Why You Have to Write Your Vision
You would never buy an airline ticket to an unknown destination, or even a place as vague as ‘out west someplace.’ You don’t plan a family vacation to ‘somewhere.’ Could it be, however, that you are taking a much more important ‘journey’ to an unknown location?
If you are ‘going somewhere’ – in life, in business, in leadership, or in relationships – you need to know where that ‘somewhere’ is. What you need is a vision – a clear, in-depth idea of where you are going. If you want to be intentional in your life, you need a vision. It will help you lead yourself, your family, or your organization to wherever you want to end up.
What Is a ‘Vision?’
When I talk about having a clear vision, I’m not talking about ‘vision statements.’ Many organizations have single-sentence ‘visions’ that describe where they want to end up. Vision statements are good, because they summarize vision, but you don’t want just a summary. You need a full vision.
Your vision is what you imagine when you think about success. It describes, in gritty details, what success looks like. Good visions are not small. They might be summarized by a single ‘vision statement,’ but they go on for pages.
How to Write Your Vision
If you want to write your vision statement, you need to start by answering some questions. What does success look like? Where am I trying to go? How will I know when I have arrived? Answer these questions in great detail.
It is essential that you put your thoughts in writing. Writing is helpful because it will help clarify the answers in your own mind. The process of writing forces you to clarify your vision.
Write your vision down with as many details as you can. You want someone else to be able to pick up the paper, read your vision, and have a crystal-clear idea of what success looks like in your mind. Aim for at least 1000 words as you write your vision (ideally you will go on for much longer than that).
If you have difficulty writing your vision in detail, maybe it isn’t clear. You need to go back to the drawing board and ask the questions again. Don’t be content until you know what success looks like. You wouldn’t be content with an airline ticket to ‘somewhere.’
A good vision is motivating. It challenges and excites you every time you read it. You need to read it. Go back frequently and review what it says.
You also need to implement it. Figure out how to achieve the vision. Work hard to do what you can. If your vision includes other people (and most visions should), then tell others what you envision. You don’t have to include them in every detail, but they need to know enough to be inspired. They want to know where you are headed. Do them a service and notify them of the destination!