5 tips : How to write a vision for your life
ˈvɪʒ(ə)n/ noun - the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom
Whether it be wanting to be the first female premier league coach or setting up a play school as a child where I had the role of every teacher teaching my cousins (who I'm sure don't miss that time lol!) - there was always something in me that meant I was constantly imagining where I wanted to be which in turn shaped how I spent my time. The danger with my approach though was that what I wanted to do changed every few months - I would have passion for something which would then fizzle out.
But then something changed when I was 19. I realised my passion was great but unless it was channeled and somewhat structured (which as a creative was hard) it wouldn't amount to much. Vision for our lives is important as it gives us a focus, it gives us excitement especially during mundane tasks and also helps us make decisions about what we should and shouldn't invest our time in.
Anyone who knows me knows that one of the things I’m most passionate about in life is about leading a life of passion with a purpose. I'm very much still on the journey so I'll probably share my thoughts in future blog posts but these are my top 5 thoughts on how to start to create a vision for your life:
1. Create space to think
Our world is so fast-paced and especially if we live in cosmopolitan cities, life can be so busy. Whether it be intense jobs, or investing time in relationships and friendships, keeping up with life errands and finding time to work-out, it can be difficult to ever get time out.
When I first graduated, I used to spend most of my money on trips to New York on my own. It was amazing meeting new people, stepping out of my comfort zone and just getting inspired creatively. One thing I’ve found really helpful is to take time out - particularly in different environments. New experiences and environments give us the opportunity to think and reflect which is so needed for pursuing our personal, business or life vision. It doesn’t always have to be extended time, it might only be possible to have pockets here and there - whether it be a meal on our own, doing something relaxing that we’re unfamiliar with - these nuggets of time help us get inspired and will help us dream big.
2. Speak to people who know you and get a mentor/coach
Often those closest to us see things and potential in ourselves that we don’t see. One thing I’m grateful for is the words of encouragement spoken into my life by Ayo, my parents and close friends. They have helped spark inspiration or say to me - you’d be good at this, or why don’t you try that. When I’ve hit a brick wall with trying to make a plan, spending time with people who know me and my passion but are one step back so have a good perspective has helped immensely.
Another thing that has been invaluable to me has been some of the mentors and coaches I have. Mentors are people whose life we admire and in some way want to emulate who have walked the road ahead. Many of mine have been vulnerable enough to share not just their successes but sometimes their learnings/mistakes which help me think about my own path I would like to carve out. Recently I’ve also got a coach. A coach can help us think strategically about our vision - so not just what we want to achieve but how we will do it and they keep us accountable.
3. Seek knowledge to get inspired
I love reading biographies and autobiographies of successful people. Even if they navigated life in a completely different era, industry, context - there are always lessons to be learned about how they pursued their vision. Also the internet is one of the greatest gifts we have and it opens up the possibility to be inspired and informed at the touch of a button (ha and also to consume copious amounts of nonsense and the opportunity to wade through ‘fake news’ too!).
We can have a vision and think about it in isolation but learning from others can inspire us in our own lives and with our own dreams. Equally when we first have an idea, we're unlikely to have all the knowledge about that field. But the more pro-active we are in gaining knowledge, the more possibilities and opportunities will become apparent.
4. Believe you deserve to pursue your vision
Ever seen a new invention (no matter how small) and thought “I thought of that!” but didn’t do anything about it because you felt that the vision/idea was inconsequential…? Not everyone has some massive vision and that’s ok - we’re all different! But I do believe that everyone has a purpose and has areas in their lives or in the wider world they would like to impact. However a first step is believing that we deserve to pursue our vision and to be confident that we can achieve that - not that it's a privilege reserved for a few.
When in our hearts we believe the opportunity to live a life of significance is available to us, it changes our mindset and ultimately our actions.
5. Write things down and make a plan
Finally, dreaming, thinking, speaking and being inspired are great but at the end of day, pursuing a vision is always better when we have a plan and keep ourselves accountable to it. Recently I did this as I was becoming so overwhelmed with having many ideas in my head and projects on the go. So I divided my life into certain areas - mine were marriage/family, business and charity (yours are likely to be different) and then I did an 18 month plan broken down by quarter. It made me excited about the future but also showed me it's important to be realistic and not be over-optimistic as then we end up often not achieving anything if we feel overwhelmed.
Life rarely goes to plan and there are often curveballs are thrown at us but at least having things written down helps give us a focus.
I hope some of this has been helpful. I'd love to hear what your plans are and how things are going - so let me know through the comment box below!