Begin with the end in mind

Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash

Has your vision for the year turned out? Not the company one; your personal vision. You may not have written it down, but you probably had a picture in mind of your personal and professional objectives for this year. Maybe you thought it was time to get out from under the day-to-day pressures and take your career in a new direction. Perhaps you wanted to implement a big new strategy. Whatever your objectives were, you could either be celebrating your success or lamenting that nothing much has changed this year.  

We routinely visualise what we want in other areas of our lives. If you have ever built or purchased a home you had a picture in your mind of what you wanted. It could have included the number of bedrooms, the location of the house, the price range etc. Maybe you have imagined an exciting holiday. Or you may have visualised what success will look like before commencing a big project.    

Stephen R Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People calls this, “Begin with the end in mind.” He suggests, that we first create the mental picture of what things will look like before taking physical action to fulfil our objectives.

A personal vision begins with the end in mind. Tania* wrote down her vision for the next twelve months, which was to realise her dream to secure a global opportunity. She was specific about the things that were important to her. She envisaged plenty of autonomy in a global role, being professionally stretched and making something brand new happen. At first, she was sceptical that she could achieve such a bold objective. But she put it down anyway. To her great surprise it all turned out much sooner than she expected.

There is something powerful about writing a personal vision. One way to do it is to write it as a letter from the future, e.g. dated 31 December 2018. In it, you simply describe what you see, hear and feel as though it has all turned out. For example, part of Tania’s vision said, “I am in a great new global role, working with an energised team making something brand new happen.” The more specific you can be the better. That means putting aside your concern about how it will happen. It may not all turn out just because you write it down. But it is more likely to come about if you spend some time clarifying your personal vision.

What is your personal vision for the next twelve months?

Best regards, Brian

*Name changed to protect the innocent

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