One of the major components of an organization's strategy, whether a for- or non-profit, is the vision, which is outlined in a statement. Many view these vision statements as a lot of power words and hype that have little meaning on a day-to-day basis. Most are framed, hung on a wall somewhere in the corporate office, and becomes part of the decor of surroundings. People pass daily and give it little thought or recognition. However, organizational executives understand the power of the vision statement and that it is the centerpiece of every decision and operational process throughout every level. This vision outlines a preferred state, one that, although may seem impossible, will lift the organization to a higher plane. It is the reason the organization exists.
For years I viewed vision as something that was strictly part of the organizational paradigm. I never realized the power and importance of vision in my personal life. As I began to study this out, I realized that having a vision serves little purpose unless I can put some type of action together to move toward this higher state of mind, success, and significance. Therefore, I adopted a personal vision statement, which guides every action that I perform each day. It's more than hype that changes with the trends. It is more than a goal that can be changed each year. It's who you really are. I'm sure you know someone with no vision. You see this person going to work, coming home, being self-absorbed in the daily routine of life, and seems oblivious to a higher calling. Do you have a vision? Have you written it down? Have you created a pathway to see it come to fruition? How will others recognize your vision and when will you and they know if or when you get there? Many sit on the bench, as the guy in the photo, and see a barren land without opportunity. They sit and wait on something good to happen and believe that things will get better by chance. However, the accomplish a vision, first you must create one. Second, you must act. Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple, stated, "If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed. The vision pulls you."
Below are 5 positive outcomes you will experience when you create and adopt a personal vision statement:
You are responsible for your thinking. No one else has control over that part of you. It does not matter where you are or with whom. You are responsible. When you come to the realization that you are responsible for accomplishing your vision, most distractions are either eliminated or become nuisances. This doesn't mean that you will have none but it does mean that you have the power to overcome them for the bigger picture. You set your priorities and eliminate a lot of clutter in your life. Your life and your meaning to others become clear. You will now have a refreshing renewal of purpose.
Because you have the understanding that you are responsible for your vision instead of relying on luck, you begin to seek avenues through which it will be accomplished. You begin to prepare yourself for growth. You prune your habits and replace old ones with new and productive ones. This may take years but it is always a move forward. The more you prepare the more momentum you create and the more refined it becomes. Abraham Lincoln once stated as he began thinking of the presidency, "I will prepare and then perhaps my time will come."
#3 Beyond the Status-Quo
No one at the top has ever been classified as average. Those that rise to the top of their profession do so through having and pursuing a compelling vision. I love golf and play it as often as I can. It is a frustrating game but when I watch pro-golfers I realize, they do not play the game week after week for the money, although that is definitely part of it. They play to win. It is the win that is the ultimate prize, not the money. Each golfer understands that there are keys to success and working on them can make the difference between them being an average golfer and an exceptional one. They understand that if they do strive to be the best at the processes of golf, the money is a by-product. Since your vision must be larger than you, to accomplish it you must be better than you are right now. Again, this is fueled by preparation.
Having a clear vision is contagious to others. Although others may not share your vision, and that's fine, they will be inspired by your commitment to your vision. They will see your passion as it fuels action. They will observe your successes, how you respond to failures, and know that you are no longer the same. Although they can't live your vision, they will understand the power of it and maybe seek their own.
#5 Predictor of Success
Those with a personal vision have a higher chance of success. Police officers are taught on the firing range to aim small and miss small. In other words, when they focus on the single spot, they may miss that spot but will get close to it. Fowl hunters, such as Dove, Quail, Grouse, or Geese do not shoot at an entire group. They choose one and shoot at it. Doing so reduces indecision and creates focus on the target. The same is with a vision. Instead of focusing on the distractions and noise around you, you are focused on the end result. You become adaptable to changes around you.
Question: How would you describe your vision when it comes to your dream? Do you blindly accept the status quo? Or do you look at things with your eyes wide open, seeking greater possibilities? And when you see them, are you serious enough about achieving a dream to actually put it to the test by defining it clearly? Are you willing to describe it in detail, put it on paper, and tell others about it?