We all have a vision of what we think our lives will look like as we age.
Chances are you stood there as a schoolgirl, thinking about how beautiful your future would be.
- Maybe you saw college.
- Maybe you saw a career.
- Maybe you saw a spouse.
- Maybe you saw a family.
- Maybe you saw a home.
- Maybe you saw yourself in a different region of the world.
Then things started falling into place. And more than likely you let a lot of them happen to you rather than choosing to make the decisions yourself.
Sure, you may have started a career doing something you enjoyed. But did you take that promotion that was available, or let it slip away because it would have required you to spend time away from the kids? Did you move to another company because it would be more exciting, or stick with the old job because of the benefits?
While we start out with the greatest of intentions, somewhere along life’s path we let it all slide by.
Some Things We Still Plan
Planning for a vacation is an easy task for most of us to do.
We have a goal – a vision we can see quite clearly. And we do whatever it takes to reach that goal.
If you’ve ever planned a vacation, you know what I mean.
When I saw my family spending six weeks in Europe, I saw all the vivid details of what we would do. I saw us roaming around ancient ruins of long ago. I saw us visiting museums that would leave us spellbound for weeks. I saw us eating great food, and washing it down with the best wines of the region. I saw us learning to make our way through towns where people spoke a different language. I saw us learning more about an entirely new culture.
Yes, I was there in Europe long before I ever set foot onto a plane.
And once I had my vision in place, I began filling in the details.
- I set my leaving and returning dates.
- I chose the cities we would visit.
- I began selecting the tours we would take.
- I found the perfect places to stay.
And slowly the entire trip came together.
But planning a trip is fairly easy. It’s a concrete event in our lives.
What happens when things become a little more complicated? How do we fill in the details when we really aren’t sure of what questions to ask? How can you create a plan when you have no idea what path lies ahead?
Usually one of two things is happening.
1. Your short-term vision is too generalized
2. Your long-term vision is too concrete
Are You Generalizing?
I want to go on vacation. Great, where do you want to go?
I want a new job. Great, what kind of job do you want?
We’re great at making requests for things we want to bring into our lives. We’re not so great at making them come true. Why? Because we’re lazy at heart. And it’s often not only with the big things; it’s with the little things too.
How many people shelve their vacation hours for another year because they simply don’t know where to go? Or they eat away at it a few hours at a time, taking an afternoon off here and a three-day weekend there. And all of it is to essentially do nothing.
When you leave your goals too generalized, it eliminates your internal need to take action. And if you don’t take action, it will never be.
Is Your Vision Too Concrete?
I see myself retiring with a million dollars in the bank.
My coaching business has me traveling the world, teaching to large audiences. My books sell millions, I touch people’s lives through all of my online programs.
It’s easy to dream big. After all, no matter what industry you have interest in, you can probably find mentors making millions and at the top of their game through a simple internet search.
If you want to teach personal development, for example, why not choose Tony Robbins as your guide? Who wouldn’t want to have a business like that? And if you spend an hour searching through his site, you can map out your own business very easily. Write a few books. Have a few training programs in place. Create live events. And boom, you have a plan that can easily leave you breathless with excitement.
You can see your business so clearly … ten years down the road.
Yet as much as you can see yourself reaping the rewards in a decade, how will you ever put it all into place? Where do you start today? How do you begin?
Ahhh, but the dream is so real. Someday that will be me. I’ll stand there and bask in the glory.
Ohhh, but it never can be if you don’t take action today.
Even the great Tony Robbins started out with one client, one book, one dream.
None of us knows what will happen tomorrow. We have no idea how our lives will change. Or how our dreams will change along with it.
Once upon a dream, I saw myself as a major photographer, owning a multimillion dollar business that employed dozens of photographers. I saw our business photographing people from around the world.
But life changes, and that dream changed right along with it. I discovered other things that motivated me. Life gave me new openings to pursue.
And that’s how life is meant to be. But no matter how clear your vision is for your future, it all starts by taking a step today. If you want to be a writer with multiple books to your name, you have to write and publish the first one today.
What To Do Today
If you are wondering what to do, it’s very easy to decide.
Step one – what do you want to do? Write it down. Write in as much detail as you can. You may start with something simple – I want to go on vacation – or have something more complex – I want to write a book.
That’s your start. Now its time to fill in the details.
Step two – what can you do today to get one step closer to turning that into reality? If you want to go on vacation, what dates can you be away from the office? What location have you always wanted to see? If you want to write, have you ever defined it in more detail? What kind of book? What genre? What’s the subject matter?
Step two will help you list out a few details. Writing a book, for example, is a monumental task. But today, you can buy a book on writing, join a club to help you learn more about the process, even sign up for an online class to become more proficient with writing.
Then do it. That’s all it takes. Because you have to take a little bit of action every day to make your vision crystal clear and come to light in a big way.