Have you ever been asked in an interview where you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? Maybe you’re past being asked that question, do you have an answer anyway? Is it an easy question to answer?
A few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question honestly. I would have answered it, however it would have been in a manner that was expected or that suited the particular job I was interviewing for. I knew I wanted to be happy and to have a fairly comfortable life. I cringe when I think about that, about how unguided that thinking was.
I wanted to be happy without knowing what exactly would make me happy. I wanted to just be comfortable, basically limiting myself from anything beyond just comfortable. I expected to get where I wanted to be without a specific destination in mind. That would be like leaving your house to go away for the weekend not knowing where you’re going except that you’d like the place to be ‘nice’. It wouldn’t make sense.
Things changed though when I started to dream big, to think about what I was passionate about and setting out to achieve those dreams. I discovered vision boards and couldn’t wait to do one. I found old magazines and went to work. I divided it into 8 sections that cover different aspects of my life and I’m amazed at how I’m already experiencing some of the things on it. For example I included that I want to help children and in my current job I get to do that on a regular basis. I am yet to attain everything on my vision board, however I know that is where I am headed. I’m not driving around aimlessly anymore, I know what my destination is. I know that not everyone is a fan of vision boards, hence my next suggestion.
Recently I read this article by Luvvi Ajayi about a vision statement. In it she talks about how she wrote one and within a short space of time, what she had written started to happen. Maybe you’re wondering what a vision statement is, for this context anyway. It’s a letter you write to someone and date it 10 years from now (or 5 if you wish). In this ‘vision letter’, as I like to call it, you describe what your life is like, where you are, who you’re around and what you’re doing. You’d have to be as descriptive as possible. She inspired me to write one and let me just say I’m so excited when I think of where I’ll be in a few years’ time.
Having my vision board and vision letter reminds me of what I have to look forward to. That helps on days when I feel like it’s taking too long or days when something happens that has me wanting to just give up. On those days I remind myself what I have to look forward to and whatever the bump in the road is, it doesn’t compare to what my future looks like. William Ernest Henley was right, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”.
Now, picture this, you’ve been working hard for months and you and your partner, or a friend, have decided to spoil yourselves with a weekend away. This is not something you’d normally do because you’re always busy or your schedules don’t allow it. This trip is all the more special. You’ve been looking forward to it for weeks. It’s to a place you’ve always wanted to go. The place is 3 hours away and 30 minutes before you get to where you’re going, you get a flat tire. Would you stop there and say “well, we tried to get away for the weekend but it hasn’t worked out”? Wouldn’t you change the tire? If you can’t do it yourself, wouldn’t you call for roadside assistance? Wouldn’t you do whatever it took to get to your destination?
Why then when you hit a bump in the road in your life, would you stop and give up? In life there will come a time when things don’t go the way you want, where you hit a bump in the road. At those times, do you give up or do you find ways to get around that bump and move on? That right there, I believe, is what will determine whether or not you succeed.
That’s where having a vision, whether through a vision board, vision statement or however it is, becomes pertinent.
If you know where you’re going, you won’t let anything get in your way. Sometimes you will experience great disappointments or delays or other times you may even have to start over. If you have a picture of what awaits you you’ll forge on because you know it will be worth it. If you don’t think it will be worth it then maybe you’re not dreaming big enough.
Above everything I’ve said here, you have to believe it will happen. Whether it’s because you believe in yourself, or a higher power, you have to believe that your dreams will indeed come true. For something to happen you have to believe in it. For instance I know without a doubt that my dreams will come true because God’s got it covered. Know what your reason for your belief is and believe until you see it with your own eyes. Don’t just hope, have faith. Like Jim Carrey once said “Hope walks through the fire, but faith leaps over it”.
Do you have a vision board or vision letter? If not, would you make or write one? Share your thoughts in the comments.