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Creating Personal Vision

by June Kaminski, MSN

Too many people dismiss their visionary thoughts as pipedreams, as fantasies. But isn't this a spark of life? To feel motivated, awakened, hopeful and enthusiastic about something? To want to grow, to develop, to manifest and create? Vision not only gives us joy and hope, it quickens our health.

Having a clear awareness of your own personal vision is an important part of learning to live with effect, with meaning, with intent. A vision that reveals your inner heart (your values and feelings) and your mind (your beliefs and goals) is the root of a satisfied life. Vision is a mental picture of the way things could or should be in the future. It involves a visual reality, a picture of conditions that do currently exist, at an internalised and personal level. It is not somebody else's view of the future, but one that is unique to the individual. "Numerous experts on leadership and personal development emphasize how vital it is for you to craft your own personal vision for your life. Warren Bennis, Stephen Covey, Peter Senge, and others point out that a powerful vision can help you succeed far beyond where you'd be without one. That vision can propel you and inspire those around you to reach their own dreams. I've learned in my own life and in working as a psychologist that if you don't identify your vision, others will plan and direct your life for you. I've worked with too many individuals who late in their lives said, "If only. . . ." You don't have to be one of them." (Dr. Linda Phillips-Jones, 1999).

According to Peter Senge, our personal vision is what we want to create of ourselves and the world around us. As individuals, each person's personal vision is just that - personal! What you envision for your life is often different than what your neighbor or colleague envisions, even different from what your spouse might go for. It is healthy to envision. Too many people dismiss their visionary thoughts as pipedreams, as fantasies. But isn't this a spark of life? To feel motivated, awakened, hopeful and enthusiastic about something? To want to grow, to develop, to manifest and create? Vision not only gives us joy and hope, it quickens our health. One of the key secrets of elders who live well past the usual lifespan is a thirst and enjoyment of life, of good meaningful work and anticipation of each moment's beauty and pleasure. Having a vision helps us to do this, to see new discoveries in each passing dreams - ones that bring us closer to the 3D reality of our manifested visions.

Be Open To All Ideas

The first step in creating personal vision is exploration and discovery. Sit down with a pad of paper and pen in a restful inspirational place and allow your mind to sink into a reverie state. This is a calm and relaxed state, conducive to creative ideas and eurekas. Begin to write down all the things that come to mind when you think about your own unique personal vision. Don't be shy - if it comes, write it down. Dismiss any distracting thoughts that might come up. "I can't have THAT!" or "That's impossible!" At this point, write away with abandonment. Write until you feel you're done then survey what you have written. Look it over a few times and drink in the essence of what you have written. What sort of feelings come up as you read your meanderings? What thoughts? What physical surges? Do this for a few minutes then put your pad aside and go for a walk or take a bath - do something that allows you to relax.

Prepare for Incubation

As you engage in the relaxing activity you chose, think back about your spontaneous writings. Continue to feel the nuance, the mood, the inner pictures, every thing you sensed and thought about as you mull over what you have written, from memory. When you feel saturated with the essence of your fantasizing, prepare yourself for more written work.

Construct Your Personal Vision

Many people find it beneficial to quantify their vision by setting specific timeframes and horizons to shoot for. Look at your writing and begin to select the ones you want to start to work on immediately. Write down your vision for this coming year - 2002. As well, contemplate the type of impact and results you want to achieve in 2002. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where do you want to be one year from now?
  • Who do you desire to be in the future, and what impact do you want to have?

Impact and Results

What impact and results do you want to personally achieve in the Year 2002? Imagine achieving a result in your life that you deeply desire. Ignore how possible or impossible this vision seems. Imagine yourself accepting the full manifestation of this result into your life. Describe on paper the experience you have imagined, using the present tense, as if it is happening now. What will you need to be like in ideal terms to deliver the results and impact you listed?

Core Vision Elements

Within your writing are important key constructs, your core vision elements. These are personal characteristics that you will need to either exercise or develop in order to achieve your personal vision. For example, the elements you might need to pursue higher education next year would include excellent retention, higher order thinking skills, perserverance and a love of learning. Core vision elements are inspiring and motivating - they make you want to reach for the stars.

Write down the Vision elements that you need to display:

List the core personal vision elements that are inspiring to you:

Set Your Goals

From your Personal Vision, you can create three key target goals to help you make your vision a reality. Write your view of the three most crucial goals embedded in your personal vision. Also include select strategies for reaching them. a. In order to achieve your goals you must write ones that are clear, realistic, relevant and informed, based on sound, ethical decision-making, and your core values.

1. Goal to Achieve:

Strategies to Use:

2. Goal to Achieve:

Strategies to Use:

3. Goal to Achieve:

Strategies to Use:

Set an Action Plan

Now you need to plan your action for achieving your goals. Write down concrete things you can do to help your goals be realized. Supplement this with regular visualization where you envision yourself living your personal vision right now! Personal visioning uses both sides of your brain - the right side begins the process with reverie and the left side joins in at this point - in setting goals and deciding what actions to take.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; un-rewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
--Calvin Coolidge

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