Envisioning Your Future
Successful companies usually have three core components to help guide their initiatives and keep them focused on their intended destination or direction. These components are statements around the company’s mission, vision, and values. The values establish the foundational lynchpins that define the organization. The vision serves to define the future, and the mission is what to focus on daily to achieve the vision. Just as these three components help good companies be great companies, I am a firm believer that they can also help people become more focused and intentional in their growth and impact on the world around them.
We all have core values whether we acknowledge them or not. They serve to steer us in the decisions we make, even if subconsciously. Before a mission or vision can be fleshed out, it is important to define those values to oneself. It doesn’t have to be an extensive list – 3 to 5 is normal. For example, I’d say my core values are integrity, dependability, loyalty, love, and perseverance. With the core values identified, the mission and vision can be created. We have talked in the past about creating a mission statement, and we will revisit that process in greater detail in the future. For now, let’s focus on using our core values as a foundation for creating a vision.
Put simply, a vision statement, or vision, is thinking about your future with imagination. The imagination piece is key. I can think about my future pragmatically in which all the steps are easy for me to understand and realize in my mind. However, that means that my future is limited by my current resources and understanding. A true vision is where I say to myself, “what do I want the future to look like if there were no boundaries and I had access to unlimited potential?” It is “outside of the box” thinking. Each person’s vision can and will be different not only in content but also in process. Also, it can and probably should change slightly over time. For me, my vision consists of the following elements in no particular order:
- I will be in a position to help people that are struggling in life
- I will have abundant resources to provide not only for my family’s needs, but to be able to pour into others
- I will purpose in fun and rest
- I will live in an environment where peace, love, and rest are present daily
- I will continually grow in my connection to the true source (God)
Notice the use of the word “will”. This affirms not only my direction, but acceptance that those elements will absolutely be in my future. I’m not “hoping” my future will include them, I am determining today what my future will look like regardless of whether I understand how to get there now. A powerful tool that can be leveraged to help you see what your vision will look like is a vision board. This tool essentially uses pictures to define the key components of the vision. In Thumos we very much believe in the power of a vision board for each man.
To recap, start with defining your core values. Then take those values and imagine what you want your future to look like. Finally, create several “I will” statements around your vision and use a vision board to help you visualize that vision.