyone has dreams, but the people that have visions can formulate their dream in a very clear vision statement, which I think is the number one enabler for making a vision reality.
When I look back on a year that has passed I want to be able to say clearly that “this was the year when I (or my team) achieved X, Y, Z”. Without putting a stake in the ground up front and really thinking actively about what you want to achieve and writing it down, you might easily end up with just going along and following other people’s agendas and achievements year after year.
Some interesting visions from successful companies and founders
In this video Daniel Ek shares a few different vision statements for Spotify:
“We want to be everywhere music is”
“We want to impact how people create music”
Here is another vision statement from Amazon:
“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Tesla with its game-changing electrical cars of course also has a bold vision (read more):
“Change the world. Replace fossil-fuel-powered transportation with clean vehicles.”
Stop procrastinating and start visioning
To really get on top of the situation regarding long-term achievement it is a great help to have a guiding star such as a vision statement. It will require some minor upfront investment in thinking clearly about what is important to you and what you want to achieve in the long run. Listening to a recent episode of EOFire, Lewis Howes, and John Lee Dumas agreed that most successful people have a very clear vision and an ability to hustle without burning out.
Steps to help you create a vision
- Read the book “Who will cry when you die” by Robin Sharma. In this book, Robin goes through a thought provoking exercise. What would you want you friends, family, colleagues etc to say about you at your funeral? What speeches would you like them to hold?
- Read the book “Start with why” by Simon Sinek, where he goes through that it is not what or how you do things that make people buy what you sell but instead why you do it that they connect with.
- Create a 5-10 year vision. Visualize you ideal day in 5-10 years. Where do you live, how are you perceived, how is your day structured, with whom are you hanging out etc.
- Get yourself a vision board where you collect pictures, statements and images to visualize your vision.
- Based on the above create your quarterly 3-4 sentence vision.
- Install daily habits to take you closer towards this vision day by day.
Related to point number 4 above Christina Kane is one of the top authorities on how to create vision boards. See the exact methodology she uses in the video below.
Finding a good vision is hard, but anything is better than nothing as long as you reflect on what you are aiming for over time. I don’t think that you can create a vision once and then stick with it forever. Taking a step back every 3-6 months is probably not a bad idea since both you and the world is changing over time. I would recommend that you give it at least 3-6 months minimum of execution before you pivot or change or leave it completely.
Tools that can help you with achieving your vision
Read more about clarifying and reaching your vision
I have now gone through why I think visioning is so important for your long term satisfaction and achievement together with and a few tools and steps that might help you along the way.
If you have any ideas or would like me to elaborate more please go ahead and connect with me in the comment section below.