In 1962 when President John F. Kennedy visited NASA, he saw a janitor carrying a broom. Out of curiosity, the then President of the United States asked the janitor what he was doing in NASA. To the president’s surprise, the janitor said, “Well, Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.”
This is an example of having a clear vision.
If you read and study all biographies of successful people, you will notice that all of them shared a common trait – which is that they have a grand vision and are constantly working toward their vision.
What Exactly is a Vision?
To make things simple, a vision is simply the mental image of the future that you want to create.
Like a dream, a vision is an idea of what you want to achieve in the future. It is the dream that gives you hope.
Imagine you have just purchased a piece of land to build your dream house. You have all the capital you need. So, how do you want your house to look like?
- Are you going to build a double-storey or a single-storey house?
- How do you want your house to look like?
- Will there be a garden or a terrace?
- Is it going to be a modern or classic English style?
- How many bedrooms do you want?
- What about the entrance? Where should it face and is it going to be open-concept or with gate and fence?
These are some of the basic questions you need to answer before you go on and hire people to build your house.
Having a vision in business or in your career works the same. You imagine exactly what you want in the future.
The problem with most people is that they don’t have a vision.
They lack a sense of the future that they want to create. As a result, they just accept whatever that is given to them and live their life as is.
The first and most fundamental key to success is to have a vision.
You must first understand what you want to create in your mind before you can create it.
Have you heard about the story of the 3 bricklayers? It is one of my favorite stories…
“A traveler came upon three men working. He asked the first man what he was doing and the man said he was laying bricks. He asked the second man the same question and he said he was putting up a wall. When he got to the third man and asked him what he was doing he said he was building a cathedral.”
The first bricklayer had a job. The second bricklayer had a career. And the third bricklayer had a calling because he had a vision.
What about you? Do you know what you want out of your life?
Why Having a Vision is Important to Your Success?
No matter what kind of success you want in life, you need to have a vision.
As I mentioned above, a vision is your dream that works just like a blueprint of a house. If you want to build a house, you need to start off with a blueprint.
The same goes for everything you want in life – start with a vision.
So why do you need to have a vision? Here are a couple of reasons…
1. Your vision gives you direction
One of the most important reasons you need to have a vision is because it gives you a clear direction of where to go in life.
And every time when I talk about vision provides a clear direction, I will be reminded of the inspirational speech from Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM. Here’s his speech from the book, The E-Myth Revisited:
“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 strongly suggest you read The E-Myth Revisited. It is a great business book that shares the golden insights of building a business, written by Michael Gerber.
See? Having a vision gives you a clear direction of where you’re heading and what you need to do to get there.
Thomas J. Watson started with a vision. He knew what he wanted to achieve and then reverse-engineered his vision and work from there.
You should do the same. Find out your vision in business and life, and then work toward the direction of it.
2. Your vision inspires and motivates you
Why do you wake up each morning? Why do you work?
Without knowing what you’re doing, you will wake up and go through each day without much zest.
Most people say they hate their job and if possible, they wouldn’t want to work, they simply have no vision.
I hope you don’t wake up each morning feeling life has no meaning and that you go to work because of the salary.
If this is happening to you, you need to take a moment to seriously think about the future you want right now.
“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
Too many people complain about their work and life. They are looking forward to their vacations and holidays. They have Monday blues. And when it’s Friday and weekend, they are the happiest.
If this describes your life, you need a makeover of your life. You need to have a more exciting and empowering vision that gives you a meaningful life.
Here’s a great quote from Seth Godin. Read the quote twice and then try to relate it to your real life:
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
So, create your vision right now. Learn to live a passionate and meaningful life, not a life without purpose and direction.
Here’s a good article you should read:
3. Your vision helps you focus better
Like setting goals, when you have a vision, you know what you need to do. And when you know what you need to do to create the success you want in life, you can then focus solely on the goal and work in the right direction.
A lot of people are living their life aimlessly. They have no idea what they want and they just accept whatever comes to them.
As a result, most people are drifting in life. They become average because that’s the norm.
They will never question if they can be successful. They do what most people do – go to school, get good grades, get a good job, and build a good family.
There is really nothing wrong with that, but if you want to have greater success financially, you need to do something that unsuccessful people are not willing to do.
And when you have a vision, you know where to focus on. You will never be distracted by other “shiny objects” because you know exactly what kind of result you are seeking.
That’s how success is created. You need to focus on your goals, which come from your vision. Your vision helps you focus better on what you want to accomplish.
Without focus, you will jump from one business to another business, you will switch from one job to the next, and start projects after projects without much success.
Never let this happen to you. Discover your vision, know what you want to accomplish, and stick to your plan.
4. Your vision gives you meaning and purpose
In his best-selling book, Work Rules, Laszlo Bock said that human beings craved to find meaning in his or her work.
Bock shared a good story of a fish slicer named Sherpa who was born in a village in the eastern Himalayas, where he lived in a wooden shack. At the age of fifteen, he started to work, carrying bags of provisions to Mount Everest’s base camps and accompanying foreigners on treks across the mountains.
When asked Sherpa was asked about the importance of his work, he said that whether working in the restaurant or helping people summit the tallest people on the planet were not really different, both jobs involved helping people.
It is the way you look at the work that gives you meaning and purpose.
Like the bricklayers, if you look at your job as plainly laying bricks, you will never be inspired to work.
But if you look at your job as building a cathedral or helping people, as Sherpa did, you will have meaning in what you do.
And this is why having a vision is important in what you do, be it in your business, career, relationships, or anything that you want to do in life.
Your vision gives you meaning and purpose in what you do.
As a blogger who always talks about motivation and success, I constantly remind myself that my work is not just about writing articles and publish on my blog, but I’m inspiring people to achieve their dreams and goals and to help people to live better.
That’s my vision. And when I look at my work that way, it inspires me to do better, to motivate and impact more people.
By now, you should understand why having a vision is so important if you want to live a successful and passionate life.
If you have no idea how to discover your vision, here are some resources you should check out:
- Vision: Why You Need to Have a Vision in Life and How to Find It
- How to Create a Life Vision Plan that Drives You to Success
I hope you will find this article useful. If you do, remember to share it.
Always remember this, you need to have a vision if you want to live a successful and meaningful life.
And if you don’t know what you want out of your life, schedule a time to find out the answer. Block an hour or two to find your vision. Take a pen and notebook to write down your life plan.
You spend time planning your vacation, wedding, and weekends, right? Why don’t you spend time planning your life too?