Start with the End in Mind

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If we are going to talk about reverse-engineering a dream, then I suppose we should start at the beginning. Or, actually, start at the end.

One of the critical elements of success is having a clear vision of where you’re going and who you will be or become, and why. When I say, “critical elements”, I mean THE critical element of success. You’re vision statement is like the screenplay of your life. It guides the plot and builds the character. Without a powerful vision statement, the show goes on, but who knows where you’ll end up. If you go through life simply improvising as you go along, you’ll get to somewhere, for sure, and will likely meet some successes, challenges, victories and defeats. In fact, the journey for those with a vision and those without is actually pretty similar. The difference is how you feel along the way, and where you end up. And that, for a society addicted to instant gratification, is THE major pitfall. Visionaries go through life empowered and motivated by a “why” that is bigger than their moods and obstacles they’re sure to face on the path. Masters of Improvisation, those without the clear vision, often feel there is something lacking, like they’re off their path, and many feel as if life is just happening to them-victims of destiny.  They lack the clarity on where they’re going and why their going there to pull them back on track for a life fulfilled. They’re floating through life, taking the path MOST chosen because it’s the easiest. They’re the cheesy sequel to someone else’s blazed trail & blockbuster hit. If this sounds familiar to you, or upsets you, it’s okay.  99% of the free world operates like this.  The beauty of this whole process is that everything can be changed, one choice at a time.

Creating Your Vision Statement

Advice abounds on how to create a powerful vision statement. This is a highly personal experience, so don’t get too caught up in “rules” and guidelines. Still, I remember when I first started learning about this stuff, I was so frustrated because it was so hard to put a vision on to paper. Plus, when I finally did find examples of other peoples vision statements, they always sounded so much more profound than mine. So, let’s start with just a few simple guidelines to get you started, and you can expand from there.

1. Put it in writing.

2. Use the present tense with powerful “I am” statements.

3. Your vision for your life should get you fired up and excited.

4. Spend time on this. It’s not easy, it’s not fast. I am not talking about hours, I am talking about weeks, months, and if done correctly, years. You will NEVER have a final draft of your vision. In a life of growth and expansion, which you are living whether consciously or not, you will always be adding and subtracting from your screenplay.

5. There are no length requirements. As I said, the vision statement for your life is highly personal and only you know what will get you fired up in the morning. I’ve seen powerful vision statements that are just a few words, and some that are ten pages.

6. Use affirmation style verbiage that invokes positive feelings within you. Avoid the negative jargon, like “I won’t be lazy”, or “I won’t eat sweets.” Include statements like, “I am active, healthy, and fun.” And, “I feed my body the healthy fuel it needs to give me maximum energy to accomplish my goals every day.”

7. Review your vision statement daily. Some of the most successful people in the world recite their vision 2-6 times a day! Personally, I recite my vision twice in the morning as a standard, and then again towards the afternoon or evening.

8. There are no wrong vision statements. There are powerful vision statements and there are less powerful vision statements. Just having a vision puts you way ahead of the game! 99% of the western world is going through life with no vision, no screenplay. You are the exception when you have a plan.

9. Don’t compare your vision to others. This is MUCH easier said than done. As humans, it’s in our nature to compare and judge. That’s what we do. Resist it here though. Your vision HAS to stir only one person-YOU. If you start tweaking yours to look like Johnny-End-World-Hunger-and-Save-All-The-Children-All-The-Time, your vision will quickly lose it’s luster and you won’t be excited by it. To thy own self be true. If you want the $250,000 car and $10,000,000 house and the idea of having it gets you out of bed and pumped up everyday, put it down there.

10. Balance is key. Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, suggests using the P.I.E.S method for creating a vision statement. That’s an acronym for Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual. Consider those core elements when you create your vision.

Create Your Vision Statement

Now, it’s your turn. If you have a vision statement already, great. If not, take some time now to brainstorm ideas and start formulating. It’s near impossible to set goals and create action without some idea of where you want to go. Lay that out, and let’s get to work!

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