Do you feel lost in life? When you were young you probably had high hopes about how you wanted your life to turn out, but somewhere along the line your dreams may have faded. That often occurs when you encounter problems.
You take detours to avoid the obstacles blocking your path. Eventually you’ve taken so many twists and turns in life that you’ve lost sight of your original goals.
To achieve authentic happiness requires continually reorienting to a north star. That guiding light is the vision you hold of what constitutes a purposeful life. It is unique to you because it’s based on your personal values. It becomes a compelling picture of your future, getting you back on track when you need to negotiate around obstacles.
Combining a significant purpose and clear values will energize and mobilize you to move in the direction of your dreams.
Your vision of a purposeful life must involve more than just getting your own needs met. Naturally your vision will contain images of achieving success. To move from success to significance requires giving back to your community.
A compelling vision:
- Will help you see your life unfolding for the rest of your years.
- Helps you to understand your purpose and values.
- Is about having a great life — not just rushing through.
- Provides guidelines that help you make daily decisions.
- Touches the hearts and spirits of everyone you share it with.
- Helps you see how you can contribute to improving the world.
Creating a purpose driven vision begins by becoming clear about your core values.
Values tap into your heartfelt emotions. When you act in support of your values, you feel proud of your actions.
Values guide your behavior and decisions on a daily basis as you pursue your purpose.
Values are based upon your deeply held beliefs that define what is fundamentally important to you. Your values supply the energy and excitement that help you remain committed when the going gets tough.
To identify your core values, write down your answers to this series of questions:
- Think about what makes you feel most proud at home and at work.
- Remember a problem you faced and recall those personal characteristics that helped you to overcome that challenge.
- As you review the ups and downs of your life, ask yourself what deeply held believes you developed about what’s important when it comes to dealing with life.
Translate the core values you identify into a statement that puts your values into action. For example, if your core values are loving relationships, teaching others, and being grateful for the good things in your life, then your statement of purpose might be:
“I’ve been happiest when I’ve been engaged in mutually satisfying relationships — sharing dreams and supporting one another during the ups and downs we experienced while we each worked hard to achieve our goals. I have loved helping others to realize their dreams. As my dreams come true, I’ve felt great when I’ve appreciated the blessings that came to me in life.”
To generate a vision of your future that will serve as a motivator to energize your moving forward, create a picture in your mind of what it will look like when your purpose and values are being fulfilled. For example, a picture of the purpose stated above could be:
“I am a person who loves mutually satisfying relationships. It makes me feel just as good to see someone I care about get what they want as it does to get support for achieving my goals. I am extremely grateful for the loving energy that comes to me from my relationships.
I’m passionate about learning how to make myself and others happy. I relish hearing hopes and dreams, as well as sharing ideas and inspirations regarding how to make them come true.”
For a vision to become a reality, it’s important how you create it, communicate it, and live it. Creating a vision involves a lot more than daydreaming. A real vision is lived, not fantasized. Goals help you to see the first small steps that you need to take to get yourself moving toward your vision.
Goals are simply short-term visions of success. It’s crucial to plan out the details of your steps to success in your mind before taking action. In fact, mental rehearsals have been found to be an incredibly powerful part of the change process.