Some of my favourite videos on Youtube are the videos of little children learning how to ride their bikes. I don’t like them for the inspiration. I love watching it for their ability to hit the only light pole in the entire car park. Or to seemingly out of nowhere hit the parked car they were so avidly trying to avoid. I love it for two reasons; firstly it’s hilarious to watch. Secondly, because it always reminds me of the principle that where we focus on going, is where we end up.
Their fixation on avoiding the pole or car is the very reason that they hit it.
I want to live my life like these kids. So fixated on who I want to be, on the dreams that I have, on where I want to be relationally, spiritually, financially, that I can’t help but hit them.
Andy Stanley says it like this, “Everyone ends up somewhere in life, very few end up there on purpose.”
I want to be someone who ends up somewhere on purpose.
I imagine you are the same; you don’t want to float through life, get to the end of it and feel like you washed up ashore to your own life. Looking back and feeling that there was no clear purpose or direction to it. I don’t want that for your life, which is why in this post I want us to look at the power of personal vision and how it can help us fix our focus on clear objectives so that we can fixate on them and end up there on purpose. To launch into a life fuelled by vision and mission, I have a few tips that help us create a personal vision.
Get to 30,000ft
Planes fly at 30,000ft, and if you have ever had the joy of sitting in the window seat, you know that when you are in a plane you can see so much further than anytime you are on the land. I have been up to the tops of mountains and still not been able to see as far as I could when on a plane.
The further from the ground we get, the more we can see of it. We have to have the same perspective on our lives; we have to lift ourselves out of our daily grind and give ourselves the opportunity to look at our lives from 30,000ft. To stop and let ourselves look ahead. To see further than today, tomorrow or the end of the month, to stop and look 20 years into the future, even 50 years into the future if you feel really brave.
To let us see more of what our life looks like, or could look like.
This is such an important step for us to take, I don’t think we do it enough, to stop and think about where do I want to be in 20 years. What career, what relationships, what financial situation. When you let yourself do this, you have something to aim for. Make it clear, don’t just say vague statements such as “I want to be well off.” It might be something along the lines of “I want to have paid off my own home,” or, “I want to have saved enough for a deposit on a home” (especially if you live in Sydney, that might be more realistic).
I remember when I was learning to drive my Dad told me that one of the keys to driving well is to look into the distance, it helps in driving the car straight. Because if you look only just in front of you, you are reactionary, the drive isn’t smooth, since you are driving based on last-second hazards you are trying to avoid. You are also way more likely to hit something you don’t want to hit. (Although is there ever anything you want to hit when you are driving?) When you look into the distance, it gives you something to guide you.
When we look into the distance, we see our destination, and the direction we need to take to get there.
When you let yourself take the 30,000ft view of your life you get to dream big, look far into the distance and see some exciting destinations. You get to dream up your ideal self; you see behaviours that you don’t want to have in 50 years, you see what things are essential, marriage, family, career, they begin to balance out. You are removed from the immediate pressures, stresses, and trivial but frustratingly urgent tasks that take so much time, and you can focus on what is important to you.
Once you have done this, you need to break it down.
Break it down!
If you don’t start breaking down the 30,000ft view into manageable, measurable steps all it ever is is a dream.
You start breaking it down into questions such as, “If I want to have paid off my home in 30 years, where do I need to be in 15 years?” Then “If I want to be at x in 15 years in paying off my home, then where do I need to be in 5 years?” And bring it all the way back down until you get to within a month. What do you need to do in the next month to start taking steps forward?
The reason for this is, the simpler the steps are, and the sooner you can start taking them, the quicker you start to experience progress and momentum. The two most important parts of the journey towards fulfilling your personal vision.
The final thing I want to encourage you with all of this is “Dream Big!!”
I heard someone say recently, “If your vision for your life doesn’t require the help of others, it’s too small.” I love that sort of thinking. If you want to be someone who makes a difference, which I genuinely believe we all want to be, then “Dream Big!!” When you soar to 30,000ft, dream as big as you can, think scary level visions for your life, then watch it become realistic as you break it down into bite-size chunks.
I hope that you will let yourself, dream big about your personal vision, and become people who are so focused on your personal vision that you can’t help but hit.
That this year, you ended up somewhere on purpose.