Today I want to write about having a personal vision. My Daily Discipline process involves 4 key parts:
1. Having a detailed written vision of my perfect life.
2. Having a detailed written plan on how to obtain my vision.
3. Having a detailed written system that forces me to complete my plan.
4. Execute! Execute! Execute!
The first step is to have a detailed written vision. You do this in the form of a story that goes through the major dimensions of humanity - the physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual and financial dimensions. The story must describe your perfect state of each of these dimensions but should also be a fun look at how great life will be.
Another way, and the version I use, is to simply list each dimension and the major goals I have in each dimension. I try to be as detailed as possible and I visualize a typical day in my perfect life from waking up to going to bed.
The following is an example of a personal vision using a story. My real one is a little different (not by much!) and yours will probably be different too and that's okay, it's your vision after all.
My Perfect Life (a typical day):
This morning I woke up the way I always do...naturally. I haven't used an alarm clock in years. I don't have a job and the kids are grown so I don't need to take them to school. I have no place that I have to be in a hurry, my day starts when I wake up.
I look over and see my wife already awake looking at me. "Good morning", I say softly, "Feel like having some breakfast?"
We get ready at a leisurely pace and then head to our local Bob Evans for breakfast. We talk about the day and what we plan to do. We are in the process of seeing everything there is to see in all 50 states. Today we decide to travel in the motor home and have a mini-vacation in Gatlinburg Tennessee, taking in some shows and visiting the best local restaurants they have to offer. (Social/Emotional - Relationship with my wife)
The stock market opens in about an hour after returning from breakfast. I look through the Investor's Business Daily and review some picks that I've been watching for a while. I currently manage our personal portfolio of over three million dollars. I love investing! (Financial - managing our money).
Next I review our business portfolio. We have a construction company, a farm and a bookstore. I check my phone messages and see my accountant called to remind me of the monthly manager meeting happening in 2 weeks where I get an update on our business results and needs. We will be back from Tennessee by then so no problem. (Financial - We are set for life!)
My wife meanwhile has packed up some things for the trip. We take an hour or so and work out in our in-home gym. I weighed in at 190 pounds this morning (1 pound over my ideal weight). I keep track of my health religiously. I used to be a type-2 diabetic and definitely don't want to go back to those days again! (Physical - taking care of our health)
While working out my wife mentions our cooking class coming up. We are constantly learning new things and recently signed up for a class on Italian cuisine. Italian food is my favorite and we can currently make over 50 different Italian recipes alone. This class deals mainly with white and red sauces and different techniques for making pasta. I, in turn, tell her about a ballroom dancing class that is coming and we agree it would be fun to learn that skill as well. (Mental - constantly learn new skills)
We finally get packed up, in the motor home and on the road to Tennessee. Of course now it's almost time for lunch so we decide we'll stop at Red Lobster for our favorite seafood! Meanwhile, my wife calls my daughter, who lives in Tennessee, and lets her know we'll be coming down to stay at our cabin outside of Gatlinburg. We agree to meet her for dinner. (Social/Emotional - Relationship with daughter)
She also calls my son who lives in Texas and talks with him for a while. We will be going back to Texas to visit him and his family in two months. While we're there we'll make a stop in Houston and visit Joel Osteen's church. We've been to his church many times and love going there when we're in Texas. (Social/Emotional - Relationship with son) (Spiritual - Church service with Joel Osteen)
(End of vision)
Okay, I think you get the idea. A personal vision should be fun and reflect a balance of goals you want to accomplish in all dimensions of your life. This example isn't nearly as long as my real one. In my real vision I detail my dream house, cars, pets, physical accomplishments, skills that I've learned and so on.
Visions can also change. As you review your vision each week, you may realize that something you thought you wanted isn't as important as before. Or you might add some things you just didn't think of in the first couple of drafts. Your personal vision will also grow to reflect new goals you think of after accomplishing your initial goals. Life is a journey, not a destination. The purpose of life is to have purpose and a personal vision will help you focus on the purpose you have chosen.