Life Vision - Imagining a Clear Picture of Your Dreams
Creating a clear life vision transforms your business idea into reality. It’s the single most important step you can take to ensure success with your career change and your new business.
What will your life look like when you achieve your goals? Can you imagine it clearly? Does it make you feel excited and inspired?
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”. By imagining what your life will look like when you’ve achieved your dreams you will be creating the life of your dreams.
Imagine a shopping trip to the grocery store. If you go to the store with the thought in mind to “buy some food” chances are you will buy some random food items, spend a lot of money and still have trouble finding things to eat when you get home. If you’re like me, when you unpack the groceries you’ll find ice cream, chocolate, and other favorite comfort foods in the bag but not enough other things to make a few meals. The thought “buy some food” is too vague.
But imagine, instead, that before you leave for the grocery store you take some time to think about what meals you want to eat, look up some recipes to find out the ingredients you’ll need, and then make a list of all the items you need to make those meals. Using the list on your shopping trip will result in arriving home with bags full of items to create some great meals for you and maybe others to enjoy. It takes a little bit of time to prepare the list but the end result is worth it. You eat great meals, not just junk food.
Creating a life vision is much the same. Except the “meals” are the things in life you want to create and the “shopping list of items” are the details for creating that life. And just like a grocery list, you should write it down.
One of my dreams is to create a portable business so that I can work from anywhere in the world. “Portable business” sounds nice, but this isn’t specific enough. I certainly don’t want to be sitting in a hotel room in Paris sweating over my laptop trying to meet customer deadlines when the joys of Paris are right outside my door, unnoticed and unappreciated. (Actually, I already had a corporate job a lot like this. It was agony.)
So now I’m a lot more specific about my life vision. Instead I imagine a business where my work takes me around the world, meeting new people, making new friends. Work feels like play because I’m doing creative things that I love: taking photographs, seeing new places, eating delicious food, enjoying art, local culture, and sharing ideas and information with other people.
This vision helps to form a clear picture in my mind of what it would be like to live this dream, and by imagining these things I feel inspired, excited and motivated to take action.
Keys to Creating Your Life Vision
Three things are important in creating a life vision: it must be crystal clear, compelling, and written down or documented in some way.
Crystal clear means you can imagine the details. Be specific. Think about every little thing that is important to you. (Otherwise, you could end up stuck in a hotel room in Paris, like me). We think thousands of thoughts every day, many of them in conflict with each other. Get clear about what you want in your life.
Compelling means that it’s exciting enough to make you feel really great when you think about it. I mean really, really great! Enough that you want to think about it frequently – at the very least for a little while every day. Compelling enough that it inspires to you move forward, to take action. Even when you’re in an unfamiliar area and probably feel afraid. Compelling makes things exciting and inspirational – and motivates you to move forward.
“Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men”, said Goethe. Make your dreams big enough to feel the excitement – and to provide the power you need to move forward.
Finally, write it down. Writing it down helps you to get clarity about what you want. It builds a connection between your dreams and reality. Writing it down gives you something to use as a guiding light when you feel lost in the midst of change. And it gives you something to look back on with awe some day in the future when you realize the life you are living is just as you imagined it!
Tools for Creating Your Life Vision
There are lots of ways to go about creating a vision. It all starts in your mind, of course. An artist has a clear idea for a painting before putting the paintbrush to the paper. Just like an artist, you need to take that image out of your mind and put it to paper.
Here are some tools to help you:
- use words to describe your dreams. You make a list of the details and transform it into a story. This is a good place to start.
- collect images from magazines, the web, or your photo album to describe your dreams and create a collage. You don’t need to be an artist to do this and it’s fun!
– once you know what you want, imagine your dreams every day. You focus on your life vision as if you are already living it, and you do this every day for a few minutes. This can be combined with other tools like a vision board. Visualization is a very powerful tool.
– imagine a shared dream with a partner. This exercise guides you through the creation of a shared vision if you’re starting a business with a partner, family or friends. It ensures that you’re all in agreement before you get started so that you’re all moving in the same direction.
– use technology to imagine your dreams. If you’re a techie, can’t remember what paper feels like, and live constantly with your computer, this is the tool for you. It combines music with images to inspire your dreams.
Where to begin?
I usually start with a descriptive vision (using words and a story). I do this on my computer so that I can edit it until I'm satisfied. Once I have a "story" clearly in mind, I use it as a guide to create a vision board. Then I use the vision board as a prop for regular visualization.
You can change these tools to suit your needs and preferences. Just remember - the key is Clarity. Use whatever works for you to create your own, unique clear and compelling life vision.
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