Last week I discussed how to set meaningful goals for 2017. I described the first step as “becoming more self aware”. Today I discussed the second step: envisioning your success( this Friday at my Leaders Connect Breakfast, I will be presenting on these concepts. If you have not received an invitation and wish to attend, please send me an email and I will be happy to extend you an invitation).


Describe Your Vision of Success

Ari Weinzweig, cofounder of Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has one of the best approaches to formulating a vision that I’ve seen. He speaks about it and has written it up in his book, A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves (Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading). He believes that while your mission and vision should be compatible, they aren’t the same. In his view, a mission is global in scope and never-ending. A vision is a mental picture of success, time-constrained, inspiring and specific enough that it can be measured.
To figure out your vision, Weinzweig advises answering this question:

When you’re really successful at a point in the future, what will that success look like?

As you try to peer into the future, consider these factors:

  • Employ sensory-based images: What would success physically look like? What would it feel like?
  • Let your vision inspire. It should get your juices flowing.

Why create a vision?

  • It allows us to create reality instead of just reacting to present-day problems.
  • It’s a statement of optimism in the future.
  • It forces us to act on the reality that there is no safe path.
  • It forces us to hold ourselves accountable.
  • It tells us what we aren’t going to do.

Once you have your vision, Weinzweig says you should write it down and, of course, communicate it to others.

Your Assignment

Imagine yourself five years from now.

Close your eyes and think about how you want your life to be. Where do you want to be living? Imagine the particular view you have out of your window. Look around and see what is in your space. Next imagine who are you living with? Are you by yourself? With roommates? With a partner? What are the quality of your relationships?

Now imagine you are at your work setting. Where do you dream you will be working? What will you be doing while you are at work?

Next, shift to your free time. How will you be spending your time? What will you be doing to enjoy yourself? What will you be doing to take care of yourself? How will you be dealing with the obstacles that typically get in your way?

As you write your vision, describe what you are actually seeing, hearing, and feeling. Be sure to make it vivid and inspiring.

Your vision should be the fulfillment of your dreams, what you hope for in the future. A vision is something to dream of and aspire to.

Rob Pasick’s upcoming workshop
Pasick’s Leaders Connect Breakfast: Ten Steps to Meaningful Goals for 2017

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