My Vision Exercise

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The end of a year is traditionally a time for those New Year’s Resolutions. Regular readers will already know what I think about them i.e. in making them, especially the give-up type of resolutions, you are simply setting yourself up for a fall. So instead of writing out all the usual stuff – give-up smoking, lose weight, get fit etc, why not do something a lot more productive with the time; why not create your vision for the five years ahead?

It is actually about time that I redid my own vision. It was ten years ago that I first got into this exercise. That was when I was working within the IT industry and I vividly remember drawing my first ideal picture of my future self presenting personal development workshops before a group of highly interested people. After I had decided upon that as my mission i.e. not just changing job, but changing career after the best part of a lifetime in IT, it did not take long at all to become reality.

Well within the five years I had allotted, I had achieved what I set out to do. I was working for a training company in Worcester (UK) and running my personal development workshops, team-building sessions and management courses. During that time, I collated all my material and also started my website. It was 6 years ago, in 2005, that I decided I could finally tick my goal of becoming a personal development consultant and, at that time, I decided it was time to create a new picture.

The way I like to work is to draw the picture on a large piece of A1 (flipchart) paper – for some reason, I like to work big – and then photograph it. It means I can put it up on the web and look at it whenever I choose. Now I am not a great artist by any means, but this is the ideal picture that I created for myself back in 2005:

You can see it shows the date on the newspaper (2010) and the major goals I set are represented in the various pictures. I have now left Quanta, the training company where I taught personal development, and my website is truly as successful as I had imagined it could become back then. In addition, I now live in the nice house in the country that I had envisioned and also achieved my fitness goal – I played football up until quite recently.

But now, I am in a different phase of life and I am ready to create my third ideal picture. This is something I will be doing over the holiday period and I hope that you might think about giving it a try too. If you do decide to give it a bash, here are the main things to bear in mind:

  • Think Forward About 5 Years – a Very Good Timescale in my Experience
  • Remember it’s an Ideal Picture – So Allow Yourself to Dream
  • Forget About HOW – Ideally, You Won’t Know How
  • Don’t Rush It – Take Your Time, Think About What You Really Want
  • Think about What You Will Create – Express Desire in Terms of Service

You have absolutely nothing to lose by giving this exercise a go and, if you are serious about the things you draw, they will all come to pass.

Just put the picture somewhere you can regularly see it. I often suggest to people that they might put it on the fridge. But, as I mentioned, I upload mine online – that’s even more convenient for me. You just need it somewhere that you can regularly see it from time to time. Keep it in mind and your brain will solve all the problems associated with getting to your goal for you.

You just need to do the following:

  • Make Sure You Draw the Right Picture – One You Will Commit to Achieving
  • Keep it in Mind – Regularly Look at Your Ideal Picture
  • Take Action – When Each Step Comes, Make Sure You Take It

In five years time, you will be looking back at that picture and (especially if this is the first time you have ever done this) wondering why you didn’t dare to dream bigger. Actually, the first time you do it, it will be very hard for you to shake off the temptation to consider the ‘how’. Second time, after you have proved to yourself that this process actually works, you will be much more inclined to dream bigger dreams.

Finally, remember, in the words of Captain Sensible, “if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”

So ditch your resolutions and create your vision.

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