Designing a Vision Statement

Designing a vision statement – introduction

Do you spend your time drifting along in life or have you increased your chances of success by having a clearly written vision statement?

Some months back, I had the privilege of attending a one day session on making a personal vision statement conducted by Galamukani Consult.

Having initially been a little reluctant to attend I ended up greatly enjoying the day and finding a lot of value in the workshop which was entitled “Personal Visioning 2012.” The exercises we did that day highlighted to me the immense importance of having a well written personal vision statement.

Designing a vision statement – see the possibilities

The one biggest benefit of having a vision statement, I concluded after that session, was that it allows you to dream and see the possibilities in your life. When the day started some of the participants were clearly a little “conservative” with their dreams and aspirations. But as it went on, and after hearing other people talk about their dreams, you could see some of the other people’s horizons expanding as they realized that they too could have big dreams for their lives. As Robert Greenleaf put it: “Not much happens without a dream. And for something great to happen, there must be a great dream. Behind every great achievement is a dreamer of great dreams.”

A vision statement is a very good place to start dreaming. A vision statement is a statement giving a broad, aspirational image of the future that a person is aiming to achieve. It is a good way to focus your thoughts, energy, actions, behavior and decisions towards things that matter most and to avoid getting distracted. Your vision statement should say what you want your life to be and who you want to become as a person.

Designing a vision statement – write it down

Countless research and investigation has shown that having a well-written vision statement greatly increases your chances of attaining your goals. The most successful people anywhere are those who take the time to write down their ideas and important thoughts. This is, as I have often pointed out, only about 3% of the entire population.

Many times in the Bible when God gave an instruction or prophecy to anyone he told them to write it down. In Exodus he said to Moses: “write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.” Everything that is important to our lives, God has written it down to make it plain and understandable to us. The entire Bible is a testimony to this.

That the creator of all things should go to so much trouble to “write it down” should be an indication to us of the importance of writing things down. So if you think you have a vision for your life and yet you have not written it down, it means that your vision is not clear and is not solid. You need to have a well written vision statement in order to clarify your own ideas and refine them over time. Otherwise your dreams will remain wishes. If you can’t take the time to write it down, then you can’t expect to be fully committed to your dream.

Designing a vision statement – the best way is your way

There is no one best way to write a vision statement. I have come across many different recommendations and templates on writing one, but what determines whether your vision statement is a good one is simply that it should make sense to you. Remember, the statement is not meant to be prize-winning literary masterpiece to be hung up somewhere after you write it. It is meant to guide you and to be a point of reference for you in all that you do. Make it a part of your everyday life.

Designing a vision statement – some helpful tips

When you are crafting a personal vision statement it needs to have certain characteristics: It should be idealistic in that it should set standards of excellence, and reflect your highest aspirations, hopes and ideals. It should clarify your purpose in life. It must inspire enthusiasm and encourage commitment. A good vision statement is well articulated and easily understood. It should reflect your uniqueness as an individual and your unique talents and contribution to humanity.

Lastly, it has to be ambitious. You don’t need to write a vision statement in order to live an ordinary or mediocre life. That comes naturally. Vision statements are for those that want more out of life.

Ensure that your vision statement is positive. Rather than stressing things you don't want to do or don't want to be, say what you do want to do or to become. Do not make negative statements. Find the positive alternatives to any negative statements. For instance, rather than saying “I do not lack money” say I have all the wealth I need.” The mind cannot focus on the opposite of negative statements; it focuses on the negative statement instead, so avoid them.

Be sure to include in the vision statement positive behaviors, character traits and values that you consider to be important and want to develop further. Make the statement emotional. One of the secrets to achieving things and getting energized to do things is to be emotional about it.

Designing a vision statement – begin with the end in mind

Grace Spear said that you must "Think and feel yourself there! To achieve any aim in life, you need to project the end-result....Think of the elation, the satisfaction, the joy! Carrying the ecstatic feeling will bring the desired goal into view." Write your vision statement as if you had already attained what you desire. Use words such as “I am” and “I have” rather than “I will be” or “I will have.” Consider it a done deal. This has a powerful effect because it makes the vision all the more real and tangible here and now. You will be energized by a feeling that it is all happening right now and not some time in the future.

Designing a vision statement – conclusion

Finally, if ever you feel that you are being too demanding on yourself or that what you want is absurd and impossible, remember the words of Paulo Coelho: ..."whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth." ...."And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

You are all you can be. Go on and be it.
Try these resources if you need more help in designing a vision statement. They will help you to clarify a lot of personal development questions you might have:

Practical Personal Development Advice: Short-cut your personal development path. Learn the Universal and Spiritual Laws that will help you grow and have a happier life. Includes practical tips, techniques, articles, audio and video clips.

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In the POWER PRINCIPLES series of books, Dr. Moses Simuyemba, "Africa's Success Coach", shares his knowledge, experience and insight to help you in overcoming your personal challenges and limitations and inspire you towards the life you desire and deserve: a life of greater purpose, free of fear and full of abundance.