Vision and Purpose – Your Brand, Your Business, and Your Life’s Direction
Mar 30, 2020
What do you want to accomplish in life? What does it all look like? Do you have a picture of it in your head? If you do, that’s your vision. Having a clear vision is the key to accomplishment – whatever that accomplishment might be. Whether it’s focused on your family, your business, your relationships, or your contribution to society. We all have a vision.
In business, the vision is the biggest goal you wish to achieve as an organization. It’s how you determine every move you make along your journey. It’s how we choose our path, day in and day out – because we know where we’re trying to go and why we need to get there.
Vision gives you purpose. It’s your why.
Without it, you have no means of knowing where you’re going, and you’ll walk aimlessly through your life or your business, without the direction you need to help you decide what’s worth pursuing and what’s not.
Vision and purpose will help you overcome obstacles, it will give you the courage and drive to put one foot in front of the other. Every roadblock you encounter is a temporary problem that you need to solve as you get closer to your vision. Simply put, vision gives you clarity, it’s one of the most powerful things any person or business leader can have in their arsenal for life.
Like I said, everyone has vision to some extent. Some have it dialed in and are executing on it relentlessly, and others do not and they never make the effort to act on any vision at all. But here’s the secret… if your vision is lacking or you need to discover it entirely, it just takes time and effort to figure it out. Emphasis on the effort part. It’s a long term, life-long process of continuously refining your idea of an ideal outcome, setting new goals and strategies, putting one foot in front of the other, and making the final decisions that eventually get you to your destination.
On top of that, you need to trust that you can actually arrive at your vision. If you don’t believe it’s possible, then you’ll never get there. That’s a guarantee.
“The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.”Arnold Palmer
You also have to know this going in – the path is going to be foggy, and having a vision of the promised land is sometimes the only thing you’ll have to keep you moving forward.
A lot of people never take the time to discover their vision, because what’s the point in doing that if you know you’ll never actually attempt to achieve it? Many won’t take the risk of achieving their biggest vision because it comes with a path of constant uncertainty – and uncertainty is scary. It means blazing your own trail through life, with no footsteps in sight to follow. Guidance from others, sure. But that fear of the unknown can be crippling, and prevent you from ever stepping off the beaten path.
Having a clear and defined vision is the first step in giving you the courage to go for it. So if you don’t have that big picture idea of what you really want out of your life, but you wish to, then how do you go about finding it?
Here is one answer – start at the end.
I’ll share with you one of the exercises we keep in our back pockets during the brand development process. We ask clients to write their own obituaries. They don’t have to share it with us if they don’t want to, but what this does is it gets them thinking about what they really want to do within their lifetime on a personal level. It’s a great first step to not living a life full of regret. If you actively live your life the way you want your obituary to read – then you’re doing things right. You’re actively trying to achieve your vision.
This is a solid first step in having a clear direction in life. How can you plan to meet goals and move in the right direction if you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish as a whole? When you have a vision, you have the ability to see today as it is and calculate a predictable future that grows and improves as you complete goals and move closer to the end result.
Once you have a better picture of how your life should unfold, you can begin to work backwards and discover what can be done to help you arrive at your end-of-life destination.
Look at your life as one big journey. You’re going to make decisions that take you down entirely different paths, and that’s okay. There are many different routes to achieving a vision. The more important thing is to always look at your end goal and work backwards, step by step, and view each decision as a stepping stone. Each decision you make needs to have a deliberate purpose for getting you to the next steps in the journey.
I’m not saying you can (or should) plan your life out entirely, that’s not the objective. But if you don’t know what you want in a general sense, then it becomes really difficult to make decisions that you know will lead you anywhere. There isn’t one set path for you or for anyone, but you at least need a compass that gives you the direction you need to help you make choices. After all, your entire life comes down to the choices you make and how to decide to look at the world around you. And the biggest limitation you’ll ever have to overcome is the six inches between your ears.
Brands, businesses, and life – it’s all the same.
We’re not trying to come off as life coaches here, but when it comes down to business you need to be making decisions that are in line with what you want out of your life – that’s why you need to figure out if it’s all going to play well together. This is truly how we see it… I’m writing this stuff because it’s how we think about it all. It’s important that your business, brand, and life are all in sync. Super important.
Business is a part of life – your personal and professional life are not mutually exclusive, at least we choose not to see it that way. Your career is a huge part of your story… it’s the part where you create value and serve others, and because of that you earn money for the amount of value you provide. That’s really all it is. You spend a huge chunk of time in life as a professional, why wouldn’t it exist in parallel to your personal life? It wouldn’t make any sense if it didn’t.
What we want to encourage people to do is to use their careers to propel their lives forward in whatever way supports they’re life’s vision. We believe in a holistic approach to creating the career and lifestyle you want. There is now more opportunity than ever to achieve this.
Vision needs action for it to mean absolutely anything.
A vision isn’t a dream. It’s a reality that just hasn’t happened yet. That’s why we act as if our vision is already true. We don’t say “I wish this would happen”, instead we say “when this happens.” That mindset shift makes all the difference. Your mind is a powerful tool, so give it the credit it deserves. It can serve you, or it can destroy you, and you’re the only one who can choose how you’ll use it. No one else is going to do it for you.
“Having a vision for what you want is not enough… vision without execution is hallucination.”Thomas Edison
The only way you’ll ever be successful in your vision is to set goals, determine a plan of action, and execute it. It’s not enough to be able to imagine your biggest dreams. You have to go out there and do something about it.
It’s a life-long process. It won’t happen overnight.
It’s not easy to make a mindset shift like this, but a great way to start is to involve others in the process. Find others on a similar path who share a similar vision and use each other to get where you want to go. You shouldn’t do this alone. It’s a lot easier when we do it together.
A big part in all of this is just taking the time to gain clarity in your life. It’s hard to set aside time to reflect, and we know that. But life has its way of slipping by without us even realizing. It’s worth it to take time and really do some deep thinking. We’d argue that it’s one of the most important things you’ll ever do in your entire life.
Lastly, this is not a quick fix. As much as everyone likes a quick fix these days. You can’t just give it a 5 minute brainstorming session – this is a lifetime commitment. Make the effort to actually write your thoughts down. Write it down now, give it time, come back to it at a later date and write it again. Rinse and repeat throughout your life. I personally find this practice to be super helpful in my own life, which is why I wrote this article.
Continue to ask yourself the questions – What do I want in life? And why?