The Motivating Power of a Vision Statement
I’m a great believer in the motivating power of a vision statement: a detailed description of where you want to be and what you want to have achieved in the future, written in the present tense as if is already achieved. People may dismiss the idea but if you don’t have an idea of where you are going, why or to where, then the danger is that you wander, and life happens to you rather than the other way around.
A vision statement details your ideal life, what’s important to you, how you would want things to be. It includes not only your career aspirations but your aspirations for your family life, your relationship, how you want to spend your downtime. We are not one-dimensional creatures but often with think of goals only with regards work – if I get this promotion and that pay rise then all will be fine. But there is so much more to life than if work is going well. What about our health and fitness, how much time we get with our kids or elderly parents, giving back to the community? We are multi-dimensional and multi-faceted.
A vision statement forces you to include things that bring you joy. The reason it’s written in the present tense as if it as already happened is that it helps break your mindset about what is actually possible. If you can imagine yourself there with all the details of what your life is like then I believe your brain understand that it is possible and will work to that vision as a goal rather than the here and now it is currently tackling.
I run the annual Women in Film & Television UK Mentoring Scheme for Mid-Career Women and I took the mentees through exercises and visualisations to come up with their own personal vision statements. They were then courageous enough to stand up and share them with the group. What we heard was ambitious, exciting and holistic, taking in career and the impact they each will make on the world but also equally ambitious about quality home life and health.
If anyone would like to write their own vision statement, I recommend the method by Laurie Beth Jones in her book ‘The Path”