Create a Vision, Change Your Life
“We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” – Robert Brault
The beginning of a new school year is always met with excitement, anxiety and wonder about whom I will teach and what we will accomplish. Over the past year, I have been focused on developing a personal vision for myself as a teacher. Last year I asked my class what my vision was as a teacher. I received one hundred different responses, and I wasn’t surprised since I didn’t have a vision for myself. So how could I expect my students to know what that vision was?
Socrates said: “The quality of a persons life is in direct proportion to the quality of questions they are willing to ask themselves or be asked by another.” I am continually looking to increase the quality of my life, and that requires me to ask more difficult questions. I used Steven K. Scott’s question from his book The Richest Man Who Ever Lived. The questions was this:
How can you have a “well-founded, confident belief that a specific vision will be achieved” if you don’t have a specific vision?
That question hit me right in the gut and awakened me to realize that I was not the best teacher I could have been over the past fifteen years. It caused me to dig deeper into my successes and failures. So I sat down, worked through a process (see below) and came up with my personal vision for teaching. The vision states that I will inspire young adults to become the best versions of themselves by helping them discover their true purpose in life. With a crystal clear vision it allows me to break down yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals to bite sized chunks that fit within that vision.
John Maxwell pointed out that most people spend more time planning their vacations than planning their lives. If you are interested in creating a vision for your life, it will require the following work. This is adapted from Steven K. Scott
- Write down the areas that you want to improve in your life.
- For each area of your life write a clear and precise description of that dream. Keep this to 1-2 sentences.
- Write down specific goals that you need to achieve to fulfill that dream.
- For each goal, you might be required to break it down into steps.
- For each of those steps, create task completion dates and share those with friends and family to hold yourself accountable.
This process is time intensive, but it works. Without a clear vision for your life, you are like a ship lost at sea. While you believe that any port will do, you yearn for the one that you can’t seem to find.