What would you do if you could achieve your biggest dreams? The truth is that we all have the power to live the life we want, but to do that, we need to define our vision, believe in it, and have the courage to pursue it.
A vision is an image we have of the future, and a goal is a specific target that moves us toward that dream. Both are important, but we tend to get caught in the details, so taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture helps us to understand what our vision for the future looks like. Now is the perfect time to reassess what we want, who we want to be, and what new aspirations we may have for our lives.
Here are three key steps on how to define a vision and bring it to life.
Visualizing the Life We Want
Visualization is a powerful exercise that allows us to imagine ourselves in a certain time and place. In fact, studies show that visualization can lead to positive outcomes as effectively as actual practice. We can also think bigger and use this technique to build a vision for our life.
Many of us are going through change, and this presents an opportunity to think about what we want our life to look like. But what if we don’t know exactly what we want? We can use methods like “100 Questions” and the “I Want” list to clear our minds and focus on what matters most.
The 100 Questions Method
In the book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, Michael J. Gelb suggests we write down 100 questions about anything that comes to mind. The more we write, the more we are able to dig deeper and reflect on what is important to us. Our questions — especially those that are repeated or rephrased — will reveal interesting themes, and picking out the 10 most powerful ones will lead to a better understanding of our aspirations and fears.
The “I Want” List:
in The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Jack Canfield recommends writing three lists: 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have, and 30 things you want to be before you die. This exercise provides more clarity about our vision as we focus on specific actions, items, and accomplishments we’d like to achieve.
Whether we are asking questions, making lists, or journaling, let’s give ourselves permission to dream without limitation!
Dig Deeper and Ask “Why”
After picturing our ideal life, it is important to think deeper and ask WHY. Why do these things matter to us? Reflecting on our motives ensures we are concentrating on our own hopes and desires, instead of others’ expectations. It can be easy to dwell on comparisons, but seeking what others have will only cloud our vision and lead us off path. We deserve to pursue our own dreams and accomplish great things. Asking “why” helps us to better understand our unique ambitions and to cast away fear, guilt, and worries about what others might think.
See It, Believe It, Act on It
Once we define our vision, we then need to believe we can achieve it and act on it. Seeing helps us to believe, and we can bring our dreams to life by drawing in a journal or creating a vision board. A vision board is a collage of magazine clippings, pictures, or quotes that depicts our hopes and desires, whether that’s a community of friends and family, a nice brick house with a yard, or a trip to New York City. Capturing our biggest aspirations in a journal or on a vision board helps us to see what our life could look like, and it allows us to truly believe in it. Then, our actions are the only thing between us and our ideal life. If we really want to achieve our dreams, we have to be open to change, and act with intention.
Defining a vision takes time, reflection, and self-belief. When we think deeply about what we want, it is important to trust our intuition. We know ourselves best, and our vision is unique to our needs and ambitions. Let’s cast aside limiting thoughts and instead embrace our dreams, knowing that we deserve to succeed. Most of all, let’s be creative and enjoy the process. We should all dream about the life we want without holding back!
Dima Ghawi is the founder of a global talent development company. Her mission is providing guidance to business executives to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies and to implement a multi-year plan for advancing quality leaders from within their organization.