Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve in the future and becoming who you want to be is one of the most powerful ideas you need to achieve extraordinary success in life. Vision is more important than goals. In fact, vision should come first before you can talk about setting goals.
The problem with most people is that they lack a burning, empowering, and exciting vision. This is why most people quit their goals.
They don’t feel the passion. They don’t have the drive. They give up whenever they face difficult challenges in their journey.
People who have a clear and exciting vision, on the other hand, are always focused and driven.
They know what they want, specifically. They can “see” it clearly in their mind of what they want to achieve in life. And because of this, they are also driven by their exciting future. They look forward to living the future they desire.
Steve Jobs, one of the most visionary leaders once said these amazing words:
“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
This is why having an exciting vision is crucial to your success in life.
No matter what you want to achieve in life or at work, whether you want to build a multi-million dollars business or you want to inspire others to live to their maximum potential as a teacher, you need to first have it as a vision.
You must see it your mind before you can manifest it into your world.
Why You Need the Vision to Succeed in Life
I can show you examples after examples of why and how people started with a vision, thrive.
Without the vision, you will never know where to go or make a conscious decision to get to your destination. Wait, you don’t have a destination because you don’t know where you want to go!
In his best-selling book, The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber shared a powerful example of how having a clear vision can build an empire.
In the book, Gerber wrote about the speech delivered by Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM:
IBM is what it is today for three special reasons. The first reason is that, at the very beginning, I had a very clear picture of what the company would look like when it was finally done. You might say I had a model in my mind of what it would look like when the dream — my vision — was in place.
The second reason was that once I had that picture, I then asked myself how a company which looked like that would have to act. I then created a picture of how IBM would act when it was finally done.
The third reason IBM has been so successful was that once I had a picture of how IBM would look when the dream was in place and how such a company would have to act, I then realized that, unless we began to act that way from the very beginning, we would never get there.
In other words, I realized that for IBM to become a great company it would have to act like a great company long before it ever became one.
From the very outset, IBM was fashioned after the template of my vision. And each and every day we attempted to model the company after that template. At the end of each day, we asked ourselves how well we did, discovered the disparity between where we were and where we had committed ourselves to be, and, at the start of the following day, set out to make up for the difference.
Every day at IBM was a day devoted to business development, not doing business.
We didn’t do business at IBM, we built one.
I have published an article about what I have learned from The E-Myth, you can read the blog post here.
The lesson is to begin with the end in mind.
Once, President John F. Kennedy visited NASA, he came across a janitor who was mopping the floor. The president approached the janitor and asked him what he was doing. And to Kennedy’s surprised, the gentleman said, “I’m helping put a man to the moon.”
Such is the power of having a clear vision.
When you see it clearly what you want to achieve in the end, you become empowered.
Here are 2 main reasons why you need to have a vision:
1. Your vision drives you
First, having a clear, specific, and exciting vision motivates you. Why do you think most people give up on their goals?
Well, the answer is pretty straight forward – because the excitement of achieving the goals is no longer there.
People quit because they choose to focus on their fears, doubts, failures, and hardships rather than on their visions.
Think about it.
Why do you think Michael Jordan was the best basketball players of all time? He went through a lot of setbacks and failures, yet, because he has a strong vision of what he wanted, he chose to persist.
Jordan knew exactly who he wanted to be. He saw his future self in his mind and decided that was exactly who he wanted to be.
Hence, ask yourself this, do you have a vision? Are you holding on to your vision?
2. Your vision directs you
The second important reason you need to have a vision is that your vision can direct you.
You see, when you are facing challenges, difficulties, and hardships, without your vision, you will give up.
In other words, your vision is your lighthouse as you travel through the rough seas.
When you lost your way, your vision is the one that shows you the direction. Your vision pulls you up and brings you back onto the right path.
Unfortunately, most people lack a strong vision. And whenever they encounter some mistakes or failures on their journey, they allow the setbacks to take over.
So now that you understand why it is important to have a vision if you want to succeed in life. Now, let’s talk about finding your vision…
How to Find a Meaningful Vision in Life
Your vision must be clear and inspirational.
If your vision is blurry, it won’t work because you will lack the focus on things that you want.
And if your vision is not exciting enough, it won’t pull you. You will never have the motivation to act because you are not looking forward to achieving it.
When it comes to finding a meaningful and exciting vision for your life, you need to answer these 2 questions below:
1. Who Do You Want to Be?
Yes, who do you want to be? Not what, but who.
The point is that when you figure out who you want to be, it forces you to adopt the behavior, the habits, the characteristics, the mindset, and the traits of the person.
When you ask yourself what do you want to achieve, you will come out with all the things that you desire – nice houses, luxury cars, private jet, etc.
But without changing who you are, you will never get the things that you desire.
Thus, it started with the “who”, not the “what”. When you find out the “who” and work on it, the “what” will come to you.
You see, everyone wants to be successful. Everyone wants to have an amazing job, to be financially successful, to never worry about money again, to have a great love relationship, to have a loving family, to travel first class, etc. However, not everyone is willing to sacrifice and do whatever it takes to get there.
If you want to build a successful business and earn millions of dollars from it, you must be willing to sacrifice your time and put in an extraordinary effort to achieve it.
When you ask yourself who do you want to be, you know that you need to transform in order to achieve the things you desire.
Like how a caterpillar transforms itself into a butterfly, it must go through the process of turning into a cocoon before it can morph into a butterfly.
The same goes for you. You need to identify who you want to be, and be willing to go through the process.
Let’s be honest, can someone achieve extraordinary success without hard work? Can someone lose weight, get fit and have beautiful abs without hard work?
No, you can’t.
Therefore, find your vision by asking yourself, “Who do I want to be?”
2. How Can You Inspire Others?
The second question you need to ask is how can you help others?
Adam Grant, the psychologist, author, and also a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania once conducted a study about fund-raising activity in a university.
Grant divided the participants into 3 teams:
- Group A: The control group where they just did their work.
- Group B: The employees are required to read stories from other employees about the personal benefits of the job.
- Group C: The employees are required to read stories from scholarship recipients about how the scholarships had changed their lives.
In conclusion, Group A and B participants saw no difference in performance. However, Group C participants increased their weekly pledges by 155% (from 9 to 23) and improved fundraising by 143% (from $1,288 to $3,130).
So what does this tells us?
If you want to achieve greater success in what you do and improve your performance, you must believe that your work has a positive impact on the world or on other people’s lives.
We all crave for meaningful work.
Adam Grant also discovered a similar impact on other jobs too. For instance, lifeguards who read stories about saving drowning swimmers were 21% more active at their job. Students would spend 20% more time on editing letters if they first met the authors.
Hence, ask yourself, how can your work or what you do impact others? How can your vision inspire others?
Like the janitor John F. Kennedy met in NASA, he was inspired by the dream of landing a man on the Moon, hence, he didn’t look at his job as simply mopping the floor, but a bigger and more meaningful mission.
Your job can be laying bricks. But it doesn’t mean that it has to end that way. Are you laying bricks? Or are you building a cathedral?
Everyone wants their work to matter, and that goes to both of you and me. Nothing is a more powerful motivator than to know that you are contributing to the world and making a difference in someone else’s life.
So, are your vision inspiring enough? How can you serve the world and make a positive impact on someone’s life?
When you can answer these questions, your vision becomes strong, powerful, and inspirational.
And that’s when you will be willing to go through the hardships and still persist without giving up.
Create Your Vision in These 10 Areas of Your Life
So to create your vision, you must start with looking future that you want. And you can start with these 10 areas:
Do you want to get married? How many children do you have? What values do you want to instill in them? How much time do you want to spend with your loved ones?
Who are your friends? What type of friends do you want to hang out with? How many days or hours do you want to spend with them?
What kind of experience do you want to have in life? How often do you want to travel the world? What kind of trips are you going to take?
Where do you want to live? What kind of house and car do you want to own? What about your office spaces?
Health and fitness
What is your weight? Do you run a marathon? How about working out in a gym? Do you want to play badminton every week, as I did? 🙂
How many books do you want to read a year? Who do you want to learn from? What seminars or workshops do you want to attend?
What more skills do you want to learn? Do you want to learn to play the guitar? How about improving your swimming skill? Do you want to learn a new language or learn to code?
What spiritual practices do you want to begin? Do you pray every day or meditate every morning? How often do you want to go to the holy places? How can you be more spiritual?
Career and finance
What kind of career do you want to build? How much money do you want to make each year? What projects or businesses you would like to involve in?
What kind of community do you want to live in? How can you use your time, money and resource to help your local community?
The above 10 areas are just examples of where you can begin to craft a compelling vision for your life. If you want a more detailed explanation, read this article.
Adopt the Blue Sky Thinking Technique
When you dream about the future that you desire, you must make sure you don’t limit yourself.
For example, if you are making $5,000 a month right now, don’t limit yourself only to live a lifestyle as you do right now when you envision the future you want.
What you are right now is just where you are now. In the future, things can change.
In short, the blue-sky thinking technique is a type of thinking that is not grounded or in touch with the realities of the present.
You don’t want to have limits in your vision. Everything is possible.
Here’s a question you can ask when you dream about the future you desire:
“If I have $100 million dollars in the bank, cash and with no strings attached, what kind of lifestyle do I want to have and what will I do in my life?”
The key is to take away the financial constraint so that you can dream and envision as large as possible.
So if money is not an object, what would you do? Do you still go to work like you always did? Or do you want to start a business? Do you want to travel overseas? Which country? Do you want to donate a portion to charity? How are you going to help out and make the world a better place?
Let your imagination goes wild.
Take away the money constraint and act as if everything is possible.
What if after going through this article but you still can’t find your vision and you have no idea what you want to do with your life?
Don’t worry, I have published a post about this before. Here’s something extra you should check out:
I hope this article gives you the idea of how important it is to have a clear and inspiring vision.
In fact, your vision is where everything begins. Without a vision, you can never have goals and plans. And if your vision isn’t compelling enough, you will quit whenever you faced difficulties along the way.
Your vision is like the foundation that creates your success in life. If you read the success stories of extraordinary people like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, you will discover that all of them have a clear and empowering vision that drives them to work hard each day.
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger, he saw himself winning the Mr. Olympia title. When he worked out in the gym, he’s happy because every rep he made, makes him closer to his dream.
That’s the power of having a vision in life.