I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of setting New Year’s resolutions. I’ve grown weary of writing goals and milestones. I’m not interested in another blueprint for success or 7 success principles from someone I’ve never met.
But I do love a really compelling vision. Especially when it’s one I’ve crafted just for me.
I get excited about a vision so big and so full of possibility that you literally can feel it deep in your soul. The kind of vision that makes your heart skip a beat. I believe that having a big and compelling personal mission is one of the key ingredients to making meaningful and lasting change.
When you’ve gotten clear about your compelling personal vision, you can’t wait to get at it. Obstacles seem to fall away. A great vision challenges you, it asks you to be more than perhaps you’ve ever been before, but that doesn’t hold you back. With a powerful vision in your hand, you’re absolutely willing to do what it takes to see this thing through. And with that kind of energy, you can’t help but get others on board too.
But I’ve also seen many a vision fall short of being truly compelling. A vision can’t be a glorified goal. It can’t be modeled after someone else’s big idea. To really be truly powerful and compelling, a vision needs a few key ingredients.
- First, it has to be about more than just what you want. To be truly motivating and fulfilling, a vision must be tied to your core values—a true expression of who you are, not just what you want.
What we want is fleeting. I want a new car or new pair of shoes. Yeah, it feels good to get those things at the time. And then it’s over. The feeling of gratification passes and weeks later, I have my eye on something else I want.
A vision has to be anchored in something with longevity. That’s where our values come in. If getting what we want gratifies us, getting our values met fulfills us. That’s why your vision must connect and express your core values, or it will fall short of motivating you to do what it takes to achieve it.
- Secondly, a really compelling vision is about more than just you. I’ve come to realize that the most powerful visions, the ones that get people moving, are those with three levels.
Level 1: your personal vision for how you want to show up in the world. Your vision of what you want, what you need and what you value is all expressed at this level.
Level 2: your vision for what you want in your family and close community. A great vision paints the picture of how you want your close relationships to be and of who you want to be as someone contributing to having great relationships and results in your family, community, and at work.
Level 3: your vision for how you will impact the world with your gifts. This could be a vision for your business, career or volunteer work and how you’ll go about fulfilling that. This is where you take your ‘looks good’ vision and inject it with some ‘does good’ motivation.
- Even with those key pieces in place, a truly compelling vision requires one more secret ingredient. A core mission. I believe that having your vision tied to a core mission is a must-have. The mission is where the power is. And it’s the missing ingredient in many other visioning methods you’ll find.
What do I mean by a ‘core mission’? I mean that you discover the true purpose behind what you are working toward.
A mission is simply about how you believe you are here to impact in the world. This doesn’t have to be a Mother Theresa worthy mission. It just has to be your mission.
Like my former client Patrick, who wants to impact education policy in this country. Or my client Kris who is dedicated to improving the quality of patient care in hospital systems. Or Sarah, who’s committed to changing the way we usher our children into adulthood.
What is your mission? What’s something worth getting out of bed for each day? What’s something you could be excited about today, tomorrow and 5 years from now?
That’s your power. That’s the secret ingredient that motivates you at your core. Once you have that, you can craft a vision that expresses HOW you’ll pursue your mission.
It’s time for an honest and compelling vision. Not one based on what you want, or what everyone else is going after. Your vision needs to be an expression of you, what matters most, and how you want to live your life this year, and beyond.
I challenge you to set aside 30 minutes and write down your compelling vision. Don’t worry about getting it right or making it sound better than it needs to. Just get it on paper as honestly and humbly as you can. And then, get on with the business of moving in that direction.
Happy New Year!