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Day 4: Defining your vision

"Write the vision and make it plain, that he may run who reads it" Habakkuk 2:2


In our undergraduate business class, one of our first lessons was that each business has to craft a vision statement. This is defined as "a vivid mental image of what you want your business to be at some point in the future, based on your goals and aspirations". This vision of a business becomes the ultimate goal of the business, and therefore every decision taken, penny spent and resource allocated is done with that vision in mind. On the other hand, anything that is not aligned with the achievement of that vision is not even entertained.


In the same way, the first step to setting our life goals and crafting a vision board is to define our personal vision. This means we have to create a vivid mental image of our future selves and to write it down so that we can refer to it at any time. In day 3 of this challenge, I shared that the turning point of my life was when I sat down and asked myself "where do you want to be in the next 20 years?". At the time I didn't really realise that I was crafting my vision, but I asked myself some of the following questions which ended up forming my vision:


As you can see, all these questions that I asked myself were very aspirational. They had nothing to do with what the reality of my situation was in that moment. At the time I desperately wanted to change my life, and so the questions really inspired me to lift up my eyes, to look beyond the present, to look beyond my limitations and to imagine a completely different future for myself.


As I wrote down answers to each of these questions, I could feel myself gradually shift from a negative awareness of and frustration with my then present-day circumstances to being filled with hope and expectation and being empowered with the knowledge that I could do something about getting to the future I envisioned. In that moment, I felt empowered because I immediately realised that I had the capacity to get myself there - one step at a time. I went from being someone that used to wish Oprah would adopt her as my only hope for a better future, to realising that the power I needed to be who I wanted to be was in my hands. In a nutshell, that is the power of writing down a vision for yourself.



When we don't develop a vision for ourselves, we live our lives in default mode. This means that we accept whatever life throws at us and wait for external occurrences to define what our lives should be like. What makes it hard for us to buy into the idea that we have the power of self-determination, is that we grow up with so many decisions being made for us that we think there is always someone out there who holds the answer for who we should be and what our lives ought to be like. Even those of us who make the effort of developing a vision for themselves sometimes struggle with developing an authentic vision that aligns with the truth of who we are instead of developing a vision to have "a big car, a mansion etc" simply because that is what society expects us to say we want to achieve.


One of the tools that I have used to help me improve on how I had defined my vision is Joe Duncan's Before5am Blueprint (both the guide and the workbook) which provide the following questions to help us craft a compelling vision.

  • What do you want?

  • Who do you want to be?

  • What do you want to do with your time on this planet?

  • What do you want to achieve and accomplish?

  • What would make you feel the greatest sense of accomplishment?

Journal Reflections

  1. Answer some of the above questions that resonate with you and draft a vision statement for yourself.

  2. Think about the different dimensions of your life and make sure that you vision statement covers all of them.

Tip:

Be as authentic and as honest as possible in answering these questions. You are responsible to envision the life that you want to live and not the life that others want you to live.


Don't forget to drop a comment and let us know your thoughts on today's challenge.


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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a passionate leader, accomplished professional and a mentor. I believe that nation-building depends on how well we build people. Therefore, my mission is to contribute to the personal, professional and leadership development of people to empower them to reach their highest potential.

I do this through a mentorship program that I founded and through this blog where I share principles I've applied and insights I've gained in the past twelve years of my career and leadership journey.

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