Peggy Flemming (1968 Olympic Gold Medalist)
Building a personal vision sounds hard, doesn't it? That's because we rarely stop long enough to figure out what we really want. We don't do it for three primary reasons. First, it scares the hell out of us to think about our happiness and what makes us happy. Second, we think we are too busy living our lives to take the time necessary to stop and figure out what we want out of life. And finally, the last major reason we avoid doing the work to build our vision is because we think that by writing it down, it will be written in stone - and when it doesn't happen, we feel like we've failed. As long as we don't write it down and don't face it everyday, we will always be able to blame someone or something else for not having our vision - we are afraid of what committing actually means.
Nothing could be further from the truth - our vision grows with us. It doesn't have to be permanent and it certainly doesn't have to be anything we fear. So, before we can make our desired future a reality, it must first exist in the real world, tangibly - not in your head, but written down in a place and in way that you can see it, touch and feel it, each and every day of your life.
So, we're going to make it simple to build your personal vision. . .
Let's start by getting a piece of paper, the bigger the better - I recommend a poster board that is at least 24"x36". You have a lot to put on it and it will need room to grow, over time - as you grow. Get some Sharpies (lots of colors), some paste, a pair of scissors and lots of newspapers, magazines and even old junk mail.
You can start anyway you want, but what I recommend is taking a little of time and think about what you want your life to look like - what you want your life to be. And how you hope your life will have been when it is all over. And how you want your friends and family to feel about you when you are gone.
I've included some questions to think about to help you do this. You can answer them individually, or just read them and let them soak into your thoughts.
Then, just start writing on the poster board with the Sharpies (in as many different colors as you have), every thing that comes to mind. Fill it with your thoughts and your dreams writing them out as randomly or as organized as they come to you.
- You've been given a gift - instead of going strait to heaven, you get to hear what all of your friends and family are saying about you at your funeral. What do you hope to hear?
- What people, things, hobbies, jobs and activities make you feel good about yourself?
- What were your favorite things to do when you were younger? Think about all the major stages of your life. What are your favorite things now?
- What things do you want to do, but either don't know how or are afraid of trying? What is your "Bucket List"?
- Have you ever been so intensely working in or on something that you completely lost track of time? What was it?
- Who in your life do you respect the most? Who inspires you? Who do you turn to when you need help? Why?
- What are your God's given talents in life? What are you best at? What things do others come to you for help with?
- If you had the opportunity to teach something or pass along a message to a large group, what would it be?
- What would you not give up in your life? Looking back, what things, people or events in your life would you most regret if you had not had the opportunity to experience?
- What are your core values - the non-negotiables in your life?
- What were some challenges, difficulties and hardships you've overcome or are in the process of overcoming? How did you do it?
- What causes do you strongly believe in? Connect with?
- How do you give back to the world - your friends, and your family, your community and total strangers.
Now, you've got words, phrases, ideas, and principals that shape your thought process right in front of you. But let's not stop here. Let's bring your ideas to life - make them jump out at you everyday.
Let's make your ideas a visual collage that will capture your imagination!!!
Finally, get out your magazines, old newspapers, old pictures, and any other images that you can find (including those you print off of the internet). Go through everything you have, cutting out images, headlines, phrases (anything you can find) that encapsulate your words and start pasting them all over the board.
Make them overlap, like the ideas in your head. Organize them if you would like. Or make them completely random, it doesn't matter. The key is that it is your Vision - no one else's. There is no right and there is no wrong.
This poster is your Personal Vision!!!
Whether you are having a good day or a bad one, look at it everyday. Let it get inside you and remind you what matters most to. Use the images to guide you through your decisions everyday. And make sure that you live each day, doing what you can to make each it become more than your vision - make it become your reality.