Developing Your Vision Statement

Your Legacy
Have you given much thought to what you want to leave behind when you leave this life? How do you want to be remembered? Will your life continue to be a blessing to your loved ones? Will your death be a burden on those you love? Will your contributions to society still be valid ten or twenty years later?  Write a brief description of how you want to be remembered. This will probably change so don’t worry too much about how it comes out. You’ll revisit this later on in your adventure.

Your Personal Vision Statement
What is the point of your life? What is your passion, purpose and mission in life? What legacy do you want to leave to the world to be remembered by? In this section, we will take a closer look at why, how and when to craft your Vision Statement.

Vision is created as a description of your lifestyle when you are living your ideal lifestyle. Your grandest goals and aspirations for the future.  This is the  “What” that goes with your “Why”.  Your “Why” is derived from the core and foundation for your vision, your core value system. Your core values shape your fundamental reason for existence and fuels your purpose and mission in life.

There is a big difference between having a vision statement and becoming truly visionary. The difference lies in creating alignment of all elements of your vision.  Don’t have a clear vision statement yet? No worries. Some great organizations did not have a vision statement when they started out. They usually began with a set of strong personal core values and a relentless drive for progress. 

The company 3M, for instance, has always had a sense of its core values. Sponsoring innovation, protecting the creative individual and solving problems in a way that makes people’s lives better. These defined the organization and gave it a soul. But what really set 3M apart was the ability of its leadership over the years to bring these core values to life and translate them into action. For example, 3M has an internal venture capital fund to support promising new ventures and they encourage a dual career track to allow innovators to remain innovators rather than becoming managers. The company requires divisions to generate a third of their revenues from new products introduced in the past four years. They also allow scientists to spend a portion of their time working on whatever interests them. 3M even grants prestigious awards for innovations and entrepreneurial success.

I don’t know if 3M even has a Vision Statement now, but they have the right elements in alignment. That is what counts. When you apply the Ultimate Achievement System in your life, you will step into your passion and live even more healthy, wealthy and wise.

Through the exercises in this chapter, you will begin to identify your core values and formulate your mission. In the next chapter, you will develop your plan by identifying your unique roles and setting smart goals. The rest of this book is about the specific activities that all highly successful people have in common and how to automate them by making them habits.

What happens if you are not firm in your vision & core values?

Alisa recalls “I was pretty young when I realized that my life was truly meaningless.  I had no vision.  I had no goals.  I felt empty. Then I found gymnastics.  It was at this part in my life when I truly understood what stepping into my passion was all about.  The importance of having vision guided by my core values was burned into my soul.

Gymnastics can wreck you if you are not firm in your vision and core values. I can remember every fall rattling my mind.  Every low score I earned, wrecked my spirit.  The words I said to myself were the most damaging. They killed my belief.  As I failed over and over again, I would get back up each time.  It was in all of the failures that I found my True North.  I began to write down what I wanted (my vision).  I watched tapes of athletes that were getting it done.  What did they have that I didn’t?  They had belief.  They had vision.  

“I remember the first time I truly understood the power of the mind.” 

I was 7 years old and we had just moved into the area.  My mom let me have a break from unpacking and I found myself at the park.  

There was a set of monkey bars that I knew I had to swing on.  I decided to make a bet with myself.  Oddly enough, this was not an unusual conversation in my mind.  My deal was that I had to go back and forth across the bars six times total before I stopped.  As I began my journey across the metal bars in the blazing sun, I didn’t take into consideration the heat of the bars and the friction on my hands from swinging. 

As I passed the third time I felt a pain in my palms I had never felt before.  My hands felt extraordinarily sweaty.  But I told myself that a deal is a deal. Don’t stop.  You must keep your word.  My mind locked in and focused to finish the remainder of the six passes.  

When I had completed the last bar, I remember the feeling of fulfillment.  I kept my word to myself because my mind made me.  That moment of celebration was short lived when I glanced at my hands and realized all the layers of my skin had been removed.  That was the defining moment I learned to always make sure YOU have evaluated all of the pros and cons of making a commitment.”

What is Your Deepest Commitment?

Commitment is doing the thing that you said you would do long after the feeling that we said it in is gone. One of our mentors, Ronnie Doss is an accomplished author, speaker and coach. He told us that what you WANT doesn’t matter. It’s what you’re committed to get this done. Do your results match your intentions? Because if they don’t, you are all talk. When you set the goal, nothing else matters until you cross that finish line. 

As Alisa swung from bar to bar and her hands began to burn, she wanted to let go and make the pain to stop. But her deepest intention was to keep her promise that she had made to herself and finish the task. How many of us would have finished those six passes on the monkey bars? 

How Do You Define Your Values?

Your values are the things that you believe are important. They determine your priorities and they are probably the measure you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.  Values exist whether you recognize them or not. Life becomes so much easier when you acknowledge your values and when your actions honor them.

Identifying and understanding your values is an important process. Your personal values are a central part of who you are and who you want to be. By becoming more aware of these important factors in your life, you can use them as a guide to make better choices. Every decision that you make is entirely based on your priorities in that moment of decision. When many options seem reasonable, it’s helpful and comforting to know that your value system is your compass, always guiding you in the right direction.

When your actions match your values, life is pretty good.  Life still throws you curves. That’s where growth comes from. But when your actions don’t align with your values things will just feel wrong. This can be a source of real unhappiness. This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.

