The Vision Series, Create the Life You Want

What do you want to be when you grow up?  That is the question.  We’re asked from the time we can comprehend until we finally get our first job.  What do you want to be when you grow up?  Most of us have know idea what we want to be.  Then what we actually want to be may be unrealistic.  When we’re older, we figure out what we want to be but are already so entrenched in what we are, that it’s difficult and scary to change course.  Over the next three weeks, we’ll address this problem and help you create a vision of where you want to be.

I wanted to be a professional football player when I grew up.  I lost my interest for playing the sport in high school.  I still loved the game, but my options to be involved felt limited.  While I would have loved to coach, I decided being in operations for a professional team or university would be a good option.  I chose to be a Sports Management Major and after earning my degree, I was hired to handle media relations for a start-up arena football team.  I had achieved my goal of being in operations for a professional football team and now it was a matter of working my way through the ranks.

Then I got married and my wife needed to be close to her family.  We lived six hours away and she needed to be close in order to help with her mom.  I was afraid I could not find a sports management position in that area and quickly abandoned my career.  It ended up fine because I bought my current business and have been very successful.  However, I didn’t need to give up my career.  I could have stayed in the sports management field, but I didn’t have a strong enough vision of where and who I wanted to be.  Had I used the skills in this series, my options would have been limitless.  Instead, I felt my options were limited and I jumped at the first opportunity I had to help provide for my wife and I.

Create The Vision

Here is the take away from this week’s post.  You must create a vision of who you want to be.  Without this vision, you cannot create a plan to reach your vision and you’ll wonder aimlessly through your family, career, finances, etc.  We’ll start with creating your vision.  What you’re about to read can change your life.  It is referenced from my Set Your Vision course available for free to all subscribers of the blog.

Short Term Vision

I’ve always been a visual learner.  Without knowing it, I have been visualizing who I want to be.  It wasn’t until I started focusing on a structured vision and following the vision that I noticed the power of having a vision.  You may think this is a little too hipster, but visualization techniques have been used by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.

You’ll start with a short term vision, and then move into a long-term vision.  Set a time frame or date that is important to you in the next 6-9 months.  The more specific you are with the day, the easier it will be to feel you are in that moment.  Find a quiet, peaceful place.  Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.  Now answer the following through visualization:

  •  Where are you?
  •  Who are you with?
  •  How do you look and feel?
  •  What are you doing?

Make the vision as detailed and vibrant as possible. 

Here’s an example from my own experience.  I did my first structured visualization in December of 2014.  I did not have a specific date in mind, but my time period was 6 months out in June.

I saw myself out on the boat.  It was a nice sunny and warm day.  There were a few clouds in the sky that kept the sun from getting too hot.  I was with Meredith and the kids.  We were laughing and happy.  I was in great shape having shed some weight and feeling good about my appearance.  I had no stress and was present with my family and in my surroundings.  I could truly feel the love from my family.

You can see that this was a pretty quick and simple exercise.  It didn’t take more than 5 minutes to go through this scenario in my head.  I didn’t even think about this much in the following months.  Then on the way to work around the end of June, the vision came back to me.  I realized it had come true on Father’s Day.  Everything in my vision occurred on Father’s Day.

5-Year Vision

Now repeat the same steps, except move it out to 5 years.  Add a couple more questions and take more time with this vision.

  •  Where are you?
  •  Who are you with?
  •  How do you look and feel?
  •  What are you doing?
  •  What do your finances reflect?
  •  What’s in your surroundings?

Work through these two exercises and you’re on your way.  I find it’s helpful to have your visualizations guided by audio.  Included on the Set Your Vision worksheet are audio clips to help you with this process.

So creating your vision is the start.  This is the biggest and most important step.  In the next two posts, I’ll help walk you through applying this vision to your life.  We’ll take your vision and create a set of family values, a work schedule and use the vision to provide you the freedom to focus on and be the best dad you can be.  In the meantime, please sign-up to be a subscriber to the blog and receive the free Set Your Vision course.