Personal Vision

A quick process to create a personal vision statement

Personal Vision

What do we want to be when we grow up? Certainly when we were much younger that was a question we often answered with some type of hero-like image. Firefighter, police officer, nurse, doctor, or other larger than life image that served as a type of super hero to our impressionable minds. As we view ourselves, what is it we want to be? How do we want other people to see us? What drives our satisfaction? What qualities do we hold valuable and what accomplishments will make the biggest difference to us and others?

Our vision sets an image of ourselves in the future having achieved things that seem impossible at the moment. Our vision represents an unconstrained picture of what we want to be without regard to the seemingly impossibility of the achievement at this point. We need to dream big, imagining not only the material aspects of our lives, but relationships, connections, lifestyle and spirituality. We need to imagine the best possible scenario for our everyday existence that pushes all of our positive buttons. This is our “If we can dream it, we can do it” moment, no holds barred in our thinking.

To a large degree it comes down to how do you define success? In all likelihood it is more than the accumulation of material things. History has proven many times over that the accumulation of material things as an end in itself will not be fully satisfying. For many the raw accumulation of wealth without a purpose will not be a satisfier as an end point as well.

Our satisfaction is driven by our achievement for a purpose and our connectedness to the world around us. The old adage is that very few people in their end days say I wish I had spent more time at work. They more typically say I wish I had spent more time with people, family and friends. So our vision must include our total being and not just the material aspects of our existence.

What do we want our life to be like when we get there? There is more to life than just work and achievement, what is the value of the achievement? We need to think about who we will be helping and how those around us are better off as a result of the things we have done. To achieve less will be a hollow victory when we realize that the result was less than the best we could have done. We will be disappointed when we realize the excellence target was missed because we did not fully consider how we impact others and the satisfaction we draw from that accomplishment.

So what does a vision statement do?

  • It describes who/what I want to be in the future (when I grow up)
  • It answers the question, where do I want to be?
  • It paints a picture of what I want to be on some time horizon, say five to ten years
  • It inspires me to be more than what I am today

Now let’s create our personal vision statement.

There is Nobody Like You

4 practical tips for being you

There is Nobody Like You

“We are perfectly designed to be who we are.” — Skip Gilbert

We are each individual masterful creations, unique in our talents, experiences and our dreams. There is nobody like us and nobody else can fulfill our mission. We are perfectly designed to be who we are. Sometimes we lose track of who we are or why we are here. It is easy to be swept up in the busyness of the days that turn into the busyness of the years and lose track of just how valuable we are. It is easy to be swept into the thinking that we are part of a group and transfer our identity to being a member of that group and not realize the we are fully unique in every way. While the path toward the future may be hazy, the trail we leave is perfectly clear.

Interesting enough, as I look back on my career, I can see that it was in fact a straight path to where I am now. Each piece lined up to facilitate the success of the next step and allowed me to continue on my journey toward excellence.

In hindsight I see that what I learned in one situation I was able to apply to the next and keep my progress moving forward. The path change only facilitated the growth to the point where I am now as a unique individual. Nobody else has been down the path I have been down and nobody has had the same experiences and shares precisely the same talents. As a unique individual I am at the point of being a unique asset to any situation or organization that solicits my assistance.

It is the same of for all of us, we are all unique individuals with a unique set of talents and experiences. Nobody else has the same background or has the exact same history. The perspective we have developed is uniquely our own and that makes us a highly valuable resource overall.

We are on a unique journey and have a unique mission that only we can accomplish. It does not matter what others think is the right path to get to the destination, our path is unique and all our own. It is that uniqueness that leads to our ability to provide a perspective unlike anyone else.

Sometimes we wander off our path and try to be like others, but it is really a wasted effort. They have a unique set of talents and experiences and as a result they have a unique perspective all their own. We can never really think like someone else so to try to do so is just a waste of time. We are pursuing our own destiny and we are the only ones that will be at the destination at the end of our journey.

There will always be someone better than we are. No matter how hard we try, there will always be someone more capable, more experienced with a reputation as a greater authority. There will always be someone who is more attractive, has more money, more outgoing or more talented. It is just the way things are. We will never be the best at anything other than being ourselves.

However, we should never let that stand in our way. Our mission does not require their talents and capabilities, our mission is uniquely designed that only we can fulfill the requirements. There is nobody better at being us than we are.

Now let’s go forward and with the full confidence of our unique value, be ourselves.

Here are some practical steps for being ourselves:

When Risk is too Risky

4 tips for managing risk

When Risk is too Risky

The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that (is) changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. — Mark Zuckerberg

When taking a risk is in itself too risky we are in a very bad place. Life is full of risk and there is no avoiding it. We take a risk every time we do something. It is a risk to get out of bed, we could fall and hit our head and suffer terrible injury. Equally, if we manage to get out of bed we could slip and fall in the shower, severely lacerate ourselves shaving, choke while brushing our teeth, trip while putting on our shoes, and so forth and this is all before breakfast.

We are surrounded by risk and it is just part of the human condition. There is a risk of a negative consequence around every thing we do. At any point something could go wrong and the consequences could range from inconsequential to terminal. There is no way to avoid things happening.

There is also equally a chance of a positive outcome from everything we do. We could wake up one morning to find that we have won the lottery, our terminal disease is in remission, our broken relationship has been mended, we are becoming more attractive as we age and our lost dog has returned home. These things can all happen as well and they are just as likely to happen as the bad things. Many good things happen to us every day, but we tend to worry about the bad things and forget about the good things. This is especially true if we are not moving toward excellence in our lives where we have an opportunistic outlook and see risk as a no-lose proposition.

Where we lose our way is when we can only focus on the negative outcomes and exaggerate the likelihood of them becoming our current reality. We then become engaged in a depressing spiral of looking for the bad because we are afraid of the bad and then become over sensitized to the unfortunate things that happen to us every day.

How many times have we commented that after someone points something out to us we see that very thing more often? Perhaps a unique model of car or something unique about a song or something similar. I certainly have noticed that once I am aware of a specific song I hear that song everywhere I go. The reality is that they are not playing that song because I am in the area, it is just that I have been sensitized to that song, and now I am more aware of it playing than I would have been previously.

Do you remember when you first learned to ride a bicycle or taught someone else to ride? I remember seeing a hole in the road as I was learning to ride and the more I focused on that hole, the more I steered my bicycle toward that hole and sure enough, eventually crashed as I drove into the hole. It was almost as if it had a magnetism to it that I could not escape. The reality was that there was over three feet of road on either side of the hole, but because I was so focused on the hole and what would happen if I fell in it, I ended up driving right into it.

It is much the same when we consider risk. If we are focused on the negative branch of what can happen, we will start to look for it and be more aware of it happening in the world around us which will further feed our fears. This cycle can build on itself to the point that we are convinced that bad things are happening to us and we are more likely to cause the negative thing to happen as we subconsciously draw nearer to it.

This can work to our favor just as easily. If we focus on the positive branch of a possible outcome, we will become more aware of it happening in the environment around us and we will start to draw nearer to the possibility that it will happen to us.

Risk is just part of our lives. There is no escaping it and it is not a bad thing. However, if we see risk as a bad thing, it often becomes our reality. We manage risk by placing ourselves in a no-lose situation such as by adopting a journey to excellence. When we embrace change and risk, and view it from the perspective that we are resilient enough to deal with the bad things that might happen and intelligent enough to learn from our experience then there is no way to lose. We set ourselves free from the bondage of worry about things we cannot control and find that the magnetism of the things that go right pulls us to a higher performance and level of satisfaction.

Here are a few suggestions for managing risk: