Let all your efforts be directed to something, let it keep that end in view.
Today, I'll explain why creating a vision for your life - what I call "life-vision" - is one of the most important things you can do to become successful.
Most people don't develop a life-vision and drift around aimlessly as a result. Sometimes until they die. On the contrary, if you have one, you know exactly where you're going, what's important and how to succeed.
Before you learn why that's the case, we need to get clear on what I mean by life-vision.
What a "Life-Vision" is
You're most likely familiar with a step-by-step plan to achieve a goal.
A life-vision is like that plan but it focuses on who you want to become and what you want to achieve. As a result, it consists of big goals for your social life, career and leisure time that complement each other. Developing a clear vision for each area of your life, bringing them into alignment and then acting on them has many advantages.
Let's learn what they are.
Why A Life-Vision Provides Meaning, Motivation and Satisfaction
One of the biggest drivers of meaning, motivation, and happiness is progress toward a valued goal.
By developing your life-vision, you create such a goal.
This goal could be financial freedom, excellent health and fitness, or a positive impact on a large amount of people.
Once you have a valued goal, you can reverse-engineer daily activities that get you there. Making progress toward your goal by completing these steps then feels meaningful, motivating and satisfying. In turn, these positive feelings make you more resilient against the adversity or difficulty that you will face along the way.
How a Life-Vision Clarifies What's Important
In modern life, you have countless options for what to do each moment. This vast amount of choices can feel so overwhelming that you feel paralyzed.
By providing clarity about which decisions are important to reach your goals, a life-vision can lift such a paralysis. Instead of struggling with countless decisions anew every day, a life-vision helps you know exactly what to do and what to avoid.
Debating different decisions for breakfast? Your life-vision clarifies what to eat. Unsure of how to spend your 30 minutes of free time productively? Your life-vision shows the way. Invited to an event you don't want to attend and that doesn't contribute to your life-vision? Decline politely.
This power of your life-vision comes from it forcing you to clarify your wants, needs and dreams.
Do you want to become a doctor, engineer or lawyer? Do you really care about getting into great shape, or is a healthy lifestyle good enough? Do you want fame and fortune - along with its perils - or do you want to work in the shadows? When developing your life-vision, you'll find answers to these questions and gain clarity about what's important and unimportant.
The Macro & Micro Benefits of a Life-Vision
You can use this clarity on a macro and micro level.
On a macro level, you can think about what you need to do to get what you desire.
You can think about how much money you need to finance law school, how many years you'll study, and which certificates to acquire along the way. From there, you'll get a better sense of what to prioritize, eliminate or neglect. You'll also get a good idea of when you'll have enough money, friends, or qualifications.
On a micro-level, you can shape your environment and social circle to support the pursuit of your life-vision.
In your environment, you can remove objects, foods, and cues that trigger habits that sabotage the pursuit of your life-vision. On the contrary, you can place objects that support the pursuit of your life-vision in prominent places to your environment to make it more likely for you to use them.
You can apply this same logic to your social circle. Limit or break off contact with people who threaten to derail the pursuit of your life-vision. Instead of spending time with them, connect with and deepen the relationship with people who support you and the pursuit of your life-vision.
In sum, a life-vision creates clarity and gives your life direction which in turn makes many decisions much easier.
In my opinion, a life-vision is not just "nice to have." In our modern world, it's a necessity.
A life-vision provides clarity, direction and meaning. It's invaluable for navigating life, making decisions and discerning between distractions and valuable activities.
Ultimately, a life-vision is so important because it helps you to focus on what's most important. It helps you to use your limited time, resources and ability on the things that truly matter. Living this way will not guarantee that you'll be successful, but it will make creating the life you want a lot more likely.
Inspired by "The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." often attributed to Mark Twain, but the exact attribution and origin seems to be unknown. See here. ↩︎
Inspired by "The ONE Thing" by Gary Keller, p. 142, 147, 152, 173. ↩︎
Inspired by "The ONE Thing" by Gary Keller, p. 133, 142-144, 147, 152, 173. ↩︎
Inspired by "The ONE Thing" by Gary Keller, p. 194. ↩︎