As you grow in spirit, your definition of success changes and so do your personal values. This is why you should continuously revisit this chapter at least annually, and especially if you start to feel unbalanced.

Values & Vision Worksheets  >> Click to Download <<

Find yourself a quiet space with no distractions and at least an hour. It’s time to do some writing.  Grab a notebook or download and print the worksheets

Core Values Worksheet
To help you identify your top values, we have included a Core Values Worksheet to get you started. As you scan the values on the list, you may find that most of them have little or no significance to you. Some may not even sound like positive values to you.  But you’re looking for the ones that just jump out and resonate with you, and you feel, “Yes, this value is part of me.”  This list of values is merely a guide. It is lengthy and contains many synonyms but is certainly not exhaustive, so feel free to add unlisted values to your own list as well.

On your first pass, read each core value from the list one at a time. Circle the ones that resonate with you. Next, look through the circled list again and narrow it even more. Narrow your list to 10-15 values. If you have more than this, consider cutting out the values that just barely made your list, or combine multiple values that are nearly identical on a single line, like achievement & accomplishment.

When you get your top 10-15 values, the next step is to prioritize your top values by comparing them to each other. Start with the first two on your list.  Ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?” It might help to visualize a situation in which you would have to make that choice. Take the higher priority value and compare it with the next on the list. Continue this until you have your top ten values prioritized from 1 to 10.

Understand that this process requires focused time and thought. We recommend doing it with someone you trust, like an accountability partner or focus group. You will get more honest feedback and you can help each other. It may require several discussions over weeks or even months. 

Your values may adjust and develop over time just as you do, so embrace the change. As you grow in spirit, your definition of success changes and so do your personal values. This is why you should continuously revisit this section every 90 days or whenever you start to feel unbalanced.

Life Purpose Reflections
Use the worksheet or use the following questions as writing prompts to continue your look inside and help discover what really makes you tick. Think through the questions and write your thoughts in your journal in detail

  1. What have been your greatest accomplishments?
  2. What have been your greatest moments of efficiency?
  3. What have been your greatest failures?
  4. What have been your greatest moments of inefficiency?
  5. What are any common rules or themes that you can identify?

Perfect Week Exercise

How would you describe a typical day for you? Not a bad day or a good day, just a normal day. When you first wake up, do you have a routine that you do most days? Does your morning consist of similar experiences from day to day. How about the rest of your day. Picture it in your mind. Really, stop reading for a minute, and go through your normal activities in your mind. I’ll wait. . .

Ok, that was pretty easy, right? Now, I want you to imagine your perfect day. A normal, perfect day. As you wake up on your perfect day, what sounds greet you as you begin to come out of your sleep? What smells? As you open your eyes, what do you see? How much time goes by before you get out of bed? Do you jump out of bed with an invigorated energy or do gradually ease out of bed, relaxed and serene? Take some time to visualize in your mind the experiences on a typical perfect day.

Now, what will you do the next day? The day after that? Use your notebook or the Weekly Planner Worksheet to plan out your perfect week. When you have crushed all your goals and you’re living the lifestyle of your dreams, what does that actually look like?

Vision Statement Worksheet

At this point, we recommend talking through your answers and reflections from the previous sections with your mentor or accountability partner. They will help you dig into patterns in your responses. This should be someone who is invested in helping you reach clarity but isn’t over-anchored to one particular outcome. Be sure to capture any takeaways in your notes.

C-3PO Photo Credit: Emmet Abraham https://www.behance.net/EmmetAbraham
C-3PO Photo Credit: https://www.behance.net/EmmetAbraham

As you prepare to write a draft of your Personal Vision Statement, use the C3PO Rule to help you along the way. If you’re a Star Wars fan, this should be an easy one to remember. The C3PO Rule is that your Vision Statement should be:

CLEAR

It should be specific and articulate. Strive to make it easily understood, directive, and action-oriented. Create a clean map for yourself.

CONCISE

While there is no precise length limit, your Vision Statement should be written in as few words as you think are needed. If it gets over a paragraph or two, you could probably be more concise.

COMPELLING

This is a big one. Does your Vision Statement inspire and move you? It must be motivational and far-reaching enough to pull you through difficult and uncertain times. Strive to capture that highest voice with-in you—that

part of you that can see the gift and opportunity that surrounds you.

PRESENT TENSE

This is a subtle but important point. Writing your Vision Statement in the present tense gives it power and immediately holds you to the standard you set for yourself. Minimize the “I will …” or “One day …” lan-guage. Your vision lives in you now. Write it that way. Write “I am …”

OTHERS

Your Vision Statement always has implications beyond yourself. When you change your behavior, you automatically start affecting and leading others differently. Be cognizant of that fact and make thoughtful considerations of how you can better affect others as part of your vision. Including others is a powerful move and, in the long run, can be very rewarding.

Your Turn! Go ahead and take several passes at writing a few versions of a Vision Statement. Free yourself from any pressure to be perfect. Just focus on giving yourself some drafts to react to. When you’re done, take a break and revisit your drafts later.

When you can, take the pieces of each draft that speak most to you and combine into a version that you’ll hold onto. Write it down and tape it somewhere you’ll see it often. Internalize it. And bit by bit, look at your life, work, and/or upcoming decisions through its lens and see what you find.

What’s Your Point?

If you dare, share your Vision Statement that you came up with in the comments below. We’ll start. Scroll down to see our Vision Statements as well as some from other Ultimate Achievers Alliance members.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.