Here’s a thought . . . where you are today in your life, is a direct result of all the decisions you’ve made in the past years.
That should come as no real surprise to you. After all, you probably have experienced the consequences of your behavior and your decisions in the past. If you smoke, then you have a higher potential of developing cancer. If you spend all your money, you’ll be broke. If you eat too much, you’ll gain weight.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
It’s Newton’s Third Law of physics that applies as much to your life as it does to the physical world. If you do a diligent job at work, it does NOT automatically mean you’ll be promoted – but if you do a bad job, it’s highly likely you’ll be let go.
Not every action has an opposite reaction we’d like to see.
If you work diligently you’ll likely be respected by your co-workers, others will notice the good job you’re doing – but your promotion will be dependent upon other factors as well.
So, in the grand scheme of things, how do you achieve the goals you want to achieve in the time frame you want to attain them. Since you can’t turn back the clock and undo your previous decisions, what can you do today and tomorrow to make your next tomorrows better?
Your past is set in stone and can’t be undone. The path you took last year or the year before can’t be undone. A past relationship, a poor business decision, even an afternoon of watching movies instead of working on your new project can’t be undone.
But, a strategic vision and mission for your life will help you make better decisions in the future and change the results you experience.
Albert Einstein is credited with making the statement, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.”
The same holds true for your life. By doing the same thing over and over again, by making the same decisions day in and day out, you HAVE to expect the same results. If you want to expect and experience something different then you HAVE to do SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
Start with developing a strategic vision for your life that will guide your decisions and help you develop a plan that works for you. Your vision is NOT a pie-in-the-sky dream for your life, nor does it belong on corporate letterhead. Instead, it should become a living, breathing document that changes over time as your circumstances change.
Here’s the journey . . . you develop a strategic vision that helps you make better decisions.
Better decisions change your circumstances.
At some point your changed circumstances will have grown YOU so much that it will require your vision grows and improves to keep up with your growth.
Your vision should include your goals, your desires and hope – but with realistic expectations of what you could accomplish in your life. It should be what you aspire to, and how your are inspired to achieve it.
Get specific and talk with your future self about what you want to achieve. BUT, don’t make 20 different goals for 15 different areas in your life. Instead, this is a global, overall vision of how you want to be living, or who you want to be in the next years.
Your vision is just a bit different from your goals. My vision statement might sound like: “In five years I’ll be living in Florida with my husband, minutes from the beach, retirement stable.” At the moment, I’m not married, engaged or even dating, live in OH and my retirement plans are not yet stable.
Now, each time I make a business decision, a personal decision or financial decision, I must put it up against my vision for the next five or ten years to see if THIS decision will take me closer to, or further away, from that vision.
From my vision I develop goals, a plan of action and determine the type of help I need to get there.
But it all starts with a vision.
You can increase the potential you’ll follow that vision when you take more steps:
ONE: Make it Public
Visions, mission statements and goals that are hidden in a closet have a tendency to stay there. When you make them public you’re more likely to move on them as others are watching.
TWO: Write it Down
Dreams, visions, inspirations and aspirations remain in “the cloud” when they aren’t written down. There is something about writing down your vision, posting it where you can see it and referring to it each day. Your vision becomes real when you make it tangible.
THREE: Make it Scale-able
Is your vision attainable . . . and will it grow with you? As you begin to live out your vision, is there a next logical step, or is this vision the end of the road? You’re more likely to work toward completion and achievement if there continues to be something else you can grow into on the other side.
FOUR: Make it a Gift to Yourself
This is YOUR vision for YOUR life. Just as you shouldn’t live out your dreams through your children, you shouldn’t take on the burden of your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or best friend.
This must be YOUR vision for your life and it should be a gift you give yourself. This is your inspiration, aspiration and love affair all wrapped up into one special package. THIS is what you’re working toward, so it should be the best that you can believe for yourself.
FIVE: Your Vision Lights a Fire Under You
It may sound redundant, but your vision should set you on fire. It is YOUR inspiration for your life.
If you don’t have a vision that jumps out at you immediately, ask God to lead you to that thing in life He wants you to achieve. Suddenly you’ll be on fire for a future you may not have even imagined several months ago